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  • Melanie Douthit

Inktober: Permission to Play

Hello to all the fellow artists. I’m excited to be working with Higgins Inks this month for one of my favorite global art movements - Inktober! 

My name is Melanie Douthit (rhymes with south + it). I live in the fabulous state of Louisiana, where we are known for music, some of the best food in the country, and of course, New Orleans and all things jazzy. I’m a full-time artist and illustrator, wife, mom and part-time art student at the local university. I’m involved in the Northeast Louisiana art scene and sometimes paint sets for local theaters. 

I first heard about Inktober in 2017 through an art supply kit community. I was immediately intrigued and committed myself to doing the daily challenges. I was so glad I did, even though it was a huge commitment for me. I used the prompt list provided by Jake Parker, who started the movement. He started this whole movement as a way to force himself to use a certain pen every day for a month, knowing he would improve his ink drawing skills. 

So are you wondering how to get involved with the Inktober movement? There are many Inktober prompt lists available to use - or you don’t have to use one at all. There are no rules. Just draw. Use ink. Of course light pencil to start with, then ink your drawing. Ink makes you bolder in your images. Find good pens if you don’t have any. Experiment with liners, brush pens, etc. Get out of your comfort zone and allow yourself the opportunity to grow. It’s okay if your drawing isn’t successful. Turn the page and draw something else, or just redo the drawing. 

During my first year doing Inktober, I gave myself permission to play. I tried different papers as well as different pens and  techniques. What I loved the most was committing to the prompt list and not giving up when the “word” of the day seemed a bit odd or “hard” to draw. I looked for ways to draw the word without drawing the obvious, and making the drawing something that would stand alone as art. I didn’t do that with all my drawings, though. Sometimes I was limited on time and just drew.  Draw something you normally would not draw. One day the word was “huge”. After thinking about it, I decided I wanted to draw and elephant. I added fine lines and pointillism and watercolor, and it was one of my most favorite pieces of the month. I don’t think I would have thought to draw an elephant before. During last year’s Inktober, I found myself gravitating toward forest animals. I didn’t draw them the entire month, but I made several drawings with that theme and they were some of my favorite. 

What are your goals for Inktober? Do you want to fill up a new sketchbook? Some artists buy a smaller size sketchbook just for Inktober. Do you want to work on a certain subject? Many artist’s use a prompt list geared to their interests: fairies, witches, robots, etc. Do you want to add color? Or do you only want to use black ink? Or are you like me and just want to have fun and be open to mixing it up.  Since we are only in day 3 of Inktober, I want to encourage you to stick with it, even if you miss a day or two. I’m going to be out of town a few days this month, so I’m doing a few of my drawings ahead of time, and on some of the days, I will draw on location. It’s going to be interesting to see how the on location drawing will turn out, but I’m giving myself permission to create not so great drawings, yet I am committed to sharing them on social media - so I am being brave. I challenge you to be brave and join the Inktober movement, even if you haven’t done so this month. It’s not too late. I’m looking forward to drawing every day and when I look back after the calendar page turns, I will have 31 new drawings completed, and hopefully improved my drawing habits, my creative thinking, and hopefully have new ideas for more art. 

Thanks for stopping by and happy drawing. 

Melanie

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