As you may know I participated in Inktober this year for the first time and I completed it
It was a great experience and I would like to share it with you: My personal goal, my successes but also my struggles, how the challenge helped me to grow as an artist and even helped me overcome my writing block.
When I first heard of the Inktober challenge last year I was immediately interested in it but I also had doubts because I had little to no experience with drawing ink or ink pens. Things outside my comfort zone are still difficult for me. I still tried inking out and the inkin process itself was very much fun. However I realised that I had an unusual problem with it: I wasn't ready to erase my sketches and replace them with ink because I liked them too muchxD I tried out to use baking paper to trace it on another paper and ink it there. Well, it didn't work well and was too time consuming. After that I gave up on the challenge.
This year I just followed my gut feeling to give it another try. It was a really spontaneous decision and surely not the best at that time because I had a lot of writing to do and an writing block to deal with. But it just felt right. At first I thought that I had to create something difficult every day like a fullbody drawing in a dynamic pose. The mere thought pressured me and blocked my creative freedom. Also my perfectionsm revolted when I made a mistake with the ink pen and I couldn't erase it. When I realised that, I changed my personal goal for Inktober: It shouldn't be about creating amazing pictures but instead I would use it to fight my perfectionsm. Ink was the perfect tool to archieve it because once it is on paper, it stays there permanently.
My first picture was a Sonic fan character drawing and I was surprised how difficult it was for me and how long it took altough I am used to draw in this style. I also realised why: After all those years I still didn't know the basics like anatomy or how things in real life looked. This was a big realisation for me and from that point on I started to draw all kind of things I came across. Sometimes I was also able to let my fantasy flow and created without thinking. Always when I did that, the pictures were abstract. When I was younger I loved to do abstract drawings because it felt so free but sadly I didn't do it for a long time. It made me realise how blocked my creativity actually was because I pressured myself with unnecessary expectations. I wanted to get this pure freedom back.
The problem that I couldn't erase my sketches was still there sometimes but it somehow just decreased itself. Probably because I had so much fun with inking
I drew a lot of things I usually wouldn't have dared to because I had little experience or they seemed difficult. At that point I wasn't even halfway through the challenge and it already had a big impact on me. For the first time in a while I truly gave myself the opportunity to make mistakes and to accept them. Also to be honest with me and accept that I wasn't as good with certain things as I thought. For example the Sonic characters. It was an important step for me because now I know what I have to practice more. Had I denied it, it would have hindered me to improve.
One of my expectations on myself at first was that I had to draw something every day. That might have been the idea of Inktober but it suited me better to not draw at some days but instead draw several drawings on another day. I was amazed by how many little drawings I was able to create in a few hours.
After day 19 I was somehow unmotivated and had doubts to continue for a while. I still don't know why. But suddenly I had a writing flow instead. The prefectionsm and blockades decreased even when it came to writing. I have never written so much so easily in a while
Only a few days before the end I started drawing again. Why? I had proudly told a lot of people that I attended this challenge. I imagine if someone asked me about it, would I really have liked to told them I nearly finished it but couldn't make it?! NO, OF COURSE NOT! I wanted to say that I completed it! That gave me such a strong willpower that I completed seven! inked drawings on the last day. Honestly, if you told me before the challenge that I would be able to draw so many inked drawings in a day, I would have thought you were crazy. But it was possible. Because I wanted it.
The last drawings pushed me to a new level again to let my perfectism go. I knew that every minute that I spent too much thinking if something looked right or if it was too difficult to draw could have decided if I would complete the challenge or not. It didn't matter if the drawings looked good or not but only that I completed the challenge. It's similar to matriculation (at least in austria): Nobody will ask you if you just barely made it or if you had the best grade. It matters that you did it.
And now guess which of the pages I filled with drawings was the most beautiful one. Yes, it was the last page
For the last drawing I wanted to do something special because it was the end. I followed my feeling to draw my character Martin. I was surprised how quick I drew the basic lines and I didn't need to erase much. Usually I spend way too long to make them look right. I drew his expression out of my head and it came out really well. It was an amazing ending. I was so happy that I completed it
Does that mean that my perfectionsm is gone? No, but it doesn't have to anyway. It's good that it is there to help me see what I can improve on but it shouldn't hinder me from creating art. This problem isn't completely solved and I am not sure if it ever will. But Inktober helped me to make a big step forward in getting my creative freedom back
I enjoyed inking so much that I will surely do it more often outside of the challenge
Here is my whole Inktober collection:
Thank you for reading