Have you heard of “Inktober“? It is a monthly art challenge held each October. It was created by artist Jake Parker in 2009 as a way to keep up his own inking skills and instill a positive, daily drawing habit. It involves a daily word prompt list to inspire artists to draw something each day.
I had followed “Inktober” on social media for years, but never quite had the time and motivation to actually participate. The prompts were not specific to my interest areas, and I just let it pass by…that is, until last fall (2019.) There was some discussion on the GNSI Members Facebook page about doing “Inktober”, but with a science illustration twist. We compiled our own list of natural science-themed prompts based on the wide range of subject fields that science illustration covers.
This list inspired me and many others. Some folks decided to draw one theme each day, for example, birds. Others, drew when they could squeeze it in. I decided, as a personal challenge, to draw everyday and every prompt. I sometimes fell behind a few days and then would catch up.
Ultimately, I was very pleased to have completed 31 drawings! Were the drawings perfect? No. Did I surprise myself by coming up with something for each and every prompt? Yes! As an artist who has focused mainly on botanical subjects of late, I really enjoyed the challenge of finding something for prompts like “archaeology” and “physics.”
I would highly recommend participating in “Inktober” if you have the chance. There are many different prompt lists or you can create your own. The most important part is to enjoy the challenge and see what you can accomplish!