I completed Inktober and here is what I learned…

This year is the first time I have taken part in Inktober. A daily inking challenge that continues on throughout the month of October. That’s 31 days of consistent art work centred around a prompt word for each day.

It was a challenge. First of all I decided to pencil sketch all my prompts in a small square sketchbook to limit the size of my drawings (hoping that this would save me time) and I did this as soon as the prompt list came out which was a least a month before the challenge began.

Before you all throw your arms up in the air and yell at the screen “But that’s cheating!” let me give you a little insight into the art world… artists that take part have admitted to preparing their Inktober sketches beforehand. Its just common sense. Why do you think Jake Parker releases the prompt list so early? Its to give artists time to prepare and lets face it, life is hectic enough without trying to fit in a daily well thought out inked painting from scratch!

When day 1 came along I began to paint in Ink over my prepared drawings.

Heaven knows why but I also decide to film the process too. Every single one of my Inktober paintings have a video uploaded to Instagram and YouTube documenting the painting process. It was…difficult. Some days I was able to get a painting done in the morning, edit video and get it posted by lunchtime. Other days I would be posting later in the evening. The thing that I found though, was that I developed an overwhelming urge to not miss a day no matter how time consuming it would be. I had made a little story with my characters and I wanted my small following to have something more than random drawings I had decided to churn out that day.

It’s been a long time since I’ve drawn on paper and used ink too! I’ve been painting digitally for nearly ten years now and more or less stopped with the traditional painting. But after this challenge I’ve found that I still enjoy painting on paper and will continue to do so. I’m still using clip studio though as that erase button is just wonderful! πŸ™‚

It’s a little intimidating looking on Instagram as you realise that there is so much talent out there! I’ve seen so many amazing Inktober artwork and artists that really know how to work an ink pen! So many styles, so many different perspectives on the prompt words. Go take a look at the #inktober posts on there and spread positive vibes. I noticed a few comments on other artists posts where someone would choose to critique the artwork. Don’t do this. An artist will specifically ask for critiques. If they don’t ask, don’t give it. Its rude. It immediately points you out as a jerk. The artist community is small and I’ve found it to be overwhelmingly supportive.

Will I be taking part in next years Inktober? Yes. I will. It’s helped me develop my drawing skills and I’ve learned some new painting techniques for texture and values. It’s been a positive experience for me and next year I’m sure I’ll learn something new!

If you’re new to posting your art online don’t be scared. Just do it! It’s scary at first as your putting your work out there to be poked and prodded. But fellow artists are an inspiration and you have as much right as anyone to show your art to the world! Do an art challenge and take pride in just trying! Folk Tale week is coming this month, so if you like fairytales I think that would be a great place to start. I might even see you there!

Ta for now, Lou πŸ™‚