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  • Amanda Putnam

Inks, and Pens, and Nibs OH MY! ...and Horses??

Ah, Yes. ‘Tis that time of year where the leaves are changing, the pumpkins are ready, cozy sweaters, fall relaxing weather, calming pumpkin-spiced warm ciders, extra free time for apple picking... Not so much for the Inktober artists! There is work to be done!!!


Hello everyone, my name is Amanda Putnam. I am an aspiring, pre-published Children's Book and Fantasy

Illustrator. And this will actually be my first true attempt to do Inktober. As I type this, October is less than 24 hrs away, and I have already had some thoughts on the subject, which brings me to my first tip: PLAN EARLY.


So, I established (somewhat) a plan for myself. Life gets busy, so it is good to have something done way beforehand. Once the official Inktober list came out, I printed it out, thought about it, and got to work. I will not lie, I still have some blank ideas for a few words, but I worked on what I had solid ideas for first. Doing that has helped take some stress off my shoulders so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed all at once. And trust me, I get anxious if I have too much un-fleshed out ideas at once, which then clouds my focus and motivation.


What am I doing for Inktober you may ask? Well, when I was thinking about it, I was trying to come up with this oh-so-new-and-amazing idea that would blow everyone’s socks off!!! Nope, that didn’t work. I was overthinking too much, which again, was stressing me out. This leads to my next tip: DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Doing what you love, which is usually what you are good at, takes some anxiety away that you may have developed while working on a process. Therefore, I chose to focus on Horses (no I am not obsessed, but everyone that knows me will tell you otherwise). Once I thought of that, I was so happy with the idea. But, I didn’t restrain myself to JUST your normal realistic static stance horses. If there is one thing I teach by and live by it’s “Give a Direction, Not a Restriction.” I kept my thoughts for Inktober as Horse Themed, so anything goes, as long as it has something that relates to horses. Fantastical, realistic, anatomical, or a little of in-between, each piece will be its own illustration.


My last tip for you encompasses a few ideas: THINK ABOUT THE END GOAL. Yes, you and I will most definitely get to a point when un-motivation sets in; the ‘I’m not good enough, this isn’t good enough’ thoughts as you compare your work to this one’s idea, and that one’s execution and etc. As I say to myself: “You stop that!!” This Inktober you will create some really good pieces and some really good ideas, but some of them may/will turn out not so good. But that is OK! As an artist, we have to grow, and work hard, to get to that godly point in our artistic lives where almost everything we do is just flat out amazing. But right now, you have to draw for it; you have to draw, and draw, and draw, and draw some more to get to that point. So think of the long term benefits of sticking to it! This will only make you better!


All in all, as Shia LaBeouf proclaims, “Just DO IT!” Don’t focus on perfection; focus on potential. You have nothing to lose to finish it out to the end. If you have a day or many that tempts you to stop, right then and there, do a 5 min ink/pen sketch anyways. Whether it is good or bad (probably bad), you did it!!


Happy Inking!!

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