A quick introduction to Inktober
Jake Parker started Inktober in 2009 with the goal of improving his inking skills by drawing with ink every day of the month of October. Inktober caught on and participants share their day’s work on social media using the #inktober hashtag. Inktober has grown rapidly in the last few years. Participants added over three million drawings this year alone!
How I got started with Inktober
Drawing regularly has many benefits. Over time, your hand-eye coordination increases and it becomes easier to come up with ideas of water to draw. At its most basic, drawing regularly serves as a record of your time. Daily drawings, no matter how rough, help keep your skills sharp so that when you you have a big idea for a piece or that vacation to a beautiful place to draw, you’ll be ready.
When I first heard about Inktober in 2015, I was drawing once or twice a week. I knew it would be ambitious to go from drawing a few times a week to every day. I decided I’d need a theme to help me narrow down ideas. By chance, my company was moving their offices from San Francisco’s Pier 9 to a building in the Financial District. I used Inktober as a way to remember our space on the San Francisco waterfront.
As with any new habit, drawing daily can be a real challenge. We all have lives and responsibilities that can take first priority. This is completely normal. Because this was my first Inktober, my only goal was to complete 31 drawings. I did. In DECEMBER. At the time it felt like I’d failed the challenge. Now, with a little perspective, I see it as the start of an experiment.
When Inktober 2016 came around, I decided the next phase for this experiment would be to find a way to stay on schedule without making drawing every day feeling like a chore. As luck would have it, 2016 was the year Jake Parker decided to introduce prompts – a 1 word theme for each day of the month. These prompts helped me shape a new process for staying on top of the daily drawings.
My approach started with small, achievable goals: I limited myself to one subject matter (birds) and planned concepts ahead using Trello, pairing a bird with each prompt. I decided that if I fell behind, I would move on to the next prompt instead of trying to “catch up.” I wanted to be able to complete a drawing every day and felt this would be the way to do it.
Adding these constraints made a world of difference. I was able to complete one drawing each day, on schedule. It felt great to have 31 drawings for 31 days.
There’s more to the story of course. In Part 2 of this series, I’ll go into more depth was that process was and how I applied it to Inktober 2017. In Part 3 I’ll take a look at what I’ve learned so far and where this experiment will take me in 2018.
What’s next for our heroine and her inky ark of animals? Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!
Updates on Upcoming Shows and Sales!
I have work in the upcoming TINY show at STUDIO Gallery
I’m proud to announce I will be exhibiting work at the “Tiny” group show at STUDIO Gallery! The exhibit runs November 10th – December 23rd, 2017. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, November 12th from 1-6pm. The show features all local artists with works of art under 7×7” and on sale for under $500. I hope to see you there!
I have prints for sale at The Great Highway Gallery
I have two signed, limited-edition prints for sale at The Great Highway Gallery. The prints are of of the Sierra Valley and the Bolinas lagoon. The gallery also has prints from several local artists for sale. Stop by and check them out!
My Etsy Store is up!
I have select originals and prints up on my Etsy Store with more work on the way for 2018.