Hello artists! I hope you all enjoyed Inktober 2016. This was my third year participating in Jake Parker’s annual October drawing challenge.
Not familiar with the #inktober social media inkstravaganza? Get the story here along with the official rules, drawing ideas, and a handy list of helpful art supplies for your sketching pleasure.
Before I showcase this year’s standout illustrations, let’s recap on years prior to show you what I learned. I went into my first Inktober kinda blind in the sense that I didn’t draw every day back in 2014, nor did I plan my 31 drawings in advance. Consequently, I struggled to keep up and ended up several days behind schedule. I did complete the challenge, but not until early November.
In 2015, I came back with avengence. I started drawing every day in September of that year. By the time Inktober rolled around, daily sketching felt habitual. I wrote up an Inktober list to keep myself on track, especially since my ridiculous work commute left me pressed for time. The preparation served me well; I actually completed some sketches during my morning bus rides. There’s nothing like starting your work day with a sense of accomplishment! In short, I highly recommend planning ahead if you’re just starting out or have limited time to focus on art.
By the end of Inktober 2015, I saw a big improvement in my skills. This inspired me to maintain the daily drawing discipline. Now when I say that I draw every day, I don’t mean that I literally finish an illustration on the daily. Drawings don’t have to be complete; the important thing is to get your daily practice in. Whether you squeeze in a 15 minute sketch on your lunchbreak or idly doodle to decompress at night, your dedication to the craft will definitely pay off.
My best Inktober 2016 drawings
This year I sat down to write my Inktober list with a heavy heart. I chose not to buy any new art supplies, despite nearly running out of space in my sketchbook. My financial situation got me down, till I found the stack of awesome ASTROBRIGHTS paperstock by Neenah I bought a while back. The brilliant neon paper lifted my creative spirit. I abandoned the whole pre-planning concept, and embraced the in-the-moment, Zentangle philosophy of spontaneous drawing. I’m not going to lie—the creative freedom felt cumbersome at times. I gave myself the opportunity to focus on realism instead of coming up with artwork based on imagination. Being able to replicate objects and photos opened myself up to fairly easy material. Still, by the last half of October, the pressure to generate new ideas felt daunting. I’m proud to say I only fell one day behind, and finished the last 2 drawings on October 31st.
Without further ado, here are my 10 most popular illustrations, based on Instagram engagement (in chronological order):
See the full collection on my Instagram account. If you made it through 31 drawings in 31 days, give yourself a pat on the back from me. Until next time, stay sketching!