This year I’m participating in Inktober for the second time. If you’re not familiar with Inktober, it’s a drawing challenge that runs for the month of October, and each day you’re encouraged to draw a piece of art using a particular prompt word that’s provided. The official 'rules' are for the drawing to be completed in ink, however many artists choose mediums of their own choice. About a week ahead of October, the prompt list is revealed so you can see what’s coming each day and plan ahead if you wish. Last year I managed to get through 18 of the 31 prompts, before I lost my momentum and gave up.
See the drawings that I completed for last year’s Inktober in 2022 below.
Here’s the prompt list for 2023.
Last year, I took each prompt and created the drawings from start to finish in around 1-2 hours, drawing a loose sketch and inking over it. I think that this led to some of my drawings being good ideas but not executed to the best of my ability.
With my approach this year I’m aiming to spend a little more time on each prompt and utilize more sketching and thumbnail preparation where possible. This is making the challenge more difficult, as I really need to prioritise my time during the month to do enough drawing (outside of my client work for tattooing and other art projects). Thinking ahead with a little bit of planning goes a long way when you’re ready to actually sit down to do the piece, and by thumbnailing I can prepare or solve some of the general composition problems before working on the final piece.
Here’s a preview of the drawings I’ve completed so far. You can see them on my Instagram @jthongbai.art for a closer look.
My goal this year is to at least beat my number of prompts completed last year, so I need to get 19 drawings done. Of course, all 31 is what I’m aiming for.
It’s not an easy task if you work full-time, have family commitments or struggle to find time to draw already. I see the challenge as a motivator to stay active creating art and develop your habits in drawing more consistently, even if you can only manage to complete a few of the prompts. Sometimes, it helps to be prompted by something to create instead of expecting yourself to be able to sit down with a blank piece of paper and create something new out of your head every day. The beauty of the prompt word is that it can just provide the catalyst for your idea, and you don't have to draw the most literal representation of it.
I’d love to hear if you’re participating in Inktober or another drawing challenge. I’ll post again when I’ve wrapped up the month and scanned the drawings I completed! :)