Have you ever heard about the Inktober Challenge?
Every year, many illustrators and artists from around the world join this drawing challenge. The illustrator Jake Parker created this challenge back in 2009 and has become one of the most popular drawing challenges on social media.
The challenge consists in creating a daily drawing using ink during October, and sharing it on social media using the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2017 (add current year).
Jake Parker always shares a prompt list with 31 ideas to draw every day. But some people prefer to work with their own ideas or even create their own prompt list.
So this year I decided to join this popular drawing challenge for the first time. And I created a daily illustration during last October and shared them on my Instagram account. In my case, I decided to just draw wintery and Christmas illustrations.
It’s been already a month since I finished the challenge and now I feel ready to enumerate the advantages and disadvantages that I experienced, as well as some tips.
- This challenge takes a lot of commitment with yourself and with the people who is following your whole process every day. It makes you be more disciplined and improves your consistency.
- It’s a great excuse to practice a new technique, specially a handmade one.
- Get confidence. I really know how it feels when you haven’t drawn in a while. A white paper can be a bit scary. But after a few finished drawings, you’ll feel much more confident to draw 🙂
- You’ll get faster at drawing! Since I finished the challenge a month ago, I realized that I work a bit faster.
- You’ll learn to be neat and clean while practicing a handmade technique. Ink can be messy but if you keep practicing every day, you’ll be cleaner in your own artworks.
- You might even start building or grow you creative portfolio.
- You’ll end up with 31 illustrations at the end of the month. A complete creative project! If you make it, you’ll feel very proud of yourself which is also great to boost your self esteem 🙂
- Grow your social media and get exposure. If you share your drawings every day and use the hashtags correctly, many new people will find your work, and if they like it, they’ll follow you to see something new the next day.
- Get feedback. This is another fantastic reason to share your creations on social media. People might give you feedback and support your work from now on.
- Find and connect with other artists through the hashtags. This is also a good time to explore the hashtags and find new amazing artist to follow and support. I always found very motivating and inspiring to follow illustrators that I like 🙂
- Inspire others! You might also inspire people to join the challenge or just be more creative and productive. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a big following. If you just inspire a single person, that’s already a positive impact.
- Have fun and enjoy the experience! If you join this challenge you’ll see how many positive emotions will emerge from you.
- Make sales. This is just a possibility, but who knows? When I joined this challenge I wasn’t planning to sell my illustrations, but some people contacted me to buy some of the original artworks. So I decided to create an Etsy Shop to offer the rest of them in case someone else was interested in.
There aren’t many bad things to say about this challenge, but I also experience a couple of disadvantages. This might not happen to you, as the whole experience can be different in every person. But here it goes…
- Find the time to do it every single day. Most of the days, I managed to find the time to work on the inktober illustration every day, but sometimes I found difficult to fit this task in my agenda. There are more things to do apart from the challenge, such as work (the one who pays the bills), family and life in general. However, if you’re really committed with yourself and strive hard enough, you’ll get surprised about how many things can be done in a single day 🙂
- You won’t always feel inspired and creative. This happens to every single artist on this planet so if this ever happen to you, don’t blame yourself. We’re just humans after all. Still, if you insist and force yourself to create something, you might get surprised again about your potential.
And here you have some tips that I learnt from my own experience.
- There’s an official prompt list that Jake Parker create himself every year, but not everyone choose to follow it. So if you are not very enthusiastic about that list, you can always create your own prompt list and even share it with others. In my opinion, the most important thing about this challenge is making sure you draw every day. And you don’t have to write down the complete list at once. You can add several ideas every week, for example.
- Be realistic in terms of technique, difficulty and time. Be aware that if you’re really committed with the challenge, you’ll spend some of your time to do this daily task. So find the formula that best works for you.
- Try to be graphically coherent without losing the fun part of it. This is just a suggestion that I give you, but I think this is a great opportunity to create a collection of illustrations that have something in common. It can be the topic, the graphic style, the color palette or all at once. You’ll end up with a nice collection of illustrations with a solid and unique identity. In other words, a complete creative project.
- It might happen a few times during the month that making the daily illustration will be almost impossible for you (life just happen…). But there are two things that you can do: create two or three illustrations in advance in a single day, or catch up and create the illustration one day after missing your task in that busy day you had… It’s ok if you miss one day. Just try to get ready beforehand with an extra illustration, or catch up as soon as you can.
- There might be days in which you think you are out of ideas, but you must always remember that the most difficult part is to start off. After several lines on the paper, I’m sure you’ll feel more confident to keep going with your drawing.
- If next October is very far away from this very moment you’re reading this post and you really want to give it a try, you can always create your own challenge. So take a pen and a piece of paper, make your own prompt list and start creating today!
The Inktober Challenge has been a wonderful experience for me.
Sometimes it was hard to keep up with it, but I honestly think that I wouldn’t have created so many illustrations in so little time if it was not for this challenge.
I’ve got more confidence with my drawing skills, I’ve practiced a new technique, I’ve got great feedback on social media, I’ve learnt to be cleaner with my originals, etc, etc…
And I also ended up with a collection of illustrations that could be turned into a digital product! This is a great thing to do as someone might need my illustrations for a creative project and can support my own business at the same time 🙂
So I hope I’ve motivated you take part in a drawing challenge.
Don’t be lazy and start your own challenge this week!
NEW GRAPHICS SET!
And here it is the digital product I just mentioned 🙂
If you already followed my Inktober Challenge on Instagram, the illustrations included in this clipart set will be familiar to you.
As I said before, these illustrations weren’t meant to be on sale. But during the challenge some people asked me for some of the originals, and then I though I could also offer them as a digital product all together. And this is the result!
And that’s all for now.
I hope you find this post helpful and motivating.
Please, feel free to share your own thoughts down below!