October is over, the Halloween hangover is hitting over-sugared kids across the world, and Inktober has drawn to a close. It was my first. I have thoughts. These are them:
- I’m really pleased that I made it. I missed a few days (and on a couple of occasions I did a really half-arsed scribble because I was busy), but I also had a good few days when I really put everything into it.
- I’m not keen on the format, for me; I’d rather spend a couple of days on a drawing than feel like I have to produce a fully-finished one every single day. I wouldn’t mind so much if I weren’t doing anything else, but I was working on a separate, secret project at the time and I didn’t always feel like switching gears from the drawings I was working on for that, to a random daily drawing to show.
- I did get three panels done of a sort of graphic short story I’m working on, and I feel really satisfied with them and the standard they’ve set for the rest of the story. They took forever, though; that’s part of the above point. Sometimes I do a lot of shading, and my shading is sort of stippled, and it takes an absolute age. I love doing it, but starting and finishing one in a day, every day, isn’t really going to work for me unless I do nothing else. There are other things that are important to me that I also want to get done.
- I did notice a rapid development of skills, and I definitely want to keep on challenging myself. I was already drawing every day, but the forced push of producing a finished drawing every day somehow spurred me on to draw things I normally don’t, and to make my usual work more complex, or to include items and positions I’m not used to. I’m also doing a better job of plotting drawings; instead of faffing around for hours, I have a method for sketching initially (I call these positional sketches, where I figure out where things go), then refining the sketch, and then inking, which is working really well for me.
Next year, I’d definitely like to take part again. But I’m thinking of obtaining an A3 or A2 sheet of paper, taping it to a wall, and then doing a little bit every day and taking a photo. Producing one large work over the course of 31 days instead of 31 small ones (all my Inktober works bar one are on A5 paper; the outlier is on A4).
What I found important was that Inktober was something for artists to bond over. Corginub and I talked about a lot of things, and he gave me a lot of guidance about backgrounds (which I’ve only just started drawing semi-regularly during Inktober) on his YouTube channel. I got to see some amazing art from people I already knew, and new people I discovered. It was largely a really positive experience.
But I’m also glad it’s over, and I can produce things on my own timeline instead of feeling rushed to finish something every single day. I will still draw every day, my To Do list demands it and I have a lot of ideas I want to put on paper. But, while I’m glad Inktober exists, I’m also happy it only takes a month.
I’ll finish this with a selection of my favourite bits from the month:
The rest are available on Instagram (@robotorium) or in this Facebook album.