Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Hi! If you've been following my Instagram account this month, you may have seen all 10 of my Inktober pieces for this year. Today, I want to talk more in depth about my thoughts on each piece and also why I decided to quit early. So to start off, here were my goals for Inktober 2019!
- Consistent theme (in the past, I tend to choose a theme, like all black and white + one color, but then break it halfway through.) - All 31 pieces completed at end of month - All pieces posted on the right day - Keep it simple!
In the end, I only ended up completing 2 of these goals; having a consistent theme, and keeping it simple. That's because I ended up quitting Inktober early this year after my 11th piece. To explain why, lets go through my artwork for the month, starting with Day 1.
This year, I've been using my own prompt list. I've actually had a few people join in, which I appreciate so much! The prompt for day 1 was "Ink", and I had this idea already planned out. I based it around smoke bomb photos, where people release colored smoke bombs and then take a photo of the swirls it produces. My idea was for the character to be posing in that way, but the smoke be ink. I actually do like the results of this piece, but I feel like the concept doesn't come across.
Day 2 was "Tea", and for this prompt I did my yearly redraw. You can see all the previous years in my Inktober post of the drawing from last year. I actually changed this drawing up quite a bit from the year before, where I made the girl sitting in a cafe. Because I wanted to keep things simple this year, I knew I didn't want to maintain that big background. So I went a lot less detailed and just made her near a window like I had in previous years. I actually like this version way more! There is something in the simplicity I really enjoy! I also decided to finally update the outfit of this redraw character and it is so much better now.
Day 3 was "Robotic" and at first, I was totally stumped with this one. I actually had an entirely different sketch planned for this prompt and had even showed it in my Instagram stories, but last minute I decided it wasn't good enough and I changed it completely. The idea for this piece is that her hair is made of wires, which made her feel more unique to the other robot girl I had made before. I saw the idea for the wire hair from a photo of a cyborg character on Pinterest which inspired me for this. This is possibly my second favorite piece of the year, but I'm not sure why. I just really like the composition!
Day 4 was "Fantasy" and this piece is by far my favorite from Inktober 2019. I went for a medieval theme and I just loved the results. One thing to note is that this is the first idea I had when looking through my prompts, and the first I sketched. It was also the one I made the most derailed sketch for before inking, as I did the sketch the month before. I think that contributed a lot to my positive feelings toward this, because I spent so much more time Creating this one. This actually helped me to decide to quit Inktober early, as I remembered the more time I spent on a piece directly correlates with my happiness and was tired of feeling dissatisfied with my art for the month.
I also think I got the gold balance just right in this one, not too much and not too little..
Day 5 was "Wander", and this halfway mark is when I began feeling unhappy with the artwork I was making. Before Day 5, I had sketches already prepared ahead of time, besides Day 2. Since I had done it all on Day 2 I figured I would be okay, but I was busy all day until four in the afternoon, and then had to rush to complete this before seven, when the lighting would be bad to take a photo. Because of that, I made really quick decisions for this piece and didn't totally think it through before beginning. It's not terrible, but this was the first day I felt unhappy with the results of my Inktober piece. I do sort of wonder if I had been happier with this, if I would have kept having art I was steadily happy with. I'm a pretty big perfectionist, and so sometimes when I'm not happy with one Inktober piece, I immediately feel like I can never make it up, and that all my pieces from then on will be bad.
Day 6 was "Scales", and I was really excited for this one because I knew I wanted to draw a snake, and I love snakes. I was super happy with the sketch and the Inking on this one, but when I began to color the snake, I can across some issues. When I painted him gold, the linework sort of disappeared, so I tried to go back over it, but the ink started to blend into the gold! The ink for his eye especially just spread all over him and turned him gray. I ended up having to cut out a tiny piece of paper and glue it over the head to try again. Because I was so scared that would happen again, I did his eye in white pen that time, but now it barely stands out from the gold. I think that really contributed to my bad feelings about Inktober this year as well, because I felt like I had ruined something I was proud of because I rushed it.
Day 7 was "Garden", and I actually really like this piece! I initially wanted her backyard to be a lot more grand, I was going to have hanging lights and her house in the background. But I knew I didn't have time for that so I settled with this. I like the character and the plants, but the actual background is just a little boring because I didn't have time. Just having the bushes doesn't really make you think of someone's yard, because you can't see anything else in the background like neighbors houses or trees, but oh well.
Day 8 was "Autumn", and if I'm honest, I really don't like this one. It's probably my least favorite. I actually had this one sketched ahead of time, but I just didn't feel any creativity about it. It was just a bland character standing there. Then, I started to ink before I had a good sketch of the background, and so it's really difficult to even tell what's supposed to be going on. She's meant to be standing near a lake with trees behind it but it just really does not look like much of anything.
Day 9 was "Swim", and I'm okay with this piece. It feels a bit boring, but I think her face and pose is alright. I wasn't embarrassed to post this one like I was Day 8. I also like the big gold circle in the back, it really makes the black and white of the character pop. I had hoped to make detailed sunflowers on her bathing suit top, but then it was getting later in the day so I rushed them and messed it up. I ended up going over in black and adding the white flowers, but I'm disappointed I couldn't stick to my original idea.
Day 10 was "Braid", and again, there is nothing wrong with this piece, but it's not creative in any way. Just a character standing there. I originally chose the prompt braid as a challenge for myself, because I find drawing them really hard, and I thought it would be good practice. But this was actually a bad idea, because I was already feeling burnt out on Inktober, and I didn't feel like spending any extra time practicing braids, so I sort of just winged it, and I don't think it really looks much like a braid. Oh well.
I actually created one more piece for Inktober that isn't available on my Instagram any more, as I archived it because of how unhappy I was with it, but I'll show it here. This was for Day 11, "Clock"I really dislike this. I tried to go as quick as i could and I just think it looks so sloppy. I didn't take the time to make the angular lines I like to use, so this feels a bit abnormally round. Almost like it isn't quite my style, or like how my style was a few years ago. I also didn't notice until after I had posted it that her eyes were too far apart from each other, and as a result, too close to the edge of her face. This piece is the reason I decided to stop participating in Inktober 2019. It was really my hope to finish all 31 drawings this year, because this will probably be my last year where I have the time to. But in the end, it just wasn't feeling worth it, because the art I was producing was so much worse than what I could typically make. I decided it would be better to be making art I'm happy with and improving my style than to waste time making art I don't like just to fullfil some challenge.
I think this was the right decision for me in the end. I'm already working on another art project, and I can feel how much more inspired I am by it. I guess my point is that completing Inktober isn't as important as making art you like. Even if it is a potential career, art should make you happy.
Thanks for sticking around till the end! Which of my pieces for Inktober this year is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below, or head to my Instagram today (October 14th, 2019) to vote on the poll up in my stories!