Inktober: Success as an Artist

Varun Senthil |  October 6, 2017 | Drawing, Tips & Tricks, blog

What is Inktober?

Inktober is a challenge in which you have to create 1 drawing a day. Technically speaking, you’re supposed to be using ink, but the important part is that you’re drawing every single day.

Why should you do Inktober?

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re an aspiring artist. If you want get to the level of making a living doing what you love, you have to spend many hours on your craft.

You need to be creating art everyday.

By participating in Inktober, you are dedicating a month to develop, or solidify, a regular drawing habit. By the end, your drawings will improve, and more importantly, so will your willpower. You can train your body to be ready to draw every day.

You shouldn’t wait for some special calendar event to begin working on your dreams, but Inktober is a great time to start, because there are a lot of people in the same boat. However, despite the amount of support available, you will have the same problems as when it’s not Inktober.

This post will give you information and actionable tips to help you succeed this Inktober.

2 Important Concepts to keep in mind this Inktober

Urgent Work vs Important Work

If you’re like most people, you do the work that’s urgent first. Doing your homework is urgent because that’s due soon, and if you don’t do it, you suffer concrete consequences. Drawing is important. But because it’s not urgent, no one’s going to punish for not doing it. Obviously, you suffer the horrible fate of not achieving your dreams of becoming an artist, but you don’t REALLY feel that consequence unless you have a mid-life crisis, or you’re on your deathbed.

What you Want vs What you Feel Like Doing

If your dream is to be an artist, you should be making art. You need to be drawing, and working on those projects you’ve dreamed about. But you feel like sitting on your ass, eating cookies, and watching Spongebob. Most people rarely feel like doing hard work. It’s just easier to not do work. Especially after doing other activities. It’s important that you do your daily drawings whether you feel like it or not. Yes, you will likely draw much better when you are in the mood, but inspiration is something that comes and goes. You want to have the practices in place when the inspiration does come.

3 Tips for Inktober Success

Eat That Frog

This idea is from a book of the same title by Brian Tracy. The general idea is that you do the most important tasks in the beginning of the day. Do your urgent tasks AFTERWARDS. In your case, it’s to do your Inktober drawing in the beginning of the day. If you’re a student, do your Inktober drawing before your homework assignments or studying for a test. If you have a job, and you find yourself tired and lazy afterwards, then wake up in the morning, and do your Inktober drawing before work.

Inktober Accountability Partner

Essentially, make a promise to a friend that you will do a drawing a day. Send them what you draw everyday. It’s a good idea to do this with other artist friends, or friends that are good at giving you shit. You can intensify the process by adding things at stake. For example, if you don’t do a drawing one day you owe your accountability partner $50. (Yes, that’s a lot of money, you want to make sure you draw at all costs).
Don’t have friends? No problem! Join our Inktober contest. You’ll have our support, and also the possibility of winning a Wacom Tablet!

Permission to Suck

Many of you might be discouraged from drawing because you suck. Or maybe you don’t usually suck, but have a day where you can’t draw so well so you decide to skip that day. Don’t. First off, if you do that on Inktober, that defeats the point. Furthermore, what matters more than what you draw is that you’re sitting on your ass and drawing. It’s not about the result, it’s about the action taken. Once you have no problem drawing every single day, then you can worry about how good your drawings are.

Inktober and Beyond

There’s countless advice one can offer to those who want to be successful during Inktober and beyond. There are many great books that teach you how to overcome yourself in order to get work done, such as The War of Art, Turning Pro, and The Power of Habit. However, as creative one can get about describing the issues and the solutions, the main solution is JUST DOING THE DAMN WORK. There’s no way around it. If you want to achieve your dreams, you have to sit down regularly and work on it. It doesn’t matter if you have a test the next day, it doesn’t matter if you’d rather have a nap; it doesn’t matter if you feel like it or not… if you want to achieve your dreams of being an artist and reach a professional level of expertise, you have to work on your craft.

So, start this Inktober, if you haven’t already.

Remember to check out our contest. We’re giving away an Intuos Pen Tablet! For the contest, Inktober rules apply.

Good luck, Comrades!

Varun Senthil


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