Remember the feeling when you were in kindergarten and your teacher handed you some crayons for the first time and invited you to draw whatever you wanted? Usually for me, that ended up with some amorphous blob, or if we had one of those coloring sheets with some elaborate design of an elephant or a clown or whatnot on it, I’d color outside the lines, or take forever trying to just. Color. Inside. The. Dang. LINES! ::sighs and sips coffee:: What if I told you that you could recover some creative freedom by just a hint of that structure, but without Mrs. Ford breathing down your neck about coloring those yellow flowers?
A couple of years ago, I was struck by some drawings my sister was doing (hi Laura) in these fantastically alien looking artist’s markers. She had begun to experiment with Copic markers, which unlike the Crayolas I was used to from childhood (curse you for always drying out!!), these are fueled by alcohol, blend with each other like my favorite smoothie, and are refillable. Hallelujah! She had embarked on a challenge called Inktober, which gives a word prompt for a drawing each day, and you are to produce a drawing in ink (GASP!) for each prompt throughout the month. Some people take this on and produce amazingly detailed figure drawings, or surreal masterpieces. Some people just simply draw what comes to mind, or find a picture to reference and draw that. It gives just enough structure so that you aren’t sitting there with that “I don’t know what to draw, so I might as well go do something else” feeling, but not so much that you’re restricted to drawing an exact replica of a diagram of a dandelion from an Audobon Field Guide.
This month, our adventure challenge is to take this year’s Inktober prompts and put an adventurous spin to them. Here’s the official guide to follow:
1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).
2) Post it*
3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2021
Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. Inktober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.
That’s it! Now go make something beautiful.
*Post it on any social media account you want or just post it on your refrigerator. The point is to share your art with someone.
And here are the prompts for 2021:
Now, here’s the kicker. For each of these words, let’s add some flavor to our drawings that inspires an adventurous spirit. Maybe today you could draw a crystal cave you saw on a National Geographic special, or on a trip to a cavern as a kid. Perhaps the vessel you draw on October 3rd is a sailing ship, bound for the Antarctic (Shackleton, anyone?). A great way to do this would be to do some nature journaling each day. Don’t pressure yourself to make something beautiful, just draw what you observe. If you want some ideas for nature journaling, check out John Muir Laws’ resources. Whatever direction you want to do, make it adventurous!
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