I have been busy getting a house ready for sale and moving into my new home. It’s taking
forever months to get this done, and although we are getting close (the house is going on the market this week!), the endless to-dos related to this move are wearing me out physically and emotionally. While I’m looking forward to the creative rush of NaNoWriMo in November, I could really use some crazy fun right now. Fortunately, Inktober is here.
Inktober is the brain child of Jake Parker, an illustrator and cartoonist who gave himself a 31-day challenge to improve his inking skills. His personal challenge is now taken on by artists around the world. As he explains in this short video, participants get various benefits from this challenge. Some see great improvement in their drawing skills while others develop a daily drawing habit. Many people find themselves feeling more creative and having more ideas than before.
The big question I’m asking myself is: will I actually do this every day? I’m having a hard time doing anything on a daily basis right now beyond getting out of bed and eating. Everything else is up in the air. Even my weekly givens are vulnerable to the needs of the old house, so time for myself is really at an all time low.
My studio is still in boxes, making it hard to make anything. As I learned some years ago, the best way to be creative is to have your supplies organized and permanent space to work in so you can just pick up your project whenever you have a moment.
The one thing I do have access to right now is sketchbooks and pens. I would love to be drawing more. But I’m afraid to take on the challenge because I’m afraid I won’t be able to follow through. There is enough craziness in my life right now that I’m afraid it can’t take any more. And yet, my heart says it could use a little crazy. So maybe I will give Inktober a try.
In order to succeed, I know what I need to do: set the bar low. To show up to draw daily, I need to allow myself to draw badly, and to not put in much time. I have to allow that anything goes. And I need to decide what I am going to draw beforehand, so I don’t waste time trying to find something to draw.
Jake Parker posts a list of daily prompts for those who are struggling to come up with ideas of what to draw. I’m not much into prompts but I like the idea of not having to make a decision. So I need to include this in my rules for myself.
My rules for Inktober 2018:
- I will draw for ten minutes a day. (More is OK; this is just a minimum that convinces me I can find the time no matter what is going on.)
- Small is OK.
- Doodles count.
- If I don’t know what to draw, I will draw my dog, my hand, or my foot. (These are go-to drawing topics for me because they are always available.)
- I will share at least one drawing a week on the internet. (Posting your drawings to social media daily is recommended, but I know how much time can get sucked up scanning an image, etc. And I don’t want to be frozen by the thought that I have to show what I draw to someone. I’m pretty sure out of seven drawings, I’ll have one I’m willing to post, and I should be able to find time to do that. So this is my compromise.)
I wasn’t sure when I started this article that I would be doing Inktober, but now I am feeling committed. It doesn’t sound that hard. And it might be just the little creative break I need to help me stay happy as I push through some of the moving chores that need my attention.
All you have to do to participate in Inktober is to start drawing. Want to join me?