The Art of Erin Eclair

Inktober Preps

Berrrr months are here once again and Inktober challenge looms around the corner as you’d hear occasional buzzing of artists on social media on the prompts, what materials are they using, will they finish it.

Pressure is high as of September and I’d like to share some tips with you so you can make your Inktober bearable and at the same time, fun and motivating.

  1. Create your own prompts

    I find this really helpful especially with Mermay (tried and tested despite not being able to finish on time). Inktober has prompts from Jake Parker and other artists, but did you know you can also make your own?

    A great way to do this is pick a theme! For Mermay of course we have the main theme which is the mermaids, and then I made a list of things, classes, etc. that I would like to practice. List it. Don’t put numbers yet. Its okay to list whatever’s on your mind. You can go more than 31 ideas on your brain.

    List stuff you like drawing: you like fairies? go ahead! you like witches– go add that too! but then, let’s put some challenge shall we? List also stuff you’d like to improve on or explore. Say you’re having a hard time doing mecha, why not include that in your list (separate column from what you want). Or maybe some animals since you find it hard to draw them. Go add that as well. Now, when you’ve racked enough ideas to draw, pick your top 3 favorites and put them on the last week. Can be the last 3 days or any of the days in the last week. These will be your motivators to finish the whole challenge. For the remaining prompts, I daresay put 4-5 of your favorites in a week then 1-2 of the topics you wanna improve on on that week. Repeat til you have the whole month full of prompts!

    sample prompt list that I made for Mermay 2018

  2. Work ahead

    Some say this is cheating, but for a person like me who has only 2-4 extra hours a day for personal time since I have a day job, this rule is realistic and smart.Jake Parker released the prompts as early as September 1. And that’s a good sign. You have all the month of September to do studies, thumbnails and sketches of the items you wanna ink on Inktober. I’m no pro even if I did Inktober a lot of times already. And I usually do pencils/ concepts a lot before inking so I needed more time out of that 2-4 hours daily.

    Or maybe you can research ways to ink a certain material like fur, metal, wood, etc. Make your own cheat sheet! Create spheres and use materials covering that sphere. Its a good practice from digital medium that can be also used on traditional medium. This is your best time to do that.


  3. You don’t have to do all days of the month

    People can be busy with real life stuff like studies and work and wanna commit to this but can’t. Well here’s the thing, you can still participate! You can opt for picking only some interesting prompts or mishmash the prompts into a weekly entry (7 prompts in one photo) or maybe just pick the entries that will hit the weekends. At the end of the day, at least you still get to participate in Inktober.
  4. Use less materials

    This is a personal opinion, take this with a grain of salt. I’ve seen a lot of nice Inktober works that are amazeballs and also are done only with a pen and paper. I honestly started with a lot of markers on hand and then ended up with 1-3 pens instead by the end of the month. Its not really bad to make use of a lot of markers/ materials but I would really recommend this. Afterall, its the discipline of inking daily that we’re really aiming to achieve here and not just instagram worthy posts. But take note! This is again, optional. If you have the time and means to prettify your entry, why not?
  5. Finished not perfect

    As Jake Parker said it, finished not perfect. What we’re honing here is the discipline of inking daily, getting used to the medium and that is the pen (or a brush loaded with ink) and not perfection. You can see improvements as you ink daily.
     Frankly I messed up a lot of my inks and I actually cover them up with white touch/ paint haha! At some point the mistake is too big to be covered, I just let it be and move on to the next prompt. No use of dwelling on it 🙂 But you did learn something new that day. 
  6. Don’t be too hard on yourself 

    Missed a day because you were busy at school? Messed up your art because your lines are not perfect or you spilled a bit of ink at some areas? Keep it cool. Its just a day or a drop. Its okay to mess up.  If you missed a day don’t worry. Real life is a thing :’) If you spilled an ink, cheat! cover with same color of ink or use white touch. What matters most is your heart is still into the challenge and you’re willing to pick up where you’ve left off – a day or more. 

  7. Have fun

    Lastly have fun. Inktober is all about having fun with drawing and your ideas. Enjoy people’s ideas on the prompts. See your creativity flow with the prompts. Its about drawing for yourself and not for others. 
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