BYU artists take on the Inktober challenge by doing one ink drawing a day for the entire month of October
This October, the BYU Department of Design has encouraged students to try their hand at a month-long drawing challenge known as Inktober. BYU alum Jake Parker created the Inktober challenge in 2009 to improve his own drawing skills, but it has since grown to include thousands of artists who participate each year.
Amber Kommavongsa, an illustration major at BYU, said, “I started Inktober this year because I haven’t touched ink in a while. I see Inktober as an opportunity to really push myself over my inhibitions and just draw.”
Inktober has just a few rules: make a drawing using ink, post it online using the hashtag #inktober and repeat. Each day of the month there are different one-word prompts to inspire artists. Parker encourages artists to participate as much as they can, whether that be every day or just once a week.
Amelia Galloway, a junior in the illustration BFA program, said, “Over the past few years I have very loosely participated in Inktober by posting one or two images over the whole month. This year, I felt like it would be really helpful for me to participate fully with a full-blown story and an illustration every day to improve my online presence and to help me get back to traditional drawing.”
“It’s a workout for my creative muscles,” Abby Staker Graham, a BYU Design student, said. “Inktober pushes me out of my comfort zone. I mostly work digitally, and I like the motivation to work in a different medium.”
Finding time to draw every day can be daunting for any artist, but especially for full-time students. Kommavongsa said, “While it’s a challenge, I see it as a way to also draw for myself. When you have a lot of art classes it can be hard to make time for personal work and you can forget why you started drawing in the first place. Inktober is the perfect excuse to do personal work and experiment.”
The consistency of the Inktober prompts gives students a chance to stretch themselves to draw and create every day. “I think the beauty of Inktober is that it’s scheduled. If anyone is looking to improve their drawing skills, Inktober is a great place to start no matter how artistically competent or incompetent you may think you are,” Galloway said. “The purpose of Inktober is to improve—not to make amazing things every time. The best way to get really good at creating art is by being okay with making a lot of really bad art along the way.”