Hello artists! Now that the Thanksgiving feast is over, it’s time to reflect on 2017 and look towards the year ahead.
As you probably know, I spent October working on artist Jake Parker’s annual illustration challenge called #inktober. This was my fourth year participating, and I have to say, 2017 just didn’t feel like a proper #inktober. Reason being, I used to really enjoy the social aspect of this daily drawing project. Seeing other artists’ work and meeting new creative people used to be an #inktober highlight for me.
This year, not so much.
I realize I’m partly to blame for my lackluster experience in some respects. Ever since Instagram instituted its irritating algorithm that buries posts, displays your feed out of chronological order, and litters your stream with irrelevant ads I’ve spent a lot less time on the app. I hoped #inktober would renew my enthusiasm for the IG community.
It didn’t. In fact, I felt frustrated not seeing other people’s posts as they happened. I mean, what’s the point of a daily drawing challenge when you’d have to physically visit hundreds of profiles to see everyone’s daily progress? I let the annoyance get the better of me and spent little time following the #inktober hashtag. Consequently, this is the first year I didn’t engage much with other illustrators and didn’t connect with any new people. Compare that to years before where I met and followed hundreds of new people.
What I Learned from Inktober 2017
The whole IG thing taught me a valuable lesson about appreciating #inktober for its own sake. I’ll admit, I resented drawing a few times as #inktober 2017 happened to coincide with my discovering infrared photography. There were nights when I was dying to process photos, and forced myself to draw instead. I don’t regret prioritizing drawing over photography, though. If anything, this resentment showed me how to manage my competing passions and learn impulse control.
While I felt disappointed with the social part of #inktober, I pressed on because Inktober isn’t about making friends. It’s about improving your drawing skills and achieving your goals. I’m proud to say that this year I abandoned my plans and went for the spontaneous approach with success. By success I mean that I completed daily sketches based on spur of the moment inspiration without any problems. Compared to previous years, #inktober 2017 was a breeze. I guess drawing more or less daily since Sept. 2015 is paying off!
I also used #inktober as an excuse to sketch with my Copic multiliner pens. Let me tell you, these bad boys are worth every penny. They offer super smooth strokes, zero bleed/smudging, and superior control. I plan to purchase ink refills in the near future.
#Inktober 2017 illustration collection
Before I share my 2017 artwork, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, UK-based graphic designer Andrew Ley and his #inktober hand lettering project. Andrew has been honing his lettering skills and chose a fun theme sharing dialect from his hometown of rural Devon, England. I encourage you to check out his project and learn how to speak like a proper Devon resident.
In the past, I’ve curated my drawings for top ten collections based on the number of Instagram likes. This year I’m posting my favorites regardless of the IG response.