Inktober 2018 – Looking back
We always hear that if you want to grow yourself you must put yourself in an uncomfortable position. Well, I can only agree. I’m happy that I put myself through the Inktober challenge. I learned quite a few things for example how to organise myself and use my limited time more productively. And how good preparation goes a long way. Am I happy with the results? Yes and no. I’m not 100% satisfied with every piece I made but the last month gave me so many new ideas and inspiration. Would I do it again? Yes for sure – and I’ll try to challenge myself more often on an everyday basis too. Will I keep drawing strong women portraits? Yes but not every single day. Maybe twice or three times a week? How does it sound?
Here is a little overview of my Inktober month – the first week. I don’t know why but I was really nervous when I started the first piece of the month (Marie Curie). Maybe it was because I knew it was a big commitment with quite a challenging topic for me. Since I came back to art/illustration after years of focusing on graphic design I realised that some of my drawing skills were not as good as they used to be. Especially portrait and human body drawing skills suffered a lot. That’s why I decided on a portrait theme for Inktober. It was a great chance to force myself to work on a weak skill and push myself out of my comfort zone. In addition, I could combine it with a topic that I’m really interested in – strong female role models. The reason why I choose my own topic instead of following the official Inktober list is that I wanted to dedicate this amount of time and energy to produce something with a big value (to me and maybe to others).
Let’s mix it up & try out something new! I think that’s a good sum up of the second week of Inktober18. Sometimes you need to take the pressure out of things. And for me, it means to bring an aspect of fun into my workflow. And with fun, I mean simple to try out new things, mix different styles & techniques, give space for mistakes and allow the process to take a new turn. Compared to the first week I was more confident in my style (plus I stopped comparing myself to others) and that gave me the space to play around with things. Eileen Gray, for example, was made by layering ink as watercolours. Coco Chanel, I drew with simple outlines without shading which I found reflected her own artistic style quite well. Eleanor Roosevelt, on the other hand, received a second shading with a graphite pen to make the drawing look a little bit softer. Well, and Louisa May Alcott got a bunch of textures mixed simply because I wanted to try it out.
Hmm… I need more colours in my life! It’s October – so pretty much December. It’s dark and cold outside – so let’s bring some warmth into my work! And why stick to one colour per drawing if I have such a big ink collection? Oh and I also have some pencils… LET’S MIXED THEM TOO! Keep the fun going that’s all. Like this, I created some interesting colour combinations. I fancy the blue and orange mix (Valentina Tereshkova) as well as the red and black combination (Malala Yousafzai). Opposed to the blue and black mixture (Ellen DeGeneres) which in my eyes doesn’t work very well. At least not with this shade of blue. And coloured pencils are just fun to use in general!
Just a few days left… I can do it. Keep going! … What haven’t I tried yet? The last days are always the most difficult ones if you ask me. It’s hard to come up with new ideas but then you can revisit and refine some old ones. In this case, I really enjoy playing around with the 3mm nip for deep shadows. I love the texture it produces and the rough look of it (Zaha Hadid & Beatrix Potter). Also, it was nice to create a very colourful and bright piece on a cold day (Empress Nur Jahan). With time an old red ink turned its colour to a light brown which is perfect to use as skin colour. I used it for Empress Nur Jahan and then the leftovers of it for Oprah Winfrey (mixed with other brown ink). Not wasting good ink here!!!