October is almost here, which means it’s time to get ready for Inktober. In 2018, I was busy putting a house on the market and moving in October, and I still managed to draw every day thanks to Inktober. Here are my seven tips for anyone worried about failure.
Draw for ten minutes a day. Or five. Or one. Set a time limit that you feel sure you could meet every single day, no matter how busy you are, and commit to drawing for that long. While you will probably wind up drawing for a longer time most days, it’s nice to be able to succeed without trying too hard. Ten minutes can feel like a lot when you are really busy.
Give yourself permission to make small drawings. A drawing is a drawing. It doesn’t have to be huge to count. You might even pick a smallish sketchbook to keep yourself from getting overextended (see Decide what materials to draw with ahead of time below.)
Give yourself permission to doodle. This is for anyone who feels pressured to make amazing art. The goal is to draw, but no one said you had to be da Vinci. Doodles totally count as drawings, and might even lead you somewhere unexpected.
Give yourself permission to post your drawings when you want to, even if it’s never. The original Inktober challenge includes posting your drawings daily, but that’s more than I can handle. So I let myself post once a week. That way I’m not as worried if a drawing isn’t successful. I don’t have to show it to anyone if I don’t want to.
Decide what materials to draw with ahead of time. I’ve picked out my pens and sketchbook for this month and put them out where I will see them. Not having to decide which materials I will be using every time I sit down saves time and makes it easier to get started.
Decide what subjects to draw ahead of time. You have several options to help you with this. One is to use the official Inktober 2019 prompt list (or a list from a previous year). Another is to make your own list of subjects you like to draw. Last year, I used my hands, feet, and pet dog, because they were always right there when I sat down to draw. You can also pick a theme, like I did back in February when I drew orchids daily. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do, as long as you decide. It will keep you from wasting time figuring out what to draw and make it easier to get started.
Decide when during the day you will draw. This doesn’t have to be the same time every day, nor do you have to decide very far in advance. But do decide either the night before or when you get up in the morning when you will be drawing during the day, or you’ll wind up like me, drawing just before bed when you are exhausted, and making awful drawings in the process.
These tips really worked for me last year, and I’m using them again this year. Here’s my commitment for Inktober 2019:
- I will draw in ink for ten minutes a day with pens and a sketchbook I’ve already chosen (see photo above).
- I am allowed to draw anything I want to (doodles for example), but my subjects when I don’t know what to draw will be: my model dinosaurs, my dog Dory, or my shoes.
- I will schedule my drawing time each day.
- I will post one picture a week.
What are your strategies for Inktober? Do you have rules that are different from those Jake Parker came up with? What do you like about this challenge?