By CLARISSA LOI PUI LING
Although October reigns as the month of spooky shenanigans, one month-long event in particular have artists and creative enthusiasts alike cracking their heads to ‘ink’ of something.
InkTober is an art challenge created by illustrator Jake Parker in 2009, which started off as a simple way to cultivate positive drawing habits which grew to become one of the most prolific annual art challenges that provoked the universal collaboration and curation of artworks through social media.
The four rules to InkTober is self-explanatory:
- Make a drawing in ink
- Post it online
- Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2016
- Repeat for 31 days!
InkTober’s burgeoning prominence among art communities and beyond has signalled an art revolution that is encouraging everyone, even Malaysians, to jump onto this bandwagon. Regardless of their artistic skills, even those who are new and unacquainted with the local art scene and the challenge itself can get their juices flowing with the mutual support from the community.
- It’s All About The Ink- couragement
In 2015, a joint venture by several local comic communities led to the inception of an official InkTober Malaysia that received the green light from Jake Parker himself, with Comicore Club and Sketches.my being the driving forces behind this year’s InkTober Malaysia.
“We want to promote the art of manual art tools, especially using ink – it’s all about the fun and passion on drawing and comics,” explained President of Comicore Club and Member of InkTober Malaysia Committee, Mior Azhar Mior Said.
“We also wanted to make the InkTober Malaysia community as on par with the other participating countries like Indonesia Inktober, UK Inktober, and France Inktober,” he added.
InkTober’s participants are as diverse as they come, and regardless of one’s expertise in the arts, anyone with a genuine interest in the challenge along with a working Internet connection is welcome to the InkTober community.
“Art has become more relaxed and spontaneous, and it’s a far cry from how tense art was like 20 years ago. Hence, people are becoming more comfortable in expressing themselves, and that’s why InkTober is a good platform to express our inner thoughts and emotions,” said Taylor’s Design School lecturer, Redzwan Hisham.
The artist behind the Instagram art account @pottetto, Fiona Yap, credits an open reception to the workings of the creative world as to why more individuals are getting ink-spired by InkTober.
“Creative online platforms like YouTube and Instagram are enabling people to put their creativity out there. When there’s a trend going on, it influences everyone to do it as well and it’s never bad to follow trends as long as they’re enjoying themselves,” comments Fiona.
Redzwan Hisham paints some of his go-to art tools. | Photo credit: Redzwan Hisham
- The Motivation To Be Ink-spired
The principle of 10,000-hours of deliberate practice may not be the true path of total mastery, but one of the key rules of InkTober lies in daily practice and postings throughout the month. Despite it’s simple premise, it does present itself as a great personal trial to some tackling InkTober as other life commitments may overwhelm their days.
“There’s the pressure of making it to the end! I’ve tried participating for 3 years and never once made it to Day 31,” reveals Fiona.
“It’s usually because I take a long time to flesh my idea out and because I’m a perfectionist when it comes to art. Perhaps I’ll break the chain in 2016,” she added.
Overthinking is often attributed as the biggest hindrance to the creative process, but InkTober encourages artists to draw with a fluid hand and a free mind, thus helping artists to develop a positive mindset and even a drawing routine when it comes to their art.
“InkTober makes me work with both my hand and mind; rather than thinking too much about it. Don’t think too much and just do it, as ideas will come as you go along. Remember, you are doing it for yourself and not to impress others,” advised Redzwan.
Despite it being a daily challenge, one should not be deterred if they happen to miss a couple of InkTober days.
“If you’re feeling unsure or not confident enough to join InkTober – just do it! It’s a month for practice and creating, so please don’t be afraid. It’s never too late to join,” said Fiona.
InkTober presents a brilliant opportunity for those interested in the arts to tap into their creative sides and dabble with art at little expense. With a Drink and Draw session of InkTober and an InkTober Malaysia art exhibition in Perak and Klang Valley in the works, it will be exciting to see how the local art communities grow into greater things from here.
For more information on InkTober and InkTober Malaysia, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/inktobermalaysia/?fref=ts .