Since 2014, I have in some way, shape or form been taking part in the yearly Inktober drawing challenge. The gist is to draw everyday in the month of October with–you guessed it–ink. In the first few years, I would start the month out with great ambition to complete every single day of the challenge. I would use the official “Inktober Prompt List” and come up with great ideas as each day greeted me with a new prompt. My sketchbook pages started filling up so fast with lovely little finished drawings! However, around the 9th or 10th of every October my ambition somehow skipped off into the night, never to return. Inktober was put to bed early for the year, like usual. Until 2018, when everything changed.
For whatever reason, in 2018 it struck me to do Inktober differently. Not in my beloved moleskine like previous years, and not so big to fill a page, but tiny individual square cards to keep my daily drawing sessions manageable. I used my own prompt list, with a theme of “My favourite things”.
These changes played major roles in keeping me committed, but something else happened that still blows my mind.
I was posting the drawings each day on social media, and on the third day someone asked if I’d be willing to sell one. I hadn’t even thought of it, so I told them I’d think about it. I decided why not? I could offer them up for sale as each day passed, and set those that sold aside until the end of the month. I figured I might sell five or six total. I was wrong.
As I posted each piece, I offered them for sale in the captions, and if one sold, I would edit the caption to mark it so. This seemed to create a bit of interest, which led to demand when they would sell within minutes or even seconds of being posted.
Fast forward to the end of the month and every last piece was sold. I was shocked. What a rush! Not only did I make a little extra money to pay the bills that month, but I was finally able to complete a full Inktober. I felt on top of the world.
The following year I started receiving messages in late September asking if I’d be doing Inktober again. I couldn’t resist. And my amazing friends, family, and customers supported me once again. If not by purchasing a piece, by sharing the posts, or commenting, or messaging me to tell me how much they were enjoying my Inktober journey.
I reached a point where I realized these daily projects were making a huge difference in my art. I was becoming more patient, more in tune with the details, more relaxed and confident in my work. It has had such a positive effect on my work that I continue to draw (and also paint) tiny pieces throughout the rest of the year. If not random pieces I wish to draw and potentially sell, then commissions that lovely folks have requested after seeing some of the Inktober drawings. It’s been an incredible experience for me as an artist.
Needless to say, I have continued to take part in the Inktober challenge and plan to keep doing so for many years to come.