I first learned about Inktober through Erika Lancaster, one of my on-line art teachers when in mid-September she put out a video about how to get the most out of it.
Inktober is, according to its own FAQ, “a month-long art challenge created by artistJake Parker that is focused on improving skill and developing positive drawing habits. Every day for the month of October anyone participating in the Inktober challenge creates an ink drawing and posts it online. Remember to use the hashtags#inktober and#inktober2022 if you want your art to be seen by everyone.” Jake (or somebody like him) created a list of 31 prompt words, one for each day of the month.
Her video came at a timely point. I’d started working in watercolor and ink during my trip to Britain back in March, and I had just purchased my first set of dip pens and was trying to learn how to draw with a nib and a bottle of ink. I was enjoying working with markers, but using a nib seems a bit more dangerous, scarier, edgier. Inktober would give me a chance to really give them a workout, and more than two-thirds of the drawings are done with nibs and India ink. I did revert back to markers during the last week.
One thing that Erika suggested to get the most out of Inktober was to do all of the drawings on some sort of theme. Her example was that one year she did all of her drawings based on her favorite horror movies (the prompt words tend to be, but are not always, sort of Halloween or autumn-themed).
As I was chewing on this, one day I was working on a still-life ink-and-watercolor painting, and it struck me as sort of similar to some New Yorker covers, and I remarked to Barb that maybe getting a New Yorker cover should be a goal.
From there it was a short leap to conceive the Inktober prompt words as the name of a magazine. I would draw out the word in an appropriate font and work out a cover, complete with fake article titles.
This is not far from my experience. For many years, part of my job at the Journal-News was to be the special sections editor, which included a monthly newsprint magazine called “In Hamilton.” For four or five years, I was also the editor for the Cincinnati Area Mensa Society’s newsletter, a 16-page chapbook called “The Mensanattian” (or maybe Mencinnatian, I forget), wherein I had to come up with a clever cover each month.
I also wanted to come up with a clever title for the collection so that I could publish a chapbook at the end. I coined the word “Imagizine.” While trying to come up with a cover image, I thought it would be fun to somehow present an Imagizine as some kind of animal, which means it would have a Latin species name. I don’t speak Latin, but in playing around with Google translate, I came upon the phrase “Fingo periodicum.” Roughly translated: “I imagine magazines.” The grammar is no doubt suspect, but I liked it so much that I scrapped the Imagizine title and gave the cover a finger. Not that one. The one you pull on.
I don’t know if I’ll ever do the Inktoberfest challenge again. It tough to keep up, and I only painted two or three landscapes the entire month, but I do believe that my drawing skills improved and I ended up with quite a collection of works.