Christmas Art Countdown: A Holiday Advent Challenge

It's been a few months since I announced that I'll be exhibiting at Surtex in 2017. Since then, I've been working furiously behind the scenes adding new work to my portfolio.

And I know I'm taking a bit of an unconventional approach to Surtex as I've never before walked the show, yet I'll be exhibiting sight unseen, and that's why I've been soaking up as much information about the show as I can get my hands on.

Perhaps the single most useful thing I've been told since starting my Surtex journey is that the majority of my portfolio should be focused on Christmas and floral themed designs.

The advice was from Jennifer Nelson during one of her live Prep Talk sessions (if you are currently working towards exhibiting at any surface design show, these sessions have been so helpful and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you sign up for them).

Before hearing that, I was had no clear direction with how or what to build my portfolio with. And now??? You can bet I'm spending all December on nothing but holiday designs. And that leads me to my first ever Christmas Advent Challenge.

2016 Christmas Art Countdown: A Christmas Advent Challenge by Shannon McNab

At first, I thought I'd just join one of the many advent challenges already out there on Instagram.

But I realized that since the whole point of this project is to build on my current body of work, I needed to focus on the types of motifs that would best benefit my portfolio.

And because I love hand lettering almost as much as illustration and patterns, I was inspired by Dawn Nicole's monthly challenges to focus half the days on holiday typography.

Also, by creating the list early (I created this graphic a few weeks ago), it's given me time to conceptualize design ideas and prepare for a month of daily art. I decided to post this challenge publicly because I'm hoping it will help me stay accountable and keep me motivated to create new designs every day.

I'd also love to encourage you to join me in this challenge! Feel free to pin the image above to Pinterest or share my post on Instagram so you'll remember the prompts for each day. And be sure to use the hashtag #christmasartcountdown and tag me @smcnabstudio on Instagram anytime you post your work so I can see your lovely designs!