Reflecting on Inktober 2017

At the time of writing, I've yet to actually complete my Inktober project. I've got day 31 pencilled and partially inked but it's pretty much in the bag so I feel I can crack on with some thoughts on the project this year.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post with some hints and tips for people who've never done it before. I basically ignored most of my own advice, much to my detriment. I didn't plan ahead, I ran out of paper and I stressed out. A lot.

Before the project began, I drew a fake comic cover in the style of old Tales from the Crypt comics. I didn't originally intend on running with it as a theme but when October 1st came around, I went for it thinking it would be something a little different and get me working more with hand-drawn type which typically I tend to avoid.

What I hadn't taken into account the extra work this would require. So on top of my base theme of "film characters who aren't zombies, as zombies", I had to come up with a name for a fake comic, then produce the fake cover layout, letters and all.

Each drawing took about 2 hours longer to create than previous years and coming up with a fake comic name each day was something I didn't think I'd struggle with, but there were days when I did. This all had a knock on effect, I felt more pressure, in some cases produced something I wasn't entirely happy with and importantly, it ate up too much free time.

Some positives

It's not all doom and gloom. Yes, it's been a struggle, but it's also been a massive learning exercise for me.

I've learned:

  • to not be so scared of trying out hand-drawn type and it's something I plan to work on in future
  • I can produce a good body of work when I put in the effort. I will be keeping up the daily effort, but will definitely be pairing it back slightly so I'm doing work (seemingly) every hour of the day.

It's also been a springboard for the "Creative Spotting" idea I've written about in the past. For the last two weeks, my friend Xander and I have been doing a Facebook video chat while we work on our daily drawings and that's been a great chance to talk through ideas and problems as well as discuss ideas for future projects. We're going to continue doing the weekly chat as a way to keep ourselves inspired to keep working on our respective projects. It's just us at the moment but is by no means exclusive so if anyone wants to join in, just give us a shout and we'll sort it out.

Lessons learned...

To add to the tips I previously wrote about, here are a few more to remind myself next year.

Think smaller

Most of my issues this year have been because I bit off more than I could chew. Next year, I need to stick to simpler ideas for each drawing to try keep the amount of time required down to something that works with my home life.

Think simpler

Some of the most simple drawings have had the best responses. More complicated ideas were well received but not really necessary for the project.

Stick to one theme

"Film characters who aren't zombies, as zombies" became a bit tiresome for me after a while so next year, I just need to either stick to one theme and run with it or use the official daily prompts.

That's about it. Overall, I've enjoyed doing the drawings even though I've struggled and I'm glad I persevered with it and have a third Inktober project fully complete.