The rules for Inktober are simple: draw something, ink it, and post it everyday for the entire month of October. I knew I could make time to draw everyday but I did not believe that I could complete a drawing that was actually worth posting in a single day. Usually my work takes at least a few days of revisiting before i'm happy with it so I knew this would be tough. Well, I didn't complete all 31 days, but I did get a hell of a lot more done than I thought was possible. Here's how I did it and what I learned from it.
First, you must prepare for it. Expecting yourself to start and finish a drawing every single day is insane. You need to draw a few days ahead if you don't want to fall behind. Try to have day one's drawing already completed the day before, and have your sketches started for the rest of the week. Also, have a list of ideas ready for the entire month.
Second, you must simplify. Ask yourself: Do I really need this entire thing in my image? Can I crop this down and still get what I want out of it? Work smaller too. You don't always need a huge canvas to get an impressively detailed drawing.
Now here's the most important part, and what I really owe most of my success to. I joined an accountability group of fellow artists online. That's right, just a bunch of strangers sharing the same goal and cheering each other on. Your own brain will make excuses for you, your friends will forgive you, but complete strangers will motivate you harder. People are social animals, and knowing that there is someone out there waiting to see what you will post next really helps you follow through. Special shoutout to @vaartworks on Instagram for starting the group!
This is why I failed. After that first week or two rush of good ideas and flowing through them fast, I began to lose steam. My big list of ideas for the month turned out to be too vague. I used all the good clear ones first and then I had to work out what I wanted for the rest. I also put some sketches aside because I felt like they were too big, too important, and needed more time. I started posting every other day instead, and at the end, I finished with 20 pieces instead of 31.
But, this is why I am still extremely glad I attempted an art challenge. How many ideas have you been putting off, storing away, wasting time thinking it through, when you could actually be producing something? You need to get these things out of your head and onto that paper if you want to be able to move on and get inspired by other things. I've been adding to my "art ideas" list for a long time without crossing much off of it. In just one month I got so many things done from that list and they didn't have to be big and important and perfect. The point of these challenges is not to finish, it is to get more done than you normally would have got done in that time. I've never completed 20 drawing in one month before, and in that way, I have succeeded.
So tell me, will you join me next year?