Inktober: Looking Back!
The leaves are still bright & bouncy and school just started again… yet here we are, scheming + dreaming + strategizing + debating Inktober! It’s been a flash since Index-Card-a-Day Challenge ended yet… that’s the nature of our kooky creative calendar, friends. It keeps going and going and we get to decide when to jump on for the ride, when to take a break and chill out, and when to refocus and reboot our own personal trajectory. There are SO many options out there in the create-o-verse that we have to pick and choose.
The challenges that I do each year are Index-Card-a-Day [June/July - 61 days], Inktober [October - 31 days] and this year 365 Somethings [365 things, not a daily]. Another that I have attempted in recent years is NaNoWriMo [31 days/50K words] and I am seriously considering that again, but I digress.
Let’s talk INK.
October is ALREADY jam-packed, with back-to-back birthdays in our house plus all of the ghosts and goblins of 🎃 Halloween and pumpkin patch visits and a fall festival at school. It’s my FAVORITE month in terms of weather! Here in Texas we don’t get a long, glorious array of fall foliage — when it happens we have to snap photographs quickly before the leaves drop.
Yet with all of that going on, STILL historically a highly creative + productive month because I’ve participated in Inktober for the past 4 years! This challenge has given me the impetus to explore INK in many forms and formats. Like Index-Card-a-Day, there is a focus on completing tiny daily anchor projects. Maybe you can visualize it as ICAD but with INK and with ANY type of paper!
The medium is ink, the concept is to draw, and that’s pretty much the extent of the rules. You can read the rules and see the optional prompts at Jake’s Inktober site. The majority of participants DRAW something [whether real or imaginary] and post their work each day. This year I’m noticing that it’s become SO big that there are fandoms and bickering, and that’s kind of a bummer. Gonna totally ignore ALL OF THAT. My advice is SIMPLE. Draw something with ink or use ink. Find something that drives your curiosity and explore it with ink. If you are thinking about jumping into this challenge, do a little advance strategizing and THINK about what YOU want to get out of it, rather than what others are doing. Ultimately that is what matters! I frame my personal goal as "create something with ink" every day. This is admittedly an out-of-the-ordinary approach, and I find the collective energy really motivating each year.
My plan for Inktober?
I'm gearing up. The paper is cut and ready for ink. I'll share my Inktober escapades at Instagram and do progress posts here as the weeks move forward. Look, like you, I like to see TANGIBLE PROGRESS unfold. So I like to build a stack of cards that grows incrementally taller each day and ultimately falls over into a pool of color. However you want to slice and dice or visualize this particular challenge, definitely frame it so that it's possible! For example, I might limit myself to a particular type of ink or paper, and also play with the interaction between particular inks + papers + paints.
But first! Let’s go back through the merry-go-round of inktobers!
These tiny daily projects the past four years have inspired me to REALLY get to know my inks and prompted EXTENSIVE exploration that continues to this day! My third year of inktober ultimately spawned year four and then that launched an entire 365 Project! It is an opportunity, an opening, a challenge, a chance to share some positive creative energy with other ink-loving-people.
So… my approach is not the classic way to do the challenge. I do enjoy watching the work other artists create — the majority of participants DRAW something [whether real or imagined] and post that each day.
a month of in-depth exploration
At the beginning of the month, I like to set a goal for myself - to set the boundaries, the constraints, the heart and soul of my own personal challenge. Because ultimately that is what a challenge is - it is your approach, your work, your art, your go at things.
In 2014 I made a little journal with watercolor paper and stitched it together with my sewing machine, then I added watercolor and collage and used it for slow journaling.
Here's a typical day from ⬆️ Inktober from my tiny 3x5" [index-card-sized 🦋] Moleskine watercolor journal from October 2015 -- in ink. It counts. Draw whatever you want. I drew designs and played with lettering in ink using brush pens and markers in a 3x5" and 5x8" watercolor moleskine journal. This page was drawn with a Kuretake brush pen [here’s my positive review and lots of examples].
Suddenly it was about my crazy, chaotic, abstract exploration of india inks! The cards are cut from watercolor paper and the marks are a bit of everything under the sun! Splotches + splashes + drips + dots + meandering words + lyrics to songs like Thunder Road. When I look through them, they are unique and have different melodies or moods. See ALL of the 2016 cards here. I went a little bonkers and made 40...
My message to you, about daily art.
To squeeze in more ©ґℯα☂√℮ ẘⓄ℞K I suggest
you increase ⬆️ the odds ⚖🏋🏼♀️⬆️ in your favor!