I discovered #Inktober during a major bout of depression three years ago. It was a hashtag I saw floating around Instagram, and several artist friends of mine were participating in it. The concept is self-explanatory. You produce ink drawings during the month of October. Having worked in pen-and-ink during my time on Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, it was something I was very much attracted to. But I discovered it late in October of that year and my battle with depression was getting the better of me, so I let the opportunity pass me by.
This is now my third year doing Inktober drawings, and I’ve loved it every time. Some folks like to follow prompts, or lists that give you a concept for every day of the month. I like to draw what I want, as do many others. Whether you’re following prompts or doing your own thing, Inktober is a lot of fun.
For those of you who don’t know how I tackle Inktober, I like to do things a little differently. Most artists pencil their work before putting the ink to the page, but I skip the pencils altogether and put the pen straight to the paper. I turn Inktober into an exercise in improvisation, a challenge where I’m forced to deal with mistakes rather than erasing or undoing them. Initial ideas transform into whole new pictures once the pen starts moving, as I’m forced to work with missteps. It’s relaxing, nerve-wracking, and educational all at once. I love it.
This year I’m challenging myself even further. Instead of going to the art store to restock my art supplies, I’m using regular old Bic ball-point pens and Sharpies. I want to see if I can make good work with inexpensive materials, and I want to show everyone that you don’t need pricey pens and fancy paper to make art. Well, I did also add a red brush pen because it was given to me at New York Comic Con, and a gift is a gift.
If you’d like to keep up with my offerings this year, check out my personal Twitter and/or Instagram! And if you think my stuff isn’t any good, you can still search around the #Inktober hashtag for some incredible artwork.