As legend has it, Inktober was created by an artist named Jake Parker in 2009. The sacred scrolls speak of how he desired to challenge himself to develop his artistry and self-discipline, and how over the years, it became a widespread event that many artists participate in as well. Tradition states that each day of October, an artist will draw something in ink and post it with the caption “#inktober,” although many practice this in alternative ways, such as drawing digitally, drawing every other day, drawing calligraphy, and any other way an artist desires to challenge their creativity. Today, this is a custom thousands of creatives partake in, and encourages communities of artists to enjoy their art together.
And this year, I said, What the heck. I’ll try it.
I’ve known about Inktober for a few years, but it’s always kind of slipped by me. But I was ready this time. So far, it’s been fun; sometimes, it feels like homework, but most days, once I’m drawing, I’m happy for the time I’ve set aside to do this. Even if it’s just ten minutes.
If you don’t follow me on social media (which you totally should–you can find me @slantedspines) then you probably haven’t seen my #inktober drawings, which is a real bummer. So since I’m kind of on vacation this week, embarking on a couple camping excursions with my boyfriend and family, I thought I’d share these drawings with you.
For the first nine days, I used my Rocket Book, which is a reusable, paperless notebook. The pages are not paper, so when you use the appropriate pens on it, you can erase it if need be, and when you’re done writing or drawing, you can use the Rocket Book app to scan the page and create a JPEG, PNG, or PDF. Then, it can automatically save that file to you desired storage–Google Drive, your e-mail, Slack, etc. I was sold on it because it saves paper, and it’s been a pleasure to use for Inktober.
Day 1: Ring
For this prompt, I was thinking either “ring” like the piece of jewelry you wear on your finger, or “ring” like a telephone sound—-either way, I was bound to draw hands. I chose the telephone one, because I thought it’d be more fun. It was pretty fun.
Day 2: Mindless
I realized I could be using this Inktober opportunity to do various sketches of N.T. Ed, my favorite skeleton character. I had no idea what abstract concept I could possibly draw for this, so I went a very practical route, and depicted N.T. mindlessly cooking while reading his book. He’s most definitely burning something, if the book he’s reading is any good.
Day 3: Bait
I came home from a rather frustrating day at work with the challenge of drawing my daily Inktober still in front of me. It was almost 11 pm when I was able to get to this, and I remember thinking, “What the heck am I going to draw for this one?” Fortunately I was still forming the plot for last week’s N.T. story and his obsession for apple cider—-N.T. Ed and the Apple Cider Whodunnit?—–was still fresh on my mind. So, behold: N.T. Ed bait—-if you’ve got cider, you’ve got his attention.
Day 4: Freeze
The temperature having rapidly dropped this day, I found it delightfully coincidental that the day’s prompt was “freeze.” Another late day at work, Bryant and I came home together and he helped me pull all the plants from my porch inside the house. We sat down to decompress after work, and I illustrated my peace lily and my spider plant.
Day 5: Build
I struggled a little with this one. I kept going back to the idea of “blocks.” But I wasn’t really in the mood to draw blocks, and I kept having to resort to a phrase to tie in the whole “blocks” thing. So I did a little comic, deciding not to get too hung up on it.
Day 6: Husky
It’s okay, N.T. The winter coat adds 20 pounds. (P.S., you look so adorable. I love the fur hood.)
Day 7: Enchanted
In my N.T. Ed and Margaret Decide to Host an Autumn Party story, I mention that this past summer, N.T. had built a little fairy garden in his back yard, a place that the sprites who inhabit the pines love to vacation to now. The word “enchanted” made me think of these delightful little orbs of magic, and so I accepted the challenge of drawing this mystical utopia.
Day 8: Frail
Me too, N.T. Me too. No matter how much our elders try to plump us up, we’re just meant to be string beans. That’s probably why this is probably my favorite of Inktober yet—-because this is drawn from my own experiences with this hilarious recurrence.
Day 9: Swing
Bryant and I went on a little nature getaway trip to a cottage in the woods this day, so I almost drew N.T. Ed swinging on the porch of a cabin. I wasn’t feeling it though, so halfway through I changed approaches and drew a classic ol’ wooden swing on a tree. I did some crazy line fun for the tree bark, and I think it came together quite nicely. The way I wrote “The Swing” on it, I can imagine it being a book cover.
Day 10: Pattern
Noticeably different, this one I drew in my sketchbook, not on my Rocket Book. This “Pattern” drawing was also done at the cottage, and in the cozy evening, I let my mind wander and fall into the swirls of the design, while Bryant also doodled beside me.
Day 11: Snow
I also drew this one while camping. I spy an N.T. sledding!
If you’re interested in my Rocket Book, here are a couple photos of the pages, rather than the uploaded versions.
If you don’t follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, make sure to find me so you can see more of my Inktober drawings and other life happenings! And especially if you’re also doing Inktober, you should find me so I can enjoy your drawings, as well. Annnd, even if you’re not doing Inktober, you should do Inktober, because it’s not too late to start; it’s really informal! Even if you just draw one prompt, or draw your own things, or write a poem rather than draw, that’s perfectly awesome.
Anyway, thanks for reading.