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  • Katie Harmon

Five Pro Tips for Making It Through Inktober


I don't know about you, but when I start a drawing challenge like Inktober, I have so much creative energy and just cannot wait to sit down and sketch out the next prompt. However, when we get to this point, my creative energy starts to wane. Inktober is all about building consistency and good drawing habits, and sometimes that means slogging through an illustration just to keep up the momentum.

Here are a couple of tips that help me stay motivated through the midway point of the month.


Set Aside Time

I think this is the most important thing I have learned through my years of participating in Inktober. I've gotten into the habit of setting aside time both in the morning and evening. That way, I can think about my illustration throughout the day and refine my concept. I find I have a stronger illustration if my brain has had time to process it.


Set Reasonable Expectations

I am the queen of planning out a complex or giant illustration on a super busy day, and I will clearly not have time to finish. I've learned to set myself for success by planning out some limitations. Here are some ideas to help you succeed:

  • Limit your paper size.

  • Plan simple backgrounds.

  • Limit your time.

  • Stick to a limited assortment of supplies you are comfortable with.


Be Kind to Yourself

There is so much pressure to create a polished illustration each day. However, that is not necessarily the point of this challenge. If you are in this to build good drawing habits, then the simple act of sitting down to draw has met your goal. It is impossible to have 31 stellar illustrations in one month - let alone 31 illustrations in a row that you like. Instead of looking to find fault in what you create, celebrate the act of creation.


Take a Moment to Recharge

In addition to planning time to draw, it is also important to schedule a time to recharge. What stokes your creative fire? Whether it is a walk in the woods or watching a good movie, our inspiration is only as good as what we feed it. Inktober is intense, and it can feel like a waste of time or indulgence to put pen and paper (or brush!) aside to take care of ourselves. However, it is absolutely the key to creating good art.


Celebrate Success

I cannot emphasize this enough. Instead of constantly mourning our perceived failures, look at the amazing things you have accomplished. Missed a few days? That is okay! Look at the days you were able to create. Not happy with an illustration? Look at the wonderful art you made that you loved. There will always be times where something unexpected interrupts our plans, or we have a bad day. That does not mean we are a failure.


All that work we have done is amazing and worth celebrating. You are worth celebrating!


So on that note, be proud of the work you have created this far. It is such a great accomplishment. Set yourself up for success for the rest of the month. Drawing daily is a good habit and an amazing way to build your skills and define your style. Participating in this challenge is a brave and amazing thing, and I'm honored to be creating alongside you.


Day 1-7 of my Inktober

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