Inktober: The Worldwide Art Challenge That Has Everyone Drawing in October


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When it comes to creating art, getting started is often the hardest part. It’s made a little easier, however, when you’ve got thousands of people doing it at the same time. We’ve seen how daily and monthly photography projects can stretch your imagination and bring forth new and exciting developments in your work. But if drawing is more your style, we’ve got the perfect creative challenge to inspire daily art-making: Inktober. This annual event takes place every year in October, inviting people from all around the world to participate.

What is Inktober?

Inktober dates back nearly a decade. Illustrator Jake Parker created it in 2009 as a way to improve his “inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.” The premise is simple: each day in October, make a drawing in ink and share it online using the hashtag #Inktober and #Inktober2023. Starting in 2016, Inktober has had an official prompt list with words to inspire your daily routine. They’re specific, but not overly so that everyone’s drawings will look the same; there’s a lot of room for interpretation.


Here are the Inktober prompts for 2023:

Inktober 2023

Inktober is certainly a commitment, but there is some wiggle room if drawing each day just isn’t possible. “You can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week,” Parker explains. “Whatever you decide, just be consistent with it.” Above all, Inktober is about being consistent and getting better through practice. Try recording your work in a sketchbook, art journal, or on your iPad.


Supplies for Inktober

The Inktober name says it all: you’ll want to use some sort of ink for your October drawings. If you’re unfamiliar with ink, however, check out our favorite drawing pens, drawing inks, and markers for artists, or try these highly-rated pens and sets:

Completing a daily drawing is a great way to test out different types of ink, brushes, and pens. But to get the most out of Inktober, you'll want to have a basic understanding of the materials and techniques.


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A post shared by Mark A. Klein (@officialartmark_)

Here are some online classes that will introduce you to pen, ink, and watercolor. Best of all, you can take them from the comfort of your home or studio.

Animal Portraits in Colored Inks, My Modern Met Academy: Explore ways to add emotion and personality to your artwork by using colored inks.

Ink Drawing Boot Camp, Skillshare: You'll be ready for Inktober in no time after this bootcamp, which will teach you about supplies, allow you to learn about the great masters of ink drawing, and take on new skills.

Ink Drawing Techniques, Skillshare: This class covers basic brush, nib, and ink techniques, sketching and scanning essentials, and inking fundamentals.

Pen & Ink Florals, Skillshare: In this class, you’ll learn how to make pen and ink florals with several tools and master the different strokes that can be created.

Create Illustrations with Ink Pens & Watercolor, Skillshare: Learn about different pens you can use with watercolors, as well as how to use them with inks and paper.

Creative Doodling: Exploring Pens and Lettering, Creativebug: Learn how to organically doodle filling up the page with patterns and colors as you go using different pens and markers.


Inspiring Inktober illustrations

Check out what other artists and illustrators came up with during past Inktobers.


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A post shared by (@nekromart)


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A post shared by ✿ Celesse ✿ (@littlecelesse)


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A post shared by Richard Anderson (@flaptraps)

Inktober: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

This article has been edited and updated.

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Adults Are Filling Drawings with Calming Patterns Instead of Just Coloring Them In

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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