By Ella Tani, published January 23rd; Artwork by Ella Tani
This year, I pledged to participate in Inktober.
Inktober, as the title suggests, is a seasonal drawing marathon that only happens during the month of October. Created by Jake Parker, this daily list of prompts allows for an artist to practice their traditional inking skills and improve their art. The prompts themselves are extremely vague, allowing a variety of interpretations. The challenge has gained lots of traction, and it is one of the most popular art events. The founder even set up a website and tried to copyright the idea. If you search up any art on social media platforms during the month of October, your screen will definitely be filled with black and white.
A few years ago I attempted Inktober because I wanted to fit in with the Instagram artists, even though I didn’t really have an art account. I did okay… I guess. The drawings were really simple so I could move quickly, but they looked like crap, like five-year-old-with-a-pen crap.
But this year I thought I might try it again. After all, I’m older, not yet in university, and now have an art account. However, I was hesitant because the challenge’s founder, Jake Parker, got into hot water for copyrighting the name Inktober and plagiarizing an inking book to make money off Inktober guides. I suppose it ultimately didn’t matter however, as no matter how hard he tries to keep the claim, the challenge seems to not be connected to him anymore. It is just drawing and inking.
I ended up starting on the 10th of October and continuing on from there. I had about three new inking pens because my old ones were as dry as chalk. I would sketch the drawing in pencil, then fineline and scan it to my computer. The black and white didn’t fit my feed aesthetic so I decided to colour digitally, which is what I normally do. The prompts helped me utilize my creativity and it felt like going back to the basics, in a good way. While posting the prompts, I spent more time looking at other people’s work and interacting with the community. This challenge also helps tons if you're looking for some more of those followers.
It didn’t last for long though, for many reasons like school, I couldn’t keep on the ball. It’s disappointing, but I should have expected it. I have way less time than when I was younger and I put more effort into the illustrations. It’s okay though, I’m sort of in the loop still, as I post every four days. As I reach the end, I can officially say that Inktober was fun, and I would recommend giving it a shot next year if you want to improve your drawing skills while being on that autumn-vibe high.