Artwork by Superdoofus

With October upon us in a couple of days time, that means only one thing and one thing only; Inktober!

Created in 2009, Inktober is a 31-day challenge started off by artist Jake Parker to push artists and doodlers to create artworks via ink drawings for an entire month.

Typically, Jake provides daily prompts for all 31 days. Here’s 2017’s:

But ofcourse, these prompts are not necessary to follow and we’ve seen many artists in the past who turned the challenge into a personal one with some even having their own themes.

And yes, there have been many artists who were unable to complete the challenge. If you fall under this category, this post is just for you!

We managed to get some tips from seasoned Inktober artists and here are some good pointers they shared with us!

Plan in advance, have a theme

For Inktober 2016, Adi‘s theme was Alpha-Bestiary” where he drew mythical creatures representing an alphabet. This year he is paying homage to the late Terry Pratchett.

For last year’s Inktober, artist AdiFitri Ahmad had planned ahead on what he was to draw for each day in October. Infact, the 37-year-old suggests that you should come up with your own prompt or theme before Inktober comes to make things easier.

“Half the difficulty in doing Inktober is trying to think of “what to draw today?”” he says. However, he also cautions that new artists shouldn’t be overly ambitious.

“You don’t need to fill the whole paper with detailed ink drawings. That can easily burn you out before the month is over.”

Leia and Luke by Adi

To save even more time, Nurul Iliana suggests to sketch ahead before the challenge begins. But ofcourse, getting all the necessary tools (inks, papers, paints) beforehand is crucial.

“To save time maybe prepare thumbnails, a rough idea or even a sketch – as many as you can – and ink them when the challenge starts!”

Having a theme also helps having a coherent Inktober collection, according to Aaron Chew. Aaron created amazing artworks using coffee last year.

Try a new tool, make mistakes

Joshua Chung is always open to experimentation.

Inktober is the perfect excuse for you to try out the set of gouache paint lying on your shelf and make as many mistakes as you can.

By the end of the 31 days, you would learn a thing or two (or perhaps more) about the medium that you’ve been using for four-weeks, artist Joshua Chung says.

He will be experimenting with his G-Nib pen which had been collecting dust at his art station for months.

Stay simple, be inspired

One of Adel Shat‘s favorite artwork. It’s titled, ‘Audrey Wanna Be’

Adel Shat believes in simplicity and she recommends those new to Inktober to start simple.

“For a start, try a simple drawing or doodle to keep up. Be inspired and join the fun. I’m sure the newbies are very much creative and talented!” she says.

Aaron on the other hand suggests that having a fixed paper size helps to estimate the amount of time needed to complete a piece. “Finishing a piece is more important than making it perfect.”

Following other artists and researching their techniques can also help you stay inspired. Here’s a lovely list of artists you can follow for Inktober.

Discipline, discipline, discipline

Gahhh my least favorite word!

A good trait every artist must have is discipline and Arif Rafhan Othman aka Superdoofus is the very embodiment of this (bloody) word.

The 40-year-old wakes up at 5am every day, sends his daughter to school, sits in a restaurant or cafe and begins his routine; inking, sketching and painting. By noon, he is still at it, taking a lunch break after fetching his little girl back from school. He also takes breaks in between the day by helping his wife at home, putting the kids to bed and yet, at 12am, he is still at his desk doing what he does best. No wonder his artworks are so terrer!

There is no special secret to what he does. It’s all hard work and discipline. “Set a drawing time,” Arif says.

It’s all about discipline and improving your skills. If some days you have more time, do a few, if not enough time, catch up the undone sketches so you’ll not lag behind,” he says, adding that you got to finish what you’ve started. 

“It doesn’t matter if the sketch is not according to your liking or standard. Do not procastinate.”

Butttt have fun! No pressure!

Part of his personal project, Munif Malek has been busying himself turning people into Pokemon. Check out more of his Pokemon inspired work here!

Munif Malek on the other hand feels that many artists pressure themselves to produce “Picasso like” artworks throughout the 31 days.

“In the end that’s why many just end up not completing it. I think at the gist of it Inktober is actually an exercise and not a competition of invention. A training of sorts, to sharpen your skills via repetition,” the artist who is a full time architect says.

“So go on and create a masterpiece if you have to. But even if you are uninspired, just draw what you see. Once we’ve set our mind that Inktober is training, we are left with little excuse to not complete the whole thing.”

We hope the pointers above help you! These amazing artists are part of the Doodle Malaysia – Do you doodle? Facebook group. It’s an ever growing collective of Malaysian artists who share and discuss their works. They’re a fun bunch to be with so be sure to join the community! Also, if you would love to share some of your artworks throughout Inktober onto Eksentrika’s Art of the Day, email us at editors@eksentrika.com or simply tag us on any of the social media platforms @eksentrika