• Alicia Kidd

A Cactus a Day Challenge

My Cacti Challenge proved to be a real challenge to complete. First of all, I don’t have 30 cacti to draw a day. So, I made the challenge flexible from the beginning, I allowed myself to sketch cacti found in my surroundings. It may have been easier to set the rule to be any cactus from a photo. But the point to this challenge was to practice my observation skills and sketch real life cacti – plant things. I also wanted to mix different greens and create volume. I had a plan!


As adults, we make little projects, little challenges, let’s say, to complete in a certain amount of time to improve a skill. What we may not realize is that this is precisely what “homework” is. In our school days, the dreaded homework helped us in many skills we didn’t even know we were developing and would be helpful in the future. Or at some point. Hopefully.

In this case, you’re already done adulting, you made it! So, now you need hobbies and interests. Make some projects for yourself to get good at something. Anything!

I have seen so many challenges in every hobby I have encountered. Bullet Journaling, Sketching, Writing or lettering, and really anything creative or remotely artistic.

Challenges are awesome!


Well, no. Not even close. But it was a good start. And some days I did want to draw, just not a damn cactus. So there’s that little chestnut.


I know, I know, I didn’t complete the challenge. But hey, I’m still analyzing my accomplishments. Taking in everything I learned from failing at this challenge as a monthly challenge and organizing my thoughts. Look, I was a little ambitious. I mean, April has 30 days, and I thought,” 30 cacti – one a day, that’s totally do-able”. It’s not. But I can try again. With a little more preparation. Maybe I should be more flexible with the rules. It’s easier to draw from a photo or just indoors in general. Especially on a Caribbean island, where it’s summer every day of the year. I did manage to sketch whatever cacti were outdoors, outdoors or partially, on the back porch or terrace.


2B Staedtler pencil

Lamy Joy Fountain Pen with Fine nib and Noodler’s Bulletproof ink

Pilot Kakuno fountain pen with Fine nib and De Atramentis Document Ink in Violet

Lamy Vista fountain pen with extra fine nib and Higgins black ink

Uniball Signo white pen

Winsor & Newton Professional watercolors

Escoda Prado sintético #6 brush

Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook

Epson scanner old…


This time around, before creating setting my goals for a challenge, I will do research, take photos, make sure I have an image,  scene, or place to go to every day of the challenge. I don’t yet have a subject for my next challenge. I have many ideas! It could be a week long, 15 days, or a whole month. Maybe this time I’ll start small and try to complete one week first.

That sounds like a plan!

Let me know which challenge you have done, whether it’s a current challenge or something you came up with. And show me how you did! Either send me links or tag me on Instagram.

Thank you for reading.

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