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Inktober 2023: How I Turned 31 Days into 11 Illustrations

"Embracing creativity at my own pace, blending food and garden prompts for a unique Inktober experience."

Every October, artists worldwide embark on the Inktober journey, and I've been no exception. But this year, I took a different path, one that led me to a more mindful and fulfilling experience.

The Backstory

Inktober has always been a double-edged sword for me. While the idea of creating daily was exhilarating, the reality often became overwhelming. Over-planning, under-delivering, and the looming shadow of unmet expectations turned what should've been a joyous journey into a stressful endeavor. But this year, I decided to rewrite my Inktober story.

Instead of the daunting 31-day challenge, I embraced a more manageable 11drawings in 31 days.

And what a difference that made!

The Process

While traditional Inktober prompts have their charm, I found myself yearning for something different. Peachtober, Witchtober, and other Halloween-themed prompts caught my eye, but it was the,

'They Draw and Cook' Instagram page that truly resonated with me. Their delightful fusion of food and garden prompts was the breath of fresh air I needed.

The Work

The journey of "TheyDrawtober" was as much about the process as it was about the final pieces. Here's a closer look at my workflow:

  • Pacing and Planning: I knew from past experiences that pacing myself was crucial. To keep things organized, I set up a Notion template. This became my central hub for everything - from tracking my progress, planning out when I'd work on each piece, to even prepping captions for Instagram. It was all about staying ahead of the game.

  • Starting Point: Every journey begins with a single step, and for me, it was the first prompt. There's something magical about starting; it sets the tone for everything that follows. I began with a vibrant color palette inspired by a donut, of all things! These colors became the foundation for my series.

  • Brushes and Techniques: While I used a standard drawing brush for sketching, the coloring demanded something special. I turned to a unique Procreate brush I'd purchased from Jingsketch. This brush added a distinct texture and depth to my pieces. As the series progressed, I maintained a consistent style but wasn't shy about introducing new colors, especially when different flowers came into play.

  • Embracing Imperfections: Art, like life, is full of surprises. One of my prompts led me to draw pansies twice. Instead of seeing it as a mistake, I embraced it. It added a quirky touch to the series and was a reminder that perfection isn't the goal; expression is.

Dive deeper into my "TheyDrawtober" series, a delightful intersection of food and garden. Over October, I crafted 11 unique drawings, each echoing my love for both culinary and botanical worlds. This project, one of my most treasured, encapsulates the richness of nature and the art of food. As you explore, relish the blend of flavors and flora, each piece inked with passion and creativity.

I invite you to my edible garden gallery on Behance, a testament to a month of exploration and joy. 🍲🌿🎨

Lessons and Tips

Artistic journeys are deeply personal, and everyone's pace and process differ. Here are some thoughts and encouragements for those navigating their own creative paths:

  • Be Kind to Yourself: If you didn't complete your Inktober challenge, it's okay. Remember, every piece you create is progress. As artists, it's not just about the end result; it's the journey, the learning, and the joy of creation that truly counts.

  • Adapt and Adjust: Consider adapting the challenge to suit your pace and style. Maybe a full month feels overwhelming? Try a week-long challenge or even a weekend sprint. The key is to find what resonates with you and aligns with your goals.

  • Endless Opportunities: The beauty of the art world is that there's always another challenge around the corner. From "March of Robots" to "JuneFae", there's a plethora of art challenges throughout the year. Each offers a unique theme and opportunity to grow, learn, and be inspired.

  • Craft Your Own Challenge: If you're an illustrator or designer, consider crafting a challenge tailored to your aspirations. Dream of illustrating books? Try converting movie scenes into book covers. Passionate about typography and editorial illustrations? Embark on a 365-day type challenge, adding a twist with editorial elements. If character design beckons you, focus on creating diverse characters, emphasizing different facial features or attire.

  • Plan and Strategize: Think about where you want to hone your skills. Whether it's experimenting with new mediums, diving deep into a particular style, or exploring different themes, plan your challenges around these goals.

  • Draw Inspiration: The art community is vast and vibrant. Look up to creators you admire, study their style, and don't hesitate to incorporate elements you love into your work. Remember, imitation can be a form of flattery and a stepping stone to finding your unique voice.

In essence, challenges are opportunities in disguise. They push us out of our comfort zones, introduce us to new techniques, and most importantly, remind us of the joy of creation. So, whether you stick to the rules or bend them, the most important thing is to enjoy the process and keep creating.

Additional Resources

Softwares & Resources Used:

  • Procreate - A powerful digital illustration app I used for my drawings.

  • Jingsketch Brushes on Gumroad - The specific brushes I used to bring my illustrations to life.

  • Notion - My go-to tool for planning and tracking my progress throughout the challenge.

  • They Draw & Cook - The website that inspired my mix of food and garden prompts.

Year-Round Art Challenges: Comprehensive List

Alternative Inktober Themes: Explore Variations for Next Year

Inspiration Galore: YouTube Creators Embracing Art Challenges


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