I have found that I am an artist who creates better with a purpose. Like most creative processes, dry spells come and go. Then there is always the "rut" syndrome. I discovered The Artist Challenge about a year and a half ago. Their biweekly thoughtful art themed challenges challenged both my creativity and time management. I found myself among an international group of artists with something to say with the art work they create and post. Being the number one online art challenge site among the search engines didn't hurt my feelings either. The host, Ms. Vikki, keeps a tight ship protecting the site from spammers and scullywags. She's generous in her effort, although there is a minimal fee for one of the two entries (one is always free), Ms. Vikki does not ask for a commission from my sales yet promotes all of the artists in many online venues.
A favorite annual promotion is coming up, the CBS Sunday Morning Sun Art Challenge. The Sun Art submitted by this January 8 is submitted to CBS for their Sun Art Library. Several works of art from this challenge has been aired.
An off shoot to the Artist Challenge is the Inferno. A challenge for writers. I joined as soon as they offered it, I had not really tried my hand at writing but soon I found another creative outlet. I have a new passion for creating line drawing illustrations for my writings. I now post those entries as well as my other meanderings at Falling Amber Rain.
There are lots of art challenge sites and online galleries. Its something to wade through. Before selecting one be sure that they are as protective of your copyright as you are, you get the most exposure for your effort and dollars, and find a group that is all about the art and leaves the pettiness behind.
I am currently looking at a monthly sketch book themed challenge So far it looks like it meets my criteria, I'll let you know soon.