I've participated in the Inktober challenge now for 5 years (2016-2020). And you'd think that with every year the challenge gets easier and easier, but actually, for me, it's always been the other way around. Nowadays I think that it seemed easier the first days around... especially with all this added great talent and buzz surrounding the whole challenge these days.
What is Inktober?
Here's a quick introduction into the scene for those that aren't aware of what Inktober is. Inktober is a month-long art challenge created by artist Jake Parker that is focused on improving skill and developing positive drawing habits. Every day for the month of October anyone participating in the Inktober challenge creates an ink drawing and posts it online.
That means every artist is expected to post for 31 days in a row and to keep up with the habit of creating something new every day.
Now, over the years, the challenge and focus have shifted a little. 5 years ago there were a lot of true believers of Inktober who didn't really accept any other approach other than creating something on paper with actual ink or a pen... but things have loosened up over the years and people's creativity has soared quite a lot.
These days you can come across a lot of different kind of Inktober submissions... the traditional art kind, the colourful kind, the digital kind, the 3D-kind, the typographic kind and the list goes on.
Ultimately, it's just a great chance to enjoy a lot of visibility on social media platforms using the Inktober hashtag as well as make new friends by following and engaging in conversations with your favourite kind of artists. I thoroughly enjoy the buzz, to be honest.
However... every year, after the mad 31 days I'm kind of happy that it's over as well. And here's why...
It's a lot of work to keep up with this challenge...
I've heard of artist that can take up to 8-12h to finish pieces meant for Inktober and you can truly see that kind of detailed approach in their work. I also know that people who take Inktober really seriously nowadays have been heard to go little nuts and are already starting way earlier as well just to keep up with "the Game".
But it's really up to you, actually, to see how seriously you take it all. The 3 years in which I've managed to complete the challenge (2016, 2017 and 2019), I've spent approximately 1-3 hours per art piece every day and I've never done drawings ahead of time. Simply because I believe that the challenge shouldn't take over my life or to keep things fair towards others out there.
I'm a firm believer of taking part in things that are fun and only taking part in challenges like this as long as it is fun. it's good to keep oneself challenged a bit, but this kind of "competition" shouldn't turn into another needy stressor in anyone's lives.
I've also always done it in a traditional art style, in other words - pen and paper. Except for this year!
What happened with my Inktober 2020?
Sadly, I have to admit that even though I reverted to participating digitally in the challenge this year, it didn't really save me much time. Due to my graphic design work schedule being extremely busy as well as a few other things interrupting my daily flow... I ended up finishing only 14 days out of 31. However, I do consider that still to be a huge success because the 14 pieces that I did end up finishing came out really cool and helped me train my set out skills tremendously.
This year my goal was to try and imitate watercolours and create realistic looking ink drawings using digital watercolour and inking brushes in Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. And I think I managed to do very well all things considered.
And last but not least here are a few of my own personal favourites. It was fun while it lasted, but thank god it's over now :)