My first Inktober . . .

This year is my first year to complete Inktober! I have made half-hearted attempts to participate in past years but could never stick it out. This year I actually succeeded in completing it!

For those who have not been indoctrinated: Inktober was begun by a fellow illustrator by the name of Jake Parker. In an attempt to push ourselves to improve our drawing skills and to make it a little fun he issued the challenge to attempt to create an ink drawing for every day in October. He publishes a prompts to follow also.

I took the spirit of his Inktober and customized it for my own needs:

  • No prompts for me. I wanted to explore my own imagination for this.
The Wizard and the Rabbit
The Wizard and the Rabbit
  • It had to be digital. I couldn’t tie myself to a desk with an inkwell. I’ve got a very busy 3 year old and I need to be able to drop my pencil at any moment to wipe a nose or pour some juice.

Now that it’s over, I ask myself was it worth it? What are the pros and cons?

Pros:

  • I was forced to produce SOMETHING every day and its not a doodle. It had to be a fully formed composition.
  • Because of this I think I have 3 or 4 strong sketches for portfolio pieces. I will be developing these over the next few months.. so watch this space!

Cons:

In the Snow…
  • I was hoping it would feel like a community event somehow. I was hoping I may get more people seeing my work or more comments or feedback from other illustrators who may have found my work. So after posting artwork every day for 31 days in the end I only received TWO new followers on Instagram. Blerg… Not what I was hoping for. On the other hand, my existing followers loved it.
  • I think the pressure to produce something every day pushed me to create some work I’m not really happy with. Worse yet, I felt pressured to share it. So now I have mediocre work out there in the internet.

In the end, I would say if you’re interested in Inktober you should do it as a self directed project with no expectation of any outside benefits in the form of new followers or finding a community. I was a bit disappointed. Illustration can be a lonely endeavor and I think part of the goal of events like Inktober is to create an online community that you can be part of. To give you a way to socialize outside of your drawing desk.

Just my thoughts… what do you guys think? Are there other events like Inktober that you’d recommend?

The Buffalo Troll