To do or not to do: Inktober


You probably all know about Inktober by now, the drawing challenge created by Jake Parker in 2009, which has become hugely popular worldwide among artists. If you haven’t, the rules are pretty simple: every day of October, make a drawing in ink and post it online (or not, it’s up to you, but it’s a nice way of connecting with other artists) with the proper hashtags (#inktober #inktober2017).

As simple as it might seem, I have attempted it for the last 2 years and failed miserably every time! The first reason is by lack of time, preparation and commitment and the second because ink is not my media of choice, so the difficulty of the task got to my resolve pretty quickly. It’s ok though, failing at Inktober is definitely not something to lose sleep over. After all, even though the goal is to get better at a particular skill, it should remain a fun project, not a chore.

Planning out my project

I’m sure a lot of people are in my situation and therefore wonder if it’s worth trying again year after year. I have asked myself that question lately and have decided to give it another try. Whenever I see illustrators with great inking skills (my hero is Chris Riddell: watch his live drawing sessions, it’s mind blowing), I just craze to learn the technique, not just for the inking side of it but for the basic drawing skills it hones. Besides, I have more time on my hands this year and Inktober is a great exercise to commit to a task and get it finished on a deadline.

So, to make it work for me and give me more chance to succeed, I came up with a project plan: drawing 31 (actually 32) small size characters showing costumes through history.

Trials and errors, trying to work out the style I’m after

This will allow me a few things:

  • To draw on a subject I like (history and costumes). I would have loved to work on a mini-story, but let’s be realistic, I will not have the time
  • What I need is: 1 small manageable drawing per day, with a list that has been decided beforehand and that I just have to follow
  • Like I mentioned above, to develop inking and drawing skills…
  • But also, I want to focus on shapes, more simple ones, a style more suitable to children’s books
  • And hopefully this could turn into a portfolio-worthy project (but no pressure).

Inktober, or how to kill a few birds with one stone.

 Who’s with me?

So here we are, Inktober 2017:


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