How To Do Inktober When You Really Don’t Wanna

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Image by laplateresca on Adobe Stock

don’t know about you, but I can’t stand Inktober. Stupid Jake Parker inventing a stupid month long challenge forcing you to do one stupid ink drawing a day.

Who does he think he is, some sort of art president? Issuing decrees to the rest of us peasants and enforcing them through peer pressure?

You know, Jake, even sharks only get one week of the year; meanwhile you gave ink a whole freaking month?!

Are you insane?

Why I don’t wanna

There have been years where I’ve actually tried to participate, but I always seem to get disheartened and give up before the first week is even over.

Everywhere you look artists are posting beautiful work, and impostor syndrome can flare up with the quickness! That’s all you need before you snowball into believing you don’t have the time, nobody will miss you anyway, and the classic there’s always next year.

I hate leaving my comfort zone. It’s comfy here. But I think I finally figured out a way for me to get through Inktober.

Wanna know how?

Be kind to yourself

You’re not an impostor. You’re an artist if you say you are, and nobody can take that from you.

Furthermore, everyone is on a different stage of their art journey. That’s a great reason why you should never compare your work to a fellow artists. It’s never a fair comparison.

The thing that’s special about your work is that it’s your work. You made it with your own unique voice from your own unique life experience and perspective.

On top of that, it’s okay if you miss a day or you plop out a drawing that’s no more appealing than your daily BM. It’s all part of the learning process.

So be kind to yourself.

Use more constraints

The hard part about Inktober is the constraints. You have a month to do 31 ink drawings, but you need to turn one in every day.

We all hate this, naturally.

But while it seems like a curse, it’s really a blessing. We have one big goal of completing Inktober, and then we have daily goals of just nailing down one single ink drawing. That makes it feel doable. (It is doable, right?)

During Inktober a lot of our decisions are made for us, and the more decisions that are already made for us the closer we are to doing the work.

So if you feel like you don’t have the time to do a full blown illustration, just set a new constraint by choosing the amount of time you’re willing to spend on Inktober each day.

I’m going with 30 minutes. Set the timer!

It’s not about the likes

You can post to social media if you want, but please ignore the vanity metrics of likes, retweets, favorites, etc.

The only metric that matters is whether you show up and do the work. The focus on the month should be finishing the project.

Did you show up every day and give it a go? Great, then you succeeded. Because if you’re drawing every day you’re gonna get better. That’s the point.

At least that’s how Jake tells it.

Apologies/famous last words

I’m sorry Jake. You’re not stupid, and neither is Inktober. You’re actually one of my favorite illustrators. Thank you for creating this overwhelmingly positive event for artists.

I really do believe Inktober is a great opportunity to improve your drawing skills, and after psyching myself up here I think I’m finally ready to commit to it.

So don’t try to stop me again, brain!

And if you really don’t wanna do Inktober, it still feels good to be happy for and support those that are making an attempt. So do that instead. You never know just how much they might need the encouragement! ;)

Written by

Artist. Blogger. Family man. I help people bring more art into the world:

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