The drawing above is my own! 😀
Writing’s my thing. I want to be a very good writer and editor someday and I want to be the best I can be at it. That’s the trade I want and that’s the reason for this blog. To get better at writing, ha ha.
But I also draw. Portraits, nature, people, characters, anime, you name it! I like drawing a lot. It’s not something I ever intend to make into a career, just something I do when I’ve had a stressful day and I need to relax. Headphones, music, paper, pencil, and stress goes out the window! Have you ever heard that cooking can be therapeutic? You feel like you’ve done nothing meaningful and then you bake a pie and you feel better — a sense of fulfillment? Seriously, it’s a thing! Drawing’s sort of that way for me.
I’ve always liked to draw but I didn’t start to get into it till I was in my mid-teens and my sister had gotten really into anime. I don’t know if it’s obvious but my sister and I are really close. When I saw how much she was absorbed in anime and drawing, I wanted to be apart of it too so that I could talk to her about it and show her what I’d worked on. I would draw characters I’d envisioned for books and pretty soon, like I was into writing and she was into drawing, we both got into what each other liked.
I first learned of Inktober last year when I was on a drawing site showing my work. A very talented man posted a drawing every day and numbered them. I liked seeing his drawings daily and I was surprised he kept up with it. He drew his favorite characters from animes and video games that he liked as a child. He inspired me to try it myself the next year. It sounded fun but I knew even then it might be difficult to keep at, so I asked my sister to do it with me. (like when you’re trying to exercise and need a partner to motivate you to do it, I thought I’d need one for Inktober) It was decided. The next year, my sister and I would do Inktober!
The time came fast. Before I knew it it was September and I had to plan out my drawings. I wondered to myself if it was cheating to start it early in September so that I could get ahead but I never mustered enough motivation to decide if it was or not and never started early. I’d decided to do my favorite anime characters for each day of the thirty-one day month — just like the man who inspired me. My sister decided to do characters also. I wrote down my favorites on a list and it filled up fast. (I suggested my sister do the same but she’s more of a “I’ll do it what I feel like that day” kind of person. She’s far more care free than I am.
When Inktober started, my sister and I did our first drawings together. We talked to each other about random things, like what Japanese people eat and how to make their food, what the whole month would be like, anime couples and how cute they are, and how to draw faster. It took three hours but it was a lot of fun! The two of us planned to do our drawings with each other every day but I soon realized that would be difficult. The two of us had different “life” schedules and — although we tried, did our drawings separately for the most part.
With day # 2 I was already struggling to keep up and soon found that I would not be able to spend three hours every day on my drawings. I managed to finish day # 2 & 3 but it was late at night when I did. (the picture above is day # 2!) So I tried something different and made Inktober the first thing I did every morning. This way, I could better keep up with the challenge and not find myself rushing it in the middle of the night. For the most part, this worked, but procrastination did hit me in waves and I still found myself a few times (especially after hanging out with my friends most of the day) finishing a drawing after midnight.
I’m pretty sure I would’ve forfeited the challenge at the start of the month if it wasn’t for my sister was doing it with me and the two of us found it very satisfying to show our drawings to each other at the end of the day. Drawing was a fun, stress-relieving thing for me before Inktober. It had become a chore like so many other things I did daily and I wasn’t sure I liked it but I’m a stubborn person when it comes to accomplishment and insisted on finishing the month.
Inktober never really got in the way of my social life, job or family, but there were a couple of times that I was drawing while watching a show with my family or drawing while hanging out with my friends. When people asked me how I was doing, all I could ever think to say was ‘drawing’. Pretty much all my family ever saw me do when I was free was draw. Really, I thought I should be working on writing more. Early on in the challenge I had realized what drawing every day was doing to me. I started to draw twice as fast and good and I could shade people and draw poses without near as much reference. Maybe if I wrote as much as I was drawing, the same would happen?
Inktober was really tough to keep up with. I basically had to put it first and do it regardless of the drama going on in my life. (and there was lots of drama because ya know, life!) It wasn’t easy and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. But I can say, that if I was aspiring to draw for a career, that Inktober would probably be the best thing for me to do to get better at art. It’s a challenge, and most challenges leave your mind sharper than it was before. I seriously suggest that aspiring artists do it at least once.
It was a fulfilling thing doing a drawing a day. I think it’s good to feel accomplished and doing Inktober daily and finishing the whole month did feel really good. I’d come out of the challenge better at art and with my eyes set on what else I could achieve if I worked on it daily.