Putting ink to paper to Instagram in October

People be lovin’ a time-limited challenge – whether it’s writing a novel, eating healthy or doing a plank every day for a month (nope). Artists are no different and – even though getting “excited” is out of my comfort zone – this month I’m excited to be participating in an annual creative challenge called Inktober.

What is Inktober?

Every October artists from all over the world commit to creating one ink drawing each day of the month. The rules are pretty simple: make an ink drawing and post it to social media using the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2019. Search those hashtags on Instagram and you’ll find millions of posts – of varying quality and subject.

The subject matter is up to the artist, although Inktober’s creator, Jake Parker, does provide an official list of interesting prompts. I did this challenge two years ago and did my own thing but this year, I’m traveling with the masses and sticking to Jake’s list.

Why do this?

Good question – I have three kids ages 5 and under. Where will I find the time and energy? The answer is simple: neglect. Neglect is the artist’s way! 😉

Why do it? It’s fun. And it’s about growing, improving and committing to doing something even when I don’t feel like it. I know I’ll run out of easy ideas (or steam) halfway through the month and that’s when I really have to stretch myself and get creative.

Another reason is the communal aspect of the challenge. Several other artists I know in real life are also participating: Tami Boyce, Morgan East, Abdul Shabazz, and Samantha Bell. And here’s some folks I don’t know IRL but I wish I did: This Northern Boy, Roxannimus, Ania Przybylko, and Ataliefite.

As for me, in addition to the official prompts, I have committed to including a person in each daily drawing. Drawing characters is an important skill for an illustrator and it’s an area in which I need improvement. The only way to get better at drawing people is by… drawing people. The timing is great because I’m working on the sequel to my children’s picture book Heyward the Horse and I’m at the people-adding-stage.

Slogging Through

By day 7, this challenge was definitely feeling like work. In life and art, I put a premium on being “clever” (I don’t recommend it) and when I can’t think of something clever with the daily prompt, I get nervous. But somehow, if I show up, ideas flow in from wherever ideas come from. For example, on this day, I was around people watching football.

On this day, I was reading a book about tigers.

Another example, on day 10, I had literally no ideas. I just started doodling a bunny and then – to meet my requirement – added a little boy doing a handstand. The daily prompt was “pattern” so I just decided to make a simple pattern. I let myself go and didn’t try to overthink it. You can see the finished product below. Turns out, this has been one of my favorites and has connected with other people. 

So you see, Inktober is a bit like running a race – ups and downs (and a finish line). Have you ever done anything like this in your business or personal life? Tell me about in the comments below or shoot me an email. And, if you like, follow me for the rest of my #inktober journey.

Have a great week,

sig

Drink and Draw #chs

If you like to draw and you like other people and you live in Charleston, SC you should check out Drink and Draw Charleston. Meetings occur monthly at a local bar or brewery and are tons of fun. Basically, you pull 2-3 random prompts from a bag and use that as inspiration for your drawings. Here are some of my drawings:

“2 Jellyfish Fighting Over a Hotdog”

a comic about two jellyfish fighting over a hotdog

“Cute Waltzing Cactus”

two cacti dancing

My doodles are silly but all styles (and skill level) are welcomed. Check out the hashtag #drinkanddraw or follow @drinkanddrawchs on Twitter or Insta.

They also have really cool letterpress drink coasters printed by Ink Meets Paper.

See you there,

AB

 

My Daily Sketches

isle of palms sketch
Isle of Palms on a cloudy day

This year I attended a graphic design conference and one topic really stuck out. Danny Gregory spoke about the importance of keeping a daily sketchbook. As a creative professional, it’s easy to forget that one of the fundamental reasons I entered into this field was the simple joy of making stuff. Many of us forget that making art can be just for fun. And it’s okay to have fun everyday, right?

sketches of people
Random people from papers/mags on my desk

Danny encouraged us to focus on the process of drawing and not to think too much about the subject matter and/or end result. Everyday people and things are perfect to sketch. I’ve taken his advice and found it to be a joyful experience and a wonderful way to start the day. I’m not as practiced as Danny, but one day I hope to be. A few of my sketches can be seen on this post. Check out Danny’s youtube channel to see some of his work. It’s fantastic.

waterfront park charleston sketch
Waterfront Park looking back into Charleston