Inktober: a globally celebrated artistic bonanza filled with hatching and crosshatching galore. The Inktober Initiative was created in 2009 by Mr. Jake Parker, an artist who has been an accomplished illustrator for 15 years, and is based in Utah. The initiative was created as a personal goal to further his inking skills.
During the month of October, artists all over the world commit to creating one piece in ink every day of the month. Since 2016, an official theme for each day has been initiated. They can be found at Mr. Jake Parker’s website (Click Me). This year there is a different adjective for every day which brings forth creative freedom from the artist community.
Over the past few years, since Inktober’s birth, it has been quickly rising in popularity. It is becoming one of the most popular artist traditions for the 21st century, and has been blowing up art blogs and social media all month. While it may not be as popular as the ‘spoopy month’ or ‘skeleton wars’, that also go on during October, for the artist community, Inktober is a fun and social event.
This new tradition is also heavily modular. The artistic community comes up with various lists of ideas for the days, and each individual community has their own quirks. If you are interested in shoes, draw shoes! If you like cars, draw cars! There is enough variation for every piece to be unique without much thought; the community is amazing.
What does it take to participate? Nothing but a pen, and any markable product, even a piece of toilet paper. That is the bare minimum. Many of the professionals use a myriad of nibs and brushes, and the finest techniques; however all it really takes to get started is a pen, and a surface to draw on. Start with a stick figure on day one. On day two, draw a bottle, maybe try to get the general shape of it. On the day third draw that bottle again; find another detail you did not notice yesterday. Add that in this time. On the next day, do this again; slowly you will get better. It will go slowly, but eventually you will start to notice a difference in your drawings. You will be noticing details that you never did before. Your lines will become smoother and your curves more precise. Eventually you will figure out how to use hatching and cross hatching to shade.
The only thing stopping you from drawing is yourself. I know from personal experience that it can be hard to persuade yourself to start, especially when you think you are horrible at it. This is true for everything in life. The point of Inktober is to help you to further your skills at inking. Whether you publish your works, or keep them private in a sketchbook tucked under your bed, do not be afraid to draw. All it takes is one small action to start you on the journey of your lifetime.