Why I’m Not Doing InkTober, Or Am I?

1Near the end of September I was asked, “Are you doing InkTober?”  I gave a simple answer of “No, I don’t really like challenges.”  Actually, I love InkTober because I get to see so many ink sketches done by many people who don’t normally work in ink and/or who use InkTober to do quicker, simpler sketches than they normally do.

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A couple days into InkTober I was asked, “Why aren’t you doing InkTober?”  I answered that “I draw in ink all the time.  I don’t need a challenge to get me to do it.”  The response that came back was a surprise.  It implied that there was something wrong with me and that I would draw more regularly and improve my ink skills if I did InkTober and that I should be participating.

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56After I came down off the ceiling over someone telling me what I should or should not do with my chosen hobby, I got to thinking and those thoughts ran along these lines.  How can this person, who follows my blog, not know that 1) I draw almost EVERYTHING in ink and 2) that I draw constantly without needing a challenge to get me to draw daily?

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Out of curiosity, and possibly with just a hint of grumbling over this out of the blue indictment, I looked at what I’ve posted on my blog so far this year.  Here’s the arithmetic:

9posts during first 9 months of this year: 289
number of months: 9
ink drawings done and posted per month: 31

I’ve done and posted InkTober numbers of sketches EVERY month this year.  I’m not bragging here.  It’s just what I do.  Others do more…much more.  I don’t think a lot of people realize just how much sketching/art is done by many artists.   I thought maybe these numbers would give you some indication.

10 1112I realized, however, that this isn’t the whole picture.  Those 31 sketches per month are only the ones I decided to scan and post.  I do dozens of smaller, experimental, dare I say trivial sketches every month.  Many are done on location but often they’re done while I watch TV.  While I don’t waste time scanning/posting them, they are a very important part of my learning process.

So, I went through the books that hold these sketches and scanned a few of them.  Decisions of which sketches to scan were made to give some indication of the variation in quality of those sketches and variation in subject matter.

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So, when I tell you I don’t do InkTober, realize that it’s not that I don’t like InkTober.  It’s that I’m doing it all the time.  I just don’t acknowledge that October is any different from any other month.  Hope you like at least a couple of these tiny sketches and, if you’re doing InkTober, that you have a lot of fun doing it.  I’ll enjoy looking at your sketches.

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11 Responses to “Why I’m Not Doing InkTober, Or Am I?”

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  1. Julana says:

    I don’t do it, either. I like watercolor added, and I like having no expectations in one part of my life. It’s fine for those who choose to join in.

  2. Ann Schwartzwald says:

    I love your perspective about growing as an artist and just being an artist:
    *That it’s a process, very personal.
    *That how you engage in your process is only relevant to yourself and people who are interested in learning from what you do.
    *It’s about engaging in your world and responding, not about meeting expectations.

    Thank you for your openness as you draw and write!

  3. LOVE this, Larry! And yes, NO ONE can tell us what we should or should not be doing…it is our personal process. Expectations can really sour us on something, and that is why I personally don’t do Inktober. Let’s not turn pleasure and personal growth into an obligation…

  4. Pat Roberson says:

    Inktober is fine for those who want to participate, but it isn’t necessary to participate in it to grow as an artist, as you’ve demonstrated beautifully. Seems to me it’s mostly to help those who would like to draw more, but ‘just don’t have time’.

  5. Good for you! I loved this post. It’s interesting how many people ask us to justify how we do things. Or criticize. Or teach us a better way. [I’m still laughing over the gall of that person who told you you needed to do a structured activity to improve your skills, etc. Ack!]

    Thanks for sharing as much as you do. I look forward to your posts and am inspired by your approach.

  6. Carmel Campbell says:

    I don’t do it for the same reason. I am already doing it each day and not just once day. I love seeing what everyone else is doing. I also feel sometimes with a challenge you are being told what to do. I don’t need to be told what to sketch. Thank you for posting your thoughts!

  7. Tina says:

    Well, you know me — drawing every day, mostly in ink! 😉 I think Inktober was really intended to encourage people who are not drawing regularly to help them get into the habit, and I’ve heard that it has helped some people this way. Even though I don’t need Inktober for that purpose, I am having fun trying things I don’t usually do, and as you said, it’s great fun seeing the work of others who may not typically use ink. Happy Inkyearround to us! 😉

    Tina

  8. Wow! Glad you all enjoyed this post. I was a bit unsure how the response would be since I was grousing a bit.

  9. Hey my friend! I don’t participate in challenges either. I can’ t even tell you why. It is just not for me.

    I am busy with lots of sketching painting and teaching classes in the community I live in!
    You have come a long way since we both started on AJW. (Thank you,Kate!) I love your sketches and drawings!

    So just do your ” thing” and don’t worry about challenges! I am right there with ya’!