Friday, October 27, 2023

Inktober 2023

Each October 1st, my husband reminds me that it is time for us to get out our pens and sketchbooks to do our annual Inktober Challenge drawings. We look at the official prompt list by Jake Parker, used by artists all over the world, and try to come up with an idea to bring each word to life.

I love the exercise of bouncing ideas around. For "dodge" I thought of a Dodge (car), a game of dodgeball, a Dodge playing dodgeball... and within a few seconds, I was asking myself questions about what kind of things could be thrown at each other besides balls. I settled on a snowman and the headless horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow hurling and dodging each other's make-shift heads. "Map" can just be a map, while also being a topographical landscape to be explored.

For the prompt "toad" one can do a realistic rendition of a toad, or one can differentiate it from a frog, by placing it on a toadstool. Toadstool, barstool, bartender serving up "the usual" bar fly-suddenly there's scene to create. I had taken the prompt "wander" and made a guy walking through a bamboo forrest, until my husband reminded me that walking on a path isn't necessarily the most conducive thing to use for wandering. As I found my mind wandering through landscapes, and wondering how to execute it, I came up with an actual brain. I like the idea of asking questions letting your mind explore ideas. 

"Rise." Bread rises; the sun rises, each of us rises when the alarm goes off each morning; put them together, and 15 minutes later, you've got the idea: rise. For "plume" I thought it would be funny, of a bird plucking their feathers for a feather decorated hat, or to use as a quill pen, generally used in fancy calligraphy. I ended up drawing a chicken using a quill and ink to write in chicken-scratch rather than calligraphy.

Sometimes you can pair concepts, like when the prompts were "demon" and "angel" back to back. I had a devil eating devil's food cake using a pitch fork, and an angel eating angel food cake. I'm busy with all of my other daily obligations so  definitely can't spend long on working on these. It's an end-of-the-day-wind-down-while-watching-a-sit-com-with-my-sweetheart-activity, not something I want to take over my life. But it's definitely worth the effort to keep skills honed and your mind sharp. The official lists date back to 2016 and can be found at if you want to take the challenge yourself.


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