In a few weeks, I'll be taking part in my third Inktober project. I've learned a few things doing these projects so I thought I'd jot down a few tips.
Official prompt list or going rogue?
Each year, Jake Parker (the man behind the Inktober project) posts a prompt list of 31 ideas to help kick start some inspiration and help you focus on an idea each day which is great to get you going.
So far I've always chosen my own theme. If you choose to do so, make sure your theme has plenty of options to last the project. Switching themes partway might feel a bit disjointed, but it's also something else you have to think about.
If you go down the route of your own theme, or even if you just want to draw 31 things separate to the official prompt list, get them written down. You might not be able to reel off 31 ideas straight away, but decide your first week at least, then keep adding to the list over the first few days so by week 2, you've got a clear idea of what you're drawing.
I started out with this system last year but didn't keep my list up-to-date very well so there were some days when I had to decide what to draw on the day. If you're strapped for time, having to do that on top of the drawing just adds stress to the task.
Make sure you've got enough supplies to last the project. This seems like a no-brainer but my first year, I had to switch tools which led to an inconsistent overall result. Plus having to source new supplies in the thick of the project is another added thing to worry about.
Take your tools everywhere
This may sound like an obvious one but take your pens and paper everywhere. When you've got a busy day, you won't believe how easy it is to forget to do the drawing unless you have your tools as a reminder (Bonus tip: If, like me, you work at a desk, keep your stuff out on the desk, don't keep it in your bag).
Remembering to do the drawing at night when you're winding down (unless that's the time of day you've allocated yourself to do it) is a sure-fire way to do a panic drawing which you probably won't really be happy with.
Finished is better than perfect
If you subscribe to Jake Parker on YouTube or have seen him live stream, you'll have heard him say this and it's absolutely true.
Sometimes you might make a mistake which means you need to start again but for the most part, small mistakes will only be noticed by you so do sweat it. Get the drawing finished and prepare for the next day.
By the end of it, having 31 completed drawings as a body of work will feel massively rewarding and those little mistakes will fall from memory.
The running theme of this post is to remove some of the obstacles you might otherwise encounter which takes you away from what this project is about. It's about getting creative, producing some drawings and having fun in the process.
If you stress about anything you won't want to do it so do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Also, if you're a beginner or someone who claims they "can't draw", do it anyway. I guarantee you'll be better on day 31 than day 1.
I'll stop there for now. To summarise:
- Plan ahead as much as you can
- Make sure you've got your tools ready, wherever and whenever
- Completion trumps perfection
- Don't stress, have fun!
In closing, it's all about building the daily habit. You'll make mistakes, you'll learn from them and get better in the process.