Why I'm Participating in Inktober

I'd always wanted to participate in Jake Parker's challenge/activity but found a way to let it slip by, marveling at others work but not jumping in myself. Last year I jumped in and really grew a lot from the experience even though I only did a few illustrations.

 Inktober, 2016

Inktober, 2016

Last year I went in not just wanting to make some fun stuff along with the rest of the illustration/art world but to accomplish something more tangible; an exploration or a stretching of something atrophied. I decided to work in ink and cut paper, limiting myself to just those two things. I'm a huge Eric Carle fan and really love collage. It was a big part of my work in college (Don't ask, I'm not showing). 

There's a lot of that influence in what I try to do. What happens when I focus on cut edges that are less precise? How does line work to shore that up? Last year's experiments in Inktober left an indelible and outsized mark on my current work. This is very much in line with Mr. Parker's reason for starting Inktober in the first place. He wanted to get better at inking. So what about this year? What rules am I playing by and what's the goal?

My personal 2017 rules for Inktober

  1. Creepy and Cute: Halloween all month? Yep.
  2. 2 Colors: I love color and use it liberally. But I really love limiting myself and playing with overlays and other settings in Photoshop.
  3. 1 Texture: Collage is fun, but what about limiting it to just one random texture file?  
  4. Not ink, but close: I'll try to use my favorite "pencil" in Photoshop with less "command Z" to mimic ink work. (Some folks may say "hey, you're not doing ink drawings!" and that's true. For meeting my goals this year,  I want to focus on the mix of color, texture, and "ink" rather than a strict adherence to just ink. Maybe next year I'll roll with just a nib and a bottle of India ink!)

The goal is to push a melding of styles I've been working in over the past few years into something that really feels right. Oh - and I want to go the full month. You can see all of my 2017 illustrations here or you can root me along on Instagram.