To some, October is a time for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and finally a chill in the air—to illustrators & artists, it’s also that time of year when pen-and-ink art floods their feeds. In past years I’ve tried to participate in Inktober twice. Both times I failed at completing something every day. One year I could have blamed that I bought a house. The other year I could have blamed my off-balanced work to life ratio. But, in short, what got in the way of my daily dedication was none other than me. I’ve learned a lot about my creative habits through the years. And while I don’t expect this year’s Inktober to go perfect—because life, after all, isn’t perfect—I do hope that I come closer to my goal of somewhat-daily drawing this month and for months to come. I’m writing this here as more like Notes to Myself, rather than a Memo to All, because everyone’s practice and goals are different. If by chance this helps you in some other habit-forming aspect of your life, I raise my high-five hand to you.
5 NOTES TO SELF
- Set the clock: You’d be surprised what you can accomplish during one episode of THE VOICE. For me, 1 hour is a realistic minimum work time to create something I’m halfway pleased with.
- Put your blinders up: It’s okay to not swim in the flooded feeds of #Inktober2018 posts. Focus on your own lane.
- Establish a theme: For me, I find I work best when I work in a series or by projects, as opposed to one-off pieces. It’s great once in a while to throw everything to the wind, but that’s a rarity for me.
- Don’t be afraid to evolve: The whole point of exercises like Inktober is to try to explore and create healthy habits throughout a series of pieces. It’s not to create 31 consistent portfolio pieces (although props to you, if you do and that’s your goal!).
- Have fun!: The energy that you put into your work is the energy people are going to feel coming out of your work. While drawing can sometimes feel like being Tik-Tok from Return to Oz, just remember that you have a lot of support in the world ready to help crank you back up.