CHAL­LENGE IS QUITE A DRAW FOR ONE MAN

Dubai res­i­dent takes on #Draw­ingADay chal­lenge

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - cait­lyn@7days.ae

When part­ner Til­lie chal­lenged Ben Cooke to do a draw­ing a day for an en­tire year, he sharp­ened his pen­cils and got to work. Hav­ing no­ticed his tal­ent, Til­lie pushed Ben to do it more of­ten – and on Jan­uary 4 this year the #draw­ingaday chal­lenge was born. Now, the Brit up­loads a hand-drawn pic­ture each day to his In­sta­gram and Face­book ac­counts. The art ranges from por­traits of lo­cal per­son­al­i­ties, to sketches of well-known cartoon char­ac­ters, as well as pin-up art, and geo­met­ric art. Ben ex­plains: “Ini­tially I spent about 30 min­utes do­ing quick sketches, but af­ter a cou­ple of weeks I started to get more into it and us­ing the chal­lenge as a way to prac­tise, which quickly be­came a new hobby.” Work­ing full time as a prod­uct man­ager for OSN, Ben hadn’t been ac­tively cre­at­ing art. “It had been years since I had drawn reg­u­larly, the last time was prob­a­bly do­ing GCSE art at school.” He has now done 260 draw­ings this year, and Ben says he’s seen an im­prove­ment in his skills: “I'm my own worst critic so I still see my­self as pretty av­er­age at draw­ing, but I'm ea­ger to keep go­ing even when the chal­lenge is done. “When I'm able to put a bit more time into a draw­ing, I def­i­nitely see a dif­fer­ence in qual­ity, so once the chal­lenge is over I'm aim­ing to do a cou­ple a month with­out the daily dead­line.” In the be­gin­ning, Til­lie set up a jar with ran­dom words writ­ten on pa­per, so each day Ben had a theme to pick out. The words ranged from an­i­mals, peo­ple, places, and ac­tiv­i­ties. Ben adds: “I’d rec­om­mend do­ing a daily chal­lenge to any­one. “It doesn't take long to get into some­thing, and you soon re­alise the ben­e­fits of prac­tice. It's never too late to pick up a new hobby. Draw­ing has also be­come quite med­i­ta­tive, and a nice way to un­wind of an evening or on week­ends.”

See more of Ben’s art on In­sta­gram, @bjp­cooke, in­clud­ing the three pic­tured here

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