A Month-Long Artistic Celebration, Every Year

October — which, of course, has now just passed and rolled over into a November that is plunging down into negative degree weather — is a month full of festivities and celebrations: Thanksgiving, Halloween, and, for a lot of artists, Inktober!

Inktober is an internationally celebrated event, founded by Jake Parker, where artists are encouraged to draw something every day for the entire month of October — there is a challenge, though. For artists who choose to participate in Inktober to the fullest, Parker encourages them to only use ink as their medium, and to also follow a prompt list.

Parker creates a different prompt list each year, containing 31 different words that, at first glance, seem completely mundane. Inktober is always something to look forward to, for both artists and viewers, to see how each artist tackles each word differently, and how they develop potentially complex illustrations from such simple words. When artists have completed their illustration of the day, Parker requests that they post a picture of it on Instagram, hashtagging #inktober and #inktober2018 (for this year).

While not every artist who celebrates Inktober follows these rules to the letter, it remains a way to encourage artists to motivate themselves and produce daily creative work.

So as a celebration and an homage, I have chosen some of my favourite Inktober illustrations from this year to feature, as well as my own, in order to represent these artists and their perspectives.

PROMPT: DRAIN (October 21)

“I was originally trying to think of how I might draw a literal drain, and I actually almost ended up drawing a kitchen sink… but at the last minute I thought ‘you know what else is a drain? Text conversations’ and I’ve always liked overlaying shapes/objects on top of faces so the idea of text/speech bubbles covering someone’s face was way more interesting for me to draw.”

PROMPT: SWOLLEN (October 17)

“It started off with me wanting to draw some dude with a really swollen, blistering neck but kind of started turning [my illustration] into a head wrap as I went along with it. I pretty much just liked the nomadic, monk-ish, merchant vibes it was turning into. [...] to link it back, I definitely had a ‘swollen with knowledge/wealth’ idea.”


"Ink is a newer medium for me but it's been fun to experiment with in class. This was based off a live model, with an attempt to free up the brush strokes, compared to my typical refined style."

And lastly, my own rendition of the prompt “Spell”

PROMPT: SPELL (October 4)


Thinking of “spell,” I immediately imagined a witch. But I thought… how can I dig just a little deeper? So I decided to draw a word witch, brewing up a letter stew. Obviously used more than just ink.. Oops.

For more information, take a look at the #inktober and #inktober2018 tags on instagram or visit the official site at: http://inktober.com

‘Til next year!

Article by Mia Yaguchi-Chow