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The Inktober 2021 Challenge: Completed

pen and ink drawing of a raven done for inktober 2021 prompt

If you spend any time on social media, you’re probably bombarded with hundreds of different challenges, big and small. It seems everyone is hopping onto the challenge bandwagon. Whether it was the ice bucket challenge a few years ago, a fitness challenge, or a TikTok dance challenge, someone is challenging you to do something whatever your area of interest. 

If you’re an artist, you might have heard of the Inktober challenge. It is one of the more popular art challenges and has participants worldwide. This challenge takes place in October every year (virtually, of course). A list of one-word prompts is released, one prompt for each day of the month, and artists have to draw how they interpret that word. There’s no particular style you need to stick to—heck, you don’t even need to stick to the official list—just make your own list for the month.

Inktober Art Challenge

According to his website, Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavour, with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

The Inktober prompts are released around September, and artists interpret these prompts throughout October in their own styles. It is fascinating to see so many different interpretations of a single word.

I had come across this challenge only last year when I had restarted taking time to draw and paint. However, I didn’t plan ahead for it and gave it a miss. But this year, I was going to be prepared. I wanted to challenge myself to stick to a schedule and take time out for myself every day. And since I was almost done with my 100 days of blogging challenge, I was feeling super charged up and more than willing to take up another challenge.

Honestly, I didn’t do one challenge per day but rather a few prompts in a single sitting over the course of the month. 

Learning about myself through my art

While doing this challenge, I realised that my imaginative juices flow rather timidly. I am too used to regular inside the box art and hardly explore outside my comfort zone. I stuck to the drawing styles I knew as much as possible, like the mandala. Trying out different objects, especially people was extremely intimidating for me.

Another problem I faced was with creative thinking. It was easier to draw the more tangible prompts like watch, compass, fan, etc. But, I found it challenging to stretch my imagination for subjective prompts such as spirit, splat or leak. I had to spend a considerable amount of time thinking it over, and most often could only replicate a poor version of it on paper.

One thing I rediscovered about myself was that I can do a lot more in a day if I set my mind to it. I was more productive and efficient with everything else I did during the day and spent much less time endlessly scrolling through social media.

Have you taken up any challenges recently? Let me know in the comments.

Do check out my Instagram account where I post my artwork: HappyDogDesigns13

If you like something, you can get in touch with me to buy or make a custom piece for you.

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