For many aspiring artists, especially those plugged into the online art community, October means Inktober! Inktober is a month-long event created by Jake Parker which challenges artists to create 31 ink drawings in 31 days. Even if you wouldn’t call yourself an artist, it’s always a good idea fire up your creativity every once in awhile and Inktober is a great way to do so!

The official rules for Inktober are simple: create an ink drawing every day in October and post it online with the hashtags #Inktober and #Inktober2017. But “Why do this challenge? Why limit yourself to just ink?” you may ask. Well my (incredibly convincing) answer comes in 4 parts:

Be inspired

If you’ve ever tried to do anything creative over a long term, you may have encountered something known as “artist’s block.” It’s when you suddenly lose the motivation or inspiration to continue creating. Inktober forces you to create a new piece of art every day and, the further along in the month you get, the more motivation you will have to not give up. For added inspiration, Jake Parker releases an official prompt list every year with a prompt for each day.

Improve your skills

How do you improve a skill? Practice, practice, practice! You’ve probably heard this mantra about everything from your math homework to competitive sports. If you are consistent and mindful in your practice by making 31 drawings in 31 days, then it’s a no-brainer that you’ll see improvement! Jake Parker himself only created Inktober to improve his inking. And by sticking to inking, whether just using black-and-white pens or grayscale ink-washes, you can hone your practice and build good foundations for your medium of choice.

Ink comes in many forms

Ink drawings aren’t limited to just drawings made with a bottle of ink and feather quill. In fact, popular tools include markers, brush pens, and even your everyday ballpoint pen! Jake Parker even compiles a list of inking tools to help get you started. Some of my favourite tools are the same pens I use to take classnotes.

The community

The online community is probably one of the best parts of Inktober. Throughout October, artists will post their Inktober drawings on social media and support each other. Not only will you discover new artists to follow, but you’ll have a whole online army cheering you on! One of my favorite things to do during and after Inktober is watch Inktober sketchbook tours by artists I follow.  

I tried to do Inktober for the first time last year and I failed miserably, giving up after only 3 days! My excuse was that I didn’t have the time. But that’s not a great excuse for me anymore because I know that having a hobby can help me be a better student and further my career. This year, I’m going to focus on the parts of Inktober that will help me improve and be inspired and (fingers crossed) I’ll have 31 drawings to show for it at the end of the month!

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