This year I’ve decided to finally try Inktober! I’m the kind of person who’s highly motivated by challenge-type events, so it’s surprising that I haven’t tried it yet.
Inktober – a play on Ink and October – was started by a guy named Jake Parker. He began doing Inktober in 2009 to practice his inking skills and the art challenge took off. Today Inktober is massive – just do a Google or hashtag search.
You can find the official Inktober website here. There are no fancy rules, just do one ink drawing for each day in October. It doesn’t even have to be ink if you’re looking to practice other skills. A group animators has started “Animtober.”
If you’re stuck, you can follow a list of prompts. There’s a list of official prompts from Parker:
And several prompt lists that people have created on their own. Since it’s October, there are a lot of Halloween-themed lists.
Art Prompt Generators
The internet is also full of art prompt generators, so having no ideas is no excuse.
- Choose a category and refresh until you get a prompt you like
- Categories: character, creature, environment, object, situation, & challenge
- Example: The pet your parents wouldn’t let you keep
- Very simple with only two choices
- Choose the number of prompts you want (1, 5, or 10)
- Choose between “simple” and “elaborate”
- Simple Example: achromatic
- Elaborate Example: Your picture is set in the ruined parts of a city and involves two of these three elements: a corset, a deep sense of history, or cool weapons.
- Looks complicated at first
- Choose from Character (Inktober Ch.), Creature (Inktober Cr.), or Random (Inktober Rm.)
- Click “Generate Brief” and your prompt will appear next to the icons above
- You can only generate 6 per day
- Example of Inktober rm:
- Keyword: Book
- Theme: Evil
- Ink Type: Ballpoint Pen
- Process Focus: Stippling
- Time Frame: 1 day
Maybe I’m biased since I’m saving my intense creative focus for Nanowrimo, but don’t stress if you miss a day or two. Or ten. The creator of Inktober even suggests making a smaller commitment if a drawing a day is too much. You could complete a drawing every other day, or even once a week if that’s more manageable for you.
Look to others for inspiration.
The cool thing about taking part in a worldwide challenge is the community. You might feel like you’re holed up in your room, madly scribbling away, but in reality, you’re part of a giant community all scribbling away together. Search for other Inktober artists on social media using #inktober, #inktober2017, or other hashtags that are too hip for me to know about.
Try Different Kinds of Ink
I’m a fan of trying new media when you’re stuck. And just because it’s Inktober doesn’t mean you’re stuck to one type of medium. There are tons of different types of ink, from a simple ballpoint pen to a Sumi-e ink painting with a brush. So if you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, don’t forget there are still ways to switch it up and stay true to the INKtober namesake.
Have fun with it!
Maybe you have your month all planned out. Or you’ve decided to follow a theme (like me). But if you find yourself wanting to do something else instead, go for it! The point of Inktober is to encourage creativity. That might mean simply creating more art – even arbitrary deadlines help us be more productive – or practicing specific skills. Sure, follow your plan, but be open to change and giving yourself the freedom to do what you want!
Good luck to everyone out there doing Inktober. You can follow along with my Inktober drawings on my Instagram account, monicartsy.