Conflicted over Inktober



  • So first off, apologies to Jake. You are one of my favorite artist people and I love Inktober. 🙂

    I haven't posted here in a while, but I figured this would be a good place to get some opinions. I've been prepping my book dummy and this past Monday I heard from my agent that we were officially out on submission. Woo! Now I don't know what to do with myself. Basically since last October, I've been planning to do Inktober. I was going to spend September prepping by coming up with ideas and doing some pre-sketching. But, then September came and I was busy working on my dummy, and now it's halfway over and I'm kind of conflicted about doing Inktober at all.

    I think Inktober is fantastic. I love seeing everyone's stuff. I had a blast last year using an actual brush with India ink for the first time ever. But I always put a lot of pressure on myself to keep up and I burn out before it's over. Last year, because of Inktober I ended up with a series of illustrations that I was actually proud of, so I don't regret it, but I also had to go see my PT guy two weeks in to fix my drawing hand and then I quit.

    I don't normally work in ink. I don't really ever see myself doing professional work in ink. I think I'm more of a pencil kind of girl. So then is it dumb to spend October making ink drawings just because Jake says we should and that's what the cool kids are doing? 😉 I feel like if I don't do it, I will miss out and regret it and maybe it's a squandered social media opportunity because I always gain some extra followers during Inktober.

    Thoughts? What are your plans for Inktober? Is anyone else on the fence? Anybody want to make #penciltober a thing? Just kidding ... sort of ...


  • SVS OG

    @Kristin-Wauson to improve one’s traditional inking skill is the main goal of Inktober but I’m sure Jake wouldn’t mind if you use another medium to ink or not ink at all. For the SVS Inktober contest, they allowed traditional as well as digital inking. That there says a lot. For this Inktober, I’ve decided to join but I’m not doing it traditionally nor am I inking at all. Lol 😂 I figured as long as I’m honest and transparent about it and I follow the prompts, it’ll be fine. We both can do the same thing. 😁 i hope this helps.



  • I decided to do the "5k" this year and do 1 per week. My focus is on painting right now and Inktober is just so time consuming. But I still want to participate and put out something worth looking at, so I compromised with the 5k. One (maybe 2) per week should be doable, and I've been using this month to slowly work out the sketches so all that needs to be done in October is the actual inking.


  • SVS OG

    @Kristin-Wauson btw! Congratulations on your book! Can you share a little bit about it?



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz thanks! Yes I saw where digital inking was allowed, but I don't even use ink brushes when I work digitally. I like to use softer things like pencil, chalk, etc. So I just feel like inking in general is just not really compatible with the way I work. Inktober is literally the only time I use ink, which I guess is fine because it's fun, but I'm doing a challenge I feel like I should work in a style that I won't completely abandon when it's over, if that makes sense. Looking forward to see what you do 🙂



  • @JerrySketchyArt that sounds like a great goal. I think it's much better to commit to something that you stand a chance of succeeding at. Especially if you know historically (like me) committing to one piece per day is setting yourself up for failure. Jake always says that consistency is what matters. 🙂 Good luck!



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz thank you! My book is sort of a fractured fairytale. It's called Mr. Thatcher's House and it's about a rabbit who is obsessed with building the perfect house, but no matter how hard he works on it, something is missing. Eventually it grows so big that homeless fairytale characters start coming to the door and they want to live there too. The house becomes chaotic and he is very stressed about it and has to decide what to do.



  • @Kristin-Wauson i always see people utilize the inktober excitement and prompts for so many creative things. I saw people use them to try out ink washes instead of lines, some people used it to write poetry! What? It was cool though. There are no rules on what you can do, and the rules that people impose on it are arbitraryy yayy. So if you want to do pencil sketches I support it 👍

    Also the book sounds very fun i hope the bunny lets all the homeless critters live there 😭



  • @Aleksey all good points! Maybe I will just use the prompts and do my own thing. I was excited when I read them. I have never seen Inktober poetry! That’s kind of cool. And don’t worry, the story does have a happy ending! 🙂



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz how are you doing inktober? In your usual style? I'm curious because I am confused LoL. I'm learning inking now but not sure I'm truly a line girl! Time will tell as this is all new to me.🙂


  • Pro

    @Kristin-Wauson The pressure over Inktober has been growing year by year, it's like each year we got to top the last! There's more and more elaborate pictures that we see, so much so that people prepare months in advance. But if it's too much, it's too much! I've seen people scale down and do smaller stuff, and that's great too! I think last year I saw this one artist do a tiny ink doodle of a cactus each day of October. Must have taken her maybe 10 minutes per day tops. If you're stressing yourself out and ending up at the PT over it, it's time for you to scale it down. Be reasonable about what you can and want to achieve for Inktober. And if you're only doing it because all the cool kids are doing it, re-evaluate whether you should give it a place in your life or not.



  • @Kristin-Wauson I agree with what @NessIllustration says, it can get overwhelming! I try to keep things simple and do a spot illustration, last year I did a chicken bottle (A bottle in the shape of a chicken) for the prompt was "chicken" nothing complicated but it was mainly for me to explore how to draw glass bottles in different shapes. It looked cool at the end but it wasn't gonna blow anyones mind. It was just fun. Theres a photo of it below, and I did a little bird carrying a giant fish for "weak" which was silly and fun and I learned how to draw a decent fish. I did all 31 prompts and posted them all on instragram. Then after inktober was over, I looked them all over and kept the ones I was happy with, and deleted the ones that I wasn't that happy with (a lot haha) but I used inktober mainly to learn how to draw things. Ink was just the victim for me to improve my drawing skills.

    Theres SOOO many skilled inkers that are going to get more attention than I am so I didnt care about that. Some day when I'm close to their level of skill maybe I'll care more.

    Heres the chicken and bird-fish drawings to help you and anyone else that may be feeling overwhelmed:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BpFEWh-hv1O/
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo8LN3IhJvK/

    Also part of the fun is seeing people RUSH a few of them at the end of inktober (you can totally tell sometimes) and get a chuckle out of it. Mine definitely will come out sloppier at the end, but I'm curious to see what will end up on the paper.



  • Do it if you want, but don't let it burden you.

    I only participated for the first time last year. If you go to my IG, and scroll to the bottom, all those first pieces are Inktober, it's why I finally opened my IG.

    I did most of them in ballpoint, spent between 3 - 20 mins or so on each. I did it for fun, and made almost all of them humorous. It's obvious I rushed them, and some ended up pretty boring, but I wasn't doing it to gain fame, it was more about "Can I come up with unique ideas??". It still was a good exercise. I plan on doing it this year, and putting in a bit more effort, but still keep them simple small spots.


  • Moderator

    I tried inking digitally for the first time last year, and got through about 12 days of Inktober before I stopped. I simply had to let it go--my day job demanded more time in October than I could allocate to participating.

    It took a long time for me to come to the conclusion that stopping was okay, because I really felt I'd crashed and burned and failed. I felt like, if I couldn't even do Inktober how could I possibly be able to handle being a professional? And since everyone else seems to be doing it around their professional responsibilities, what does that say about me?

    It has taken me a year to come to the understanding that Inktober is what you want it to be. Seeing Jake's personable nature in the SVSLearn videos has (somehow, for whatever reason) given me "permission" to realize that he's simply wanting people to play and explore and maybe discover something new. That's all. And if you want to turn it into a "thing" (however you want to use it), hey--he's down with whatever. It's not like this thing is like playing with fire. Some people use it to deep dive into practicing their skills, some use it to promote themselves, some use it to try something new, some for... well, whatever. It's all good.

    And it's all up to you. I wonder if the "pressure" one might feel to participate isn't necessarily strictly about Inktober as much as it's about seeing a whole bunch of artists pile on to something and feeling pressured to participate or be left out. Sorta like <big booming voice> "POST ON INSTAGRAM CONSTANTLY" is a thing for artists...

    I'm gonna do maybe one a week, I dunno. If one of the prompts tickles my fancy I may play. But that's it. I have a very busy schedule and there ain't no time for guilt. I think we can all agree Jake would be the FIRST one to urge you to not let it turn into that. It's awesome that so many have the opportunity to do it, and wonderful they choose to invest so much into it. Kudos to them. I, personally, just can't be one of those folks. And I, for one, am really REALLY gonna enjoy being stimulated by all the incredible creativity being spawned. It's gonna be fun to sit back and watch the feed, ya know? I mean, who else can appreciate the artistry like we fellow artists, right? That's my hope this year: to be a phenomenal cheerleader. I'm looking forward to that. 🙂



  • I definitely relate to what you're saying. congrats on the book dummy the story sounds wonderful, best of luck with the submissions.

    I suggest doing what you like, if you do it in pencil and post it, you will most likely get haters who will love to point out what you did, so just get a biro and sign your name in ink.

    Ask yourself why you want to do it and see does it line up or detract from your goals. Social media can be great but there can also be this dark side to it, i'm not talking negative comments but more the reason you're making art, is it just to have something to post that day? That's something I fell into, I tried the 100 day project and by day 50 I just dropped out, I was burnt out and was asking myself why I was doing it, it was just a source of stress for me.

    If you can participate with out it being highly stressful go for it and if you just do 1 or 2 days, awesome. Last year was the first year I completed inktober, it's also the first year I said to myself, I might not do every day and i'm fine with that. So I was more relaxed and some of the sketches were just little doodles.



  • @Aleksey, good insights & thanks for sharing your picts. The expression on the tiny bird made me laugh. 🙂


  • SVS OG

    @Coley hi! I’m using my style. No inking whatsoever. I imagine they’ll be backlash from this so I plan to disclose this at the beginning at of the month😅 They can like it or hate it but I’m making art everyday for the rest of Inktober.



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz I love your style so I'm looking forward to it!



  • @Miriam said in Conflicted over Inktober:

    @Aleksey, good insights & thanks for sharing your picts. The expression on the tiny bird made me laugh. 🙂

    Mission accomplished



  • @JerrySketchyArt I haven’t heard of the 5k approach. Is it a “thing” or simple and magnificently your take on it?
    I did it last year and had the expected joys and challenges. I’m planning on it doing it this year. I may choose 4 of my drawings and sketch ink one/week, doing a bit different style (and practice) every day.

    What was hardest for me was creating the image every day. Yet that was what pushed me the most in a positive result. I think I just don’t have that amount of time this year.


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