It’s that time of the year, when the weather changes and you tend to spend more time indoors. Perhaps you scrolled over your Instagram feed, and stumbled upon different artworks with the hashtag ‘Inktober’. Maybe you asked yourself – ‘What is it? Is it a new word for October? Is it a cult?’
To be honest, it’s kinda both. ‘Inktober’ is an art challenge that requires participants to create an ink drawing every day for the whole of October. The original rules were created by a talented Jake Parker in 2009. As the challenge got more audience and recognition, the original rules slightly shifted.
Artists started to create colorful works, some of them focus on sketching, while others find comfort in using out of the box techniques such as embroidery. But what’s left in common between these different artists is to Make More Art! Some of the artists take part in this challenge daily, while others decide to do drawings every other day or once a week. If truth be told, there is no wrong approach. Jake Parker himself expressed that “Inktober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you are consistent the better.”
“Inktober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you are consistent the better.”
The first time I heard about ‘Inktober’, was five years ago. Back then, I didn’t take this challenge seriously. When October approached, I used to scribble some drawings for the first few days, but after the third one, I would quit. To make daily drawings for the whole month sounded too much for me. But 2019 is a special year, right? So, I gave myself a promise that this year I will not only finish the 31 drawings, but I will also produce a video about ‘Inktober’ daily. I was convinced, that I will run out of the subjects for the videos, but after joining the ‘Inktober’ groups, and seeing other artists’ concerns about ‘Inktober’, my mind was set.
My rules were simple – to keep with the original Parker’s idea and to create a drawing using just traditional techniques: ink and pencil. At the last moment, I also decided to go with the blue watercolor to make my drawings pop out more since I find comfort within colors. I wanted to keep the drawings within the same theme. I believed, that sticking with the visual similarity and one color scheme would be easier. It would take some pressure off of my shoulders.
The goal behind this challenge was to get into a routine of drawing. In the back of my mind I knew, that if I practice my creativity muscle while producing works daily, the ideas would come very quickly. My other reason was to finally start working on my project – to sketch out the characters and get clarity of what I want to do for my upcoming graphic novel. Hence, I decided every prompt that Jake Parker suggests, I will adjust to my specific theme. Maybe you are asking – “Why so many rules? Can’t you just make a drawing?” To answer this question – yes, of course, but from my personal experience, I noticed that when you have clear guidance of what you want to create, you tend to execute.
Fast forward to ‘Inctober’. From the ‘Ring’ to the ‘Ripe’, I was as determined as ever to complete this challenge. I’ll give you an advice – don’t try to overwhelm yourself with the thoughts of how much work it will take, but just focus on drawing something one day at the time. The thought that there are many different artists, who are doing the same thing as you, should help you to keep going.
After 20 days of participating in ‘Inktober’, I can say this – if you ever wanted to participate in ‘Inktober’, but did not feel confident enough, try drawing one illustration. Now, focus on what you are feeling and it will be easier for you to decide if you want to keep going.