Lesser known artists expand their audience with Inktober

Illustration by Ryx Zan

When creating art, coming up with ideas and getting started is usually the hardest part. It’s easier, however, when there are thousands of people participating in a challenge with a prompt for every day.

Held every October, Inktober is a month-long event, created by artist Jake Parker, that focuses on helping artists improve their skills and develop better drawing habits.

An official prompt list is released before the month starts for any artist who wants to participate, and art is featured as the month goes on in the official Inktober instagram account.

“I personally like the prompts and the things people create, but I don’t participate,” said Amelia Mack, AP art student.
Prompts do help the creative process, but they don’t tell you exactly what to draw.

Prompts this year include “mindless”, “enchanted”, “dragon” and “legend”. Prompts that had literal meanings such as “dragon” were taken literally: Many artists drew fanart of Haku, a dragon from Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, while others drew the mythical creature as depicted in mythology and European folklore for that day this year.

In contrast to nouns, prompts similar to “enchanted” were much broader. Art around those words were a mix of fairytale landscapes, mythical creatures, and powerful beings.

Some prompts could go either way in the way artists interpret the meaning. One of this year’s prompts, “Treasure”, had artists that responded literally with pirates and chests of shimmering gold, and some artists responded more figuratively with their pets and people who were dear to them.

Although the event is meant to develop positive art habits and encourage people to draw, it is still a challenge which can cause people stress, especially artists on social media who use Inktober as a way to gain popularity.

Social media artists who are generally inactive appear to experience the most stress and burnout during Inktober when they choose to participate. Most try to push through to manage their followers and get more traffic into their account.

Despite the high energy start at the beginning of every October, most artists either skip some days in the middle or stop altogether. Many experience burn out and temporarily lose the ability to use their creativity to the fullest.

Skipping days is normal, since most artists don’t have the time or energy to draw detailed works of ink every single day, but many full-time artists reserve the month of October for Inktober.

People are also creating their own month-long prompts such as “Witchtober” and “Goretober”.

Witchtober is reserved for witches of all types: urban witches, candy witches, alchemists and many more. It’s meant for artists who like witches and enjoy drawing people more than anything else.

Goretober is for those who like blood, poison, and darker themes. As an artist participating in goretober, expect to see words like “experiment”, “bandages”, and “burned”. This prompt list, and artists who draw according to it aren’t for the faint-hearted.

Artists are making personal lists as well as creating lists for small groups of their friends to participate in together.

Many artists hop around different prompt lists to avoid getting bored or burnt out.

Whether they hop around, skip days or not, Inktober is an event that every artist can participate in and enjoy. All are welcome to join and watch other artists pump out pieces during Inktober: a month when art isn’t an activity you’ll ever feel alone doing.

For those interested in Inktober, here is a link to the official instagram featuring many talented artists: www.instagram.com/inktober/

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