I was hesitant to sign-up for a blog post sharing my experiences about Inktober this past month, however, it’s such a relief to be on the other side, and I can’t believe Inktober is already over.
What is Inktober, you ask? “Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month.” Each year, a new list of prompts is created varying in spooky, festive, and whimsy subject matter. It is simple—all you need is a pen, paper, and time. The third aspect—finding time—has been my downfall in years past. I am always up for a challenge, but my history with Inktober is riddled with failure, sad attempts, and even sadder excuses. Six days in, I would find myself skipping days with the expectation I would make it up tomorrow, and those days would pile up to the point where I bailed ship on the whole project completely.
This year, I made sure to designate a window of time for the challenge, right after dinner and before bed. Ending each day with that accomplishment motivated me to continue the next day. Life did get in the way, and the last week of this challenge snowballed against me. Luckily, I reset and completed the days I missed. I enjoyed the feedback and support I was receiving from my friends on Instagram, and regularly posting became a form of accountability. My Inktober motto was done is better than perfect. Getting rid of the mindset that each day I had to create a “masterpiece” made the whole process less daunting and more achievable. Some artists use gouache, inks, and watercolor. Although I would have loved to have applied those mediums to my illustrations, realistically I don’t have the space after moving back home to set up and clean up the kitchen table every day without there being problems. Pulling out my sketchbook and pens was what worked for me. I spent anywhere between 10-30 minutes on each piece.
It brings me so much joy to look back on this body of work. Even though they are doodles, combined I feel they are a representation of a learned experience. Moving forward I hope to continue this practice, maybe not every day, but finding time to draw is a way of finding time for myself. There is a difference between work and personal work, and I am thankful this challenge provided me a setting to experiment and be playful with my art. Thirty-one days and 31 drawings later, I have completed Inktober!