If you are an artist--and I use that term to include pros and hobbyists alike--you've probably heard the term InkTober mentioned at least once lately. But what is it?
InkTober is a challenge for artists to do one drawing/painting per day in October using nothing but ink. It was started by artist Jake Parker, and has spread to an activity done by thousands every year now. The purpose is to create positive drawing habits and to break you out of whatever art slumps you might find yourself in. Ink is such a simple yet versatile tool, one could spend a lifetime using it and still discover new techniques and uses for it. So it's the perfect medium to spend a month with. Plus, it's readily available and pretty inexpensive. That Bic you use to make your grocery list? That counts!
For InkTober this year, I decided to splurge a bit and get the kit from Art Snacks. I've been loving my subscription there, and figured that having a set chosen by someone else would cut back on my decision process. There is even a list of prompts that you can use every day, or you can come up with your own ideas. It really doesn't matter--as long as you are creating art.
So, today, October 1st, the prompt is "FAST." How I usually use prompts is to just kind of hold the idea really loosely in my mind. I don't even think about "what is fast?" "what does fast mean?" I just think of the prompt, and then pick up the tool I think might portray that the best. In this case, it was the Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen. I did a couple test strokes (which put me in mind of a horse's tail), and then boom, something just came out.
And note, this isn't time to worry about being Van Gogh. This is a sketch. If later on I decide, "Hey I could do something with that..." I could go back and work with it, redo it or whatever, but that's not the point. The point is, I did something creative today. And yes, I just noticed my horse only has one ear. This isn't the time for perfection. It's time for inspiration, for practice, for creating new positive habits for the month of October.
So, what do you do with your drawings? Well, you can keep them to yourself, of course. Ultimately, your art should be for yourself. But why not encourage and inspire others by posting it on Twitter with #InkTober so others can see what you've done, AND, if you post your work with #ArtMcGyver as well, I'll be picking someone at the end of the month to win an inky art set!! And honestly, if I can post my 2nd grade looking horse picture, you can post yours, too! So what are you waiting for? GET ARTING!
Melanie R. Meadors is an author and editor of science fiction and fantasy, blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, and a professional author publicist. She studied physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University, where no day was complete without a heated debate over relativity versus quantum mechanics. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.