It’s already December? Where did the time go! I know it’s a bit late but I thought I’d talk with you about my experience doing the Inktober challenge for the very first time back in October.
I managed to make it the whole way to the end, despite having one or two days where I nearly gave up, but I am so proud that I managed to finish the challenge! The month of October was a very positive one for me because the challenge really got my creative juices flowing again. I came out the other side positively overflowing with fresh ideas and concepts that I can’t wait to get cracking on!
First off, if you haven’t seen my Inktober sketchbook tour on my YouTube channel, it’s definitely worth checking out:
As I mentioned above Inktober left me brimming with new ideas. Perhaps the one that I am most exited about is a new video series I’ll be starting on my YouTube channel soon, called Awesome Animalia. In this video series, I’ll be taking a look at the planet’s most unusual, widely unknown, and endangered animals, and drawing them while talking about their ecology and habitat. I used this format for quite a few of my Inktober videos and I was getting great feedback from a lot of you who had never heard of some of the animals I was drawing! I enjoyed sharing these animals so much that I really want to make this a regular feature on the channel. Conservation efforts seem to always focus on larger mammals and a lot of smaller animals and invertebrates get forgotten because they are not as cute or beautiful, so I’m hoping this series helps to raise public awareness of the species I draw, even if it’s just a tiny bit!
Another thing Inktober has really helped with is playing with different art styles and mediums. I started using Posca pens seriously during the challenge and came up with some really cool designs. I’ve really fallen in love with the bold colours and almost graphics-design-esque look to my drawings using this medium. Limiting myself to just a few colours has really helped me to push aspects of my work further and abstract my work more! Below is my favourite drawing of the whole challenge, day 12 -“Whale”, which I did entirely in Posca pens with a limited palette.
Lastly, Inktober has helped me come up with a couple of concepts that I really want to take further and explore fully in a larger , more serious artwork. The theme for day 22 of the challenge was “expensive” so I chose to draw a western black rhino, which are sadly already extinct because of humans. The clock behind the rhino’s head was intended to represent that time was running out for other subspecies of black rhino too. This is just a very quick sketch and I didn’t really have enough time to properly refine the concepts behind this drawing at the time, but it’s definitely something I’m going to take further in a larger painting.
All in all Inktober was a very positive experience for me. I’m not going to sugarcoat it though – it was pretty gruelling. As I mentioned above, there were a few days where I nearly packed it in. I was having to research an animal, do a full drawing, then edit, commentate and post a Youtube video, then do social media posts every single day for a month. On top of working, too, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Posting a video every day for a month was tough but it really forced me to streamline my workflow more and really helped prove to myself that even if it’s just a few minutes each day, it absolutely is possible to fit some art or some video editing in, no matter how busy your day is. Though we all definitely need a break every now and then. I was glad when I could relax after the challenge was over!
Inktober is a really great way to not only improve as an artist, but also to grow your social media presence, so if you are looking to get yourself out there and build your following, this challenge is a great way to get discovered. Definitely worth bearing in mind for next year if Inktober is something you’ve been thinking about participating in!
Before I go, I’d just like to announce that I have officially re-opened my print shop again! I wasn’t a huge fan of Fine Art America if I’m completely honest. The remote printing service is kind of detached and too impersonal for me. So I placed an order of giclee prints with dStudio, a printers that I have heard very good things about, and my goodness I was not disappointed! The prints came out absolutely beautifully. And the best part is that I can actually sign them and leave little thank you notes in my orders, which I greatly prefer!
I got a couple of my favourite Inktober drawings printed as well as one or two of my larger coloured pencil and pastel pencil works too. They’d make a wonderful Christmas gift for wildlife and bird lovers, and are made with archival materials so they will last for decades.
Christmas isn’t too far off now so if you want to give someone a special gift then please be aware the last order dates before Christmas is the 14th December for international delivery and 18th December for within the UK.
I’ll be back at the end of the year with the usual vlog, as is tradition! I hope you all have a lovely holiday season. Until next time!