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. 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 2017:
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. “What ever you decide, just be consistent with it.” Above all, Inktober is about being consistent and getting better through practice. Try recording your work in an art journal!
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, these are some highly-rated pens and sets to try.
- Copic Multiliner .5 Tip Pen for thin, precise lines.
- Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen, great for brush strokes calligraphy.
- Sakura 6-Piece Micron Ink Set, which has a nice range of nib sizes.
- Copic Marker 12-Piece Sketch Basic Set for when you feel like coloring your drawings.
- Large Moleskin Sketchbook, one beautiful book to keep all your work.
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.
Here are a couple of online classes that will introduce you to pen, ink, and watercolor. Best of all, you can take them from the comfort of your studio.
Pen & Ink Essentials, Craftsy: In this class, you’ll start by capturing form using contour lines and then move onto ink washes, hatching techniques, and more.
Mixed Media: Pen, Ink & Watercolor, Craftsy: Learn how to define a subject in ink and bring it to life through watercolors.