This is the time of year when artists around the world start thinking about picking up their pens and taking part in the annual “Inktober” drawing challenge. It takes place in October, and the objective is to improve your drawing by making an ink drawing each day of the month. That’s a total of 31 drawings, which can be a hefty goal if you’re doing highly detailed ink drawings.
The official prompt list for 2021 has been published, and for those who are thinking of following along with the challenge, here are the suggested prompts:
I love prompt lists like this, and it’s always fun to see how different artists in the community turn these words into drawing ideas. Of course, using this, or any, prompt list is optional. Participating artists are free to choose their own subjects each day.
My track record with Inktober has been a bit checkered. In 2015, when I began learning to draw, I knew nothing of Inktober. In 2016, I was aware of it, but I knew I wasn’t ready to take part. Working with pen and ink was a frightening thought at the time. In 2017, I made a stab at it, and I did complete a few drawings. I didn’t make it through the whole month. In fact, I probably didn’t last more than a week.
In 2018, I completed Inktober for the first time. My drawings were a bit comical — a lot of odd-looking “monsters” and weirdly-drawn “characters” who began telling a story. I had fun with the highly dysfunctional family I created, but I did find their story to be almost emotionally overwhelming.
So, when 2019 came around, I prepared ahead of time, choosing to use prompts in a creative way to search various species of trees. For 31 days, I drew different trees, including fruits, flowers, bark, and even a friendly squirrel. I actually completed 33 drawings. I learned a lot, and it was one of the most enjoyable drawing challenges I’ve ever done.
Last year, however, I decided not to participate in Inktober. It was a difficult decision for me in many ways. I felt I’d be “missing out” on something I might enjoy, but for various reasons, I chose to skip the challenge.
Now, it’s 2021, so what about Inktober this year? I’ve had several friends asking me about it, and I’ve given it a lot of thought. It might be fun to do Inktober with some of my new ink-related art supplies — acrylic inks, shadow color inks. It’s tempting, yes. I have, however, decided to sit this one out. One of my art goals presently is slowing down, keeping things as simple as I can, and focusing my art time on three specific areas: graphite drawing, oil painting, and watercolor.
I do enjoy pen and ink drawing, and the 2021 prompt list has a lot of interesting words. Yes, it would be fun to put something together, to come up with a theme or narrative of sorts, but it would also be time-consuming, and for me, it would be a bit distracting right now. I don’t want to feel pressured to complete an ink drawing every day. I don’t want to rack my brain to come up with ideas. I don’t want to push myself to keep up with a challenge.
I will still enjoy visiting other blogs and seeing what artists in our online community are doing. Inktober can be a very creative challenge. It’s one that I’ll be involved with only as a spectator this year. That’s what I feel is best for me.
Are you going to take part in the challenge? You can find all the information here at the official Inktober site. If you are going to participate, please let me know. I’ll share a list of art bloggers who are doing Inktober, so make sure I have the link to your blog. I will be putting the list together throughout September, and at the end of the month I will publish it here.
To those who do accept the challenge, have fun with it! I can’t wait to see the creative results you come up.