You may have seen on my social media that I'm taking part in something called Inktober. It's a drawing challenge set up by US illustrator Jake Parker. Not just any old drawing challenge - you have to use ink. Having recently started creating comics in papercut silhouette form, it felt right to try the traditional comic book ink style too.
Actually, let me go backwards a bit...I have been feeling of late that I'm scared of drawing. I know I draw all the time and this may not make much sense but I see what I do when I create papercuts as designing. I'm fitting words into shapes and finding a simple silhouette which will describe everything. Ask me to just draw what I can see in front of me, or to draw something with detail and I feel a bit of a failure and get a bit panicky - so I don't do it. Until recently, I hadn't just sat and drawn since I was at school. Crazy for an artist right!
So, I chatted with my pal El (always my inspiration) and she leant me a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (fascinating stuff about how and what our left and right brains control). I felt I needed to go back to the drawing board and learn to draw and access all that right brain creativity. Turns out it was there all the time, it just needed to be used (with no pressure).
That's where Jake Parker came in. He has some great advice in his videos - about starting drawing as a habit, practicing, getting inspiration and getting over creative blocks and more. He also suggested a drawing challenge as a way to do this. To get into the routine of drawing everyday. I've drawn in ink before - a whole heap of black fineliner work from school, uni and presents I've made - but there's this other me in an alternative universe who's a super amazing illustrator, creating beautiful inky artwork. So I'm practicing at being her for a while. I bought myself a brush pen (my own inktober stipulation) and I can't tell you how much I love it. And so far I'm sticking to the challenge (I've got to keep it going while I'm on holiday too). I have a LOT to learn and lots to improve but that's the whole point of this. If I'd have got off my butt years ago and done this I could have had my alternate me already. In my fatalistic way though this is how it's meant to be and it's happening when it can and should.
The above images are my first 3 days of inktober - you have to post an inked piece everyday with the #inktober and #inktober2016 hashtags. Day 1 and 2 were inspired by a story I was given to possibly illustrate and Day 3 is me copying a piece by Brittney Lee (@britsketch - another US artist who's wonderful) that's in my living room.
Thank you for reading x