Visual storytelling, one panel at a time.

Inktober is a daily drawing challenge for the month of October, created by illustrator Jake Parker. What started as a daily practice to develop Jake’s drawing skills has now become a huge worldwide event. The rules are simple – to draw one thing each day, in ink, for the month of October. It’s intended to cultivate positive habits, improve drawing skills and foster creativity.

This was the first year I attempted the Inktober challenge! I wasn’t sure that I would be capable of producing a drawing every single day, mainly due to time constraints. However, once I started, I was committed! The only day I missed was the last one – October 31st. But, having important Halloween business to attend to, I didn’t go too hard on myself and caught up soon enough.

While the intention of the drawing challenge is to use ink as a medium, I opted for digital art on my iPad. My main intention was to learn how to use the Procreate® drawing app and Apple Pencil. As I am already very proficient in Photoshop, it didn’t take me long to figure out. But I wish I’d figured out how to do straight lines and even curves earlier. It would have saved me time! (Solution: draw a line and hold down the pen at the end until it forms a straight line or curve.)

Patience, perseverance, stick-to-it-iveness and self-belief

Daily challenges can be a great way to stay accountable to learning a new skill, improving technique, or producing more content – whatever your goal is. The key benefits for me were developing patience, perseverance, stick-to-it-iveness and, most importantly, self-belief. There’s something very brave and vulnerable about sharing art out there on a public platform.

I’ve never thought of myself as much of an illustrator, but drawings don’t have to be exceptional in order to convey a message or tell a story. The most fun for me was building a story around the daily word prompt and expressing it in one small panel. Committing to the daily challenge meant that there was no time to make it “perfect”, so, done was good enough. I could have kept developing and enhancing the illustrations, but there’s greater satisfaction in uploading the drawing each day than to keep overworking them.

Drawing is the art of storytelling.

It’s an ancient way of communicating a message, expressing a feeling, provoking thought, and sharing a story. If you have an urge to do any of these things, start now. Create your own drawing challenge and start drawing something small every day. If time is your excuse, limit it to a 15-minute sketch. Use the resources you have already – there’s no need to go out and buy fancy stuff – and look to YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and inspiration.

If you have the ability to put a pen to paper, a crayon to cardboard, a finger to tablet, I promise you – then YOU TOO CAN DRAW! I don’t believe your excuses. Everyone can be creative!

You can see all of my drawings on Instagram at @ravenbooknz, or in this Youtube video.

View the official Inktober website here.

Inktober drawing challenge