Creating art is so hardwired into humans, you can see in paleolithic times. So it’s no surprise that the dawn of the Internet era sees a proliferation of art. Yet so often we fall into the trap of considering the end use over the actual process.
I find myself doing this a lot with stories. Why am I writing this? Where can I publish it and who will read it? That end-use mentality has a way of crippling creativity. The Cro Magnons of France probably didn’t have publishing concerns when they painted on cave walls. They simply wanted to tell a story.
I find the idea of Inktober very liberating. For a brief history (and a little controversy) click over to the brushwarriors site. But whether you choose Inktober, Drawtober, Drawlloween, or Orctober, these contests all share the same allure — they make you focus on the process over the product.
When I sketch out a drawing related to the prompt, it stretches my artistic muscles. I find that the idea behind each drawing far outweighs the actual execution. And some nights I feel quite inspired, while on others I have to fight through it.
I will say this now, don’t be beholden to the schedule. Sure there is a prompt every single day. But this goes back to the question: Why are you making art in the first place? I’m reminded of a quote by John Lennon. The purpose for art, and life, is to make you happy. So don’t sweat the schedule. Make it work for you.
I know some folks who commit to every single drawing and dash them off quickly. While I will often take a day or five off. Some of it has to do with time. If I am cramming the drawing in, it will feel rushed and not enjoyable. But sometimes the prompt just leaves me feeling meh.
Yet I still have that nagging notion of needing to draw. And the month of October is always a time where I revisit my artistic roots. When I first discovered Inktober, I hadn’t drawn for nearly a decade. And I credit this contest for revitalizing sketching and drawing for me.
At the end of the day (or the month) you own the art you make. Just like our ancestors tagging cave walls, the urge to create is primal. Use the idea of Inktober to foster this urge and get out there and draw.
And by the way, it’s not too late. There are three art challenges for November. You can draw in color with Huevember. You can work on just one piece all month with Slowvember. Or you can stretch your D&D muscles with Mapvember.
Art yourself this month and every month.