Inktober is important to me.
Two years ago I was browsing through Instagram when I noticed people using the hashtag #Inktober along with their ink drawings. Someone had decided October was going to be a month of ink art and the idea caught on. It was delightful to see and I wanted to take part in it, but I was in the middle of a crushing bout of depression after a relationship implosion with a close group of friends. So I remained distant despite my desire to participate.
Last year I took part in #Inktober. I used it to work through the lingering sadness and darkness from that severe bout of depression. The drawings themselves were not depressing or full of sorrow, but rather the act of creation helped me work through the remaining personal demons. I gave myself a rule for working on Inktober drawings: I would put a pen to paper with no prior sketching or planning. It became an exercise not only in imagination, but in improvisation and learning to work with mistakes instead of discarding them. The last few drawings even became a small storyline, and when the month came to an end I found myself more fulfilled than I anticipated.
We’re three days into October now and I’m keeping up with Inktober. I haven’t drawn much since last year, so this is already been a significant challenge. I’m really rusty and making more mistakes than I would like, but I’ve managed to make those mistakes work for me instead of ruin me. I’m happy with the two Inktober pictures I’ve posted so far despite some difficulties in their creation, and today’s will post later. I’ve been tempted to channel some of the emotions from two years ago into this year’s Inktober, as the last of my sadness and despair has burned away, and only anger and outrage remains for those who wronged me. And while I would be justified to turn that outrage into art, I choose to work in optimism and hope instead. Given the news and the state of the world, we could all use a little escape from negative emotions.
If you want to see my Inktober contributions, follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter. With luck I’ll be posting a new piece of ink art every day in October, and with luck you’ll like what you see. If not, search the #Inktober hashtag and take a look at the amazing selection of quality art folks are putting out there. It’s as inspiring as it is impressive.