By Andrea Lee and Ellen Coleman

For many visual artists, the idea of working in a permanent medium brings immediate pangs of dread. What if you screw up and can’t erase the mistake? Hours of work wasted! If you follow any art accounts on social media, you might be familiar with Inktober – a challenge to overcome the universal fear of ink shared by so many artists.

Image by Ellen Coleman

Image by Ellen Coleman

Founded by illustrator Jake Parker in 2009 as a personal challenge to improve his inking skills, Inktober caught on fast with the online art community and has firmly cemented itself as one of the most popular drawing challenges of the year. From polished professionals to humble hobbyists, anyone can join in!

So, what do you need to do? The premise is simple – to create 31 ink drawings, one per day, throughout October. You can work in pencil underneath, but the idea is to force yourself to create art in ink and somewhat conquer the fear of using it (all whilst improving your overall art skills, of course).

Image by Andrea Lee

Image by Andrea Lee

Inktober can be as relaxed or as challenging as you’d like it to be. Biro, fountain pens, markers, paints, brush pens and liquid ink are all game, as is any sort of subject matter. Many artists choose to theme their drawings using online prompts or coming up with their own theme, but this isn’t necessary. Once you finish your art for the day, simply upload it onto your social media with the #inktober tag.

Of course, creating a daily deadline for yourself can be something of a challenge. When life gets busy it can become hard to find the time and the energy to draw something daily, and the both of us are definitely guilty of either making spare drawings for the next week or simply uploading a day or two late! Many artists choose to only do a few days of drawing, and that’s fine too. The great thing about Inktober is that it brings together artists of any age, skill-set and dedication, and tons of new artwork is created in the process.

By Ellen Coleman

By Ellen Coleman

It’s been a good run this year for the both of us, having managed a whole 54 ink drawings in total, and while we may now be taking a well deserved break from ink, the fear of a using a permanent medium is certainly not going to stop us now! There’s never anything to stop you from creating and sharing your art, and whether it’s an online challenge or a personal one, it’s always time well spent. Durham has a lot of artists out there, and we hope this article has inspired you to maybe pick up that ink pen next year and have a go yourselves.

See you next Inktober!


Featured Image by Ellen Coleman

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