“We become what we repeatedly do.”
– Sean Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Inktober is an annual online event where in several artists participate in in the month of October. The challenge is to create an inked artwork, drawing, and or sketch everyday for 31 days straight. I was glad that I was able to participate this year and let me tell you, it is a fun and addictive practice with tons of benefits in the end.
The First Challenge: Time
The challenging part for me was finding the time to sketch. I thought to myself what if I was out the whole day, or what if I was too busy to squeeze one in? I told myself I had to make sure I do them, no excuses, I had to find a solution.
At first I would set an alarm to remind myself to draw something. This was effective because there’s no snooze button on this one, I have to get up, go to my desk, open my sketchbook and doodle away.
This went on for the first week, but later on I started sketching even before my alarm would set off. I would have this knock on my head in an instant whenever I’m idle saying “Hey, why not sketch right now?” And that made things easier, I found myself making time to do my doodles. It started to feel more natural to me to make one a day. Even when I come home late, I would see my desk and realize that 10 minutes of doodling isn’t so bad before I call it a night.
The Second Challenge: Ideas
There were days wherein the idea pops in my head, no problem. But then, there are days where I’m just sitting on my desk or wherever and I’m just staring, just staring, staring, still staring, drumming with my pen, staring, what time is it anyway, staring– I think I made my point clear.
My solution for this was making a list ahead of time with ideas, so whenever I was in a blank I could just look through it and pick one I wanted to draw. It could go as random as Pockets which will lead to another idea and another until I’m satisfied with the concept. An example of this is the Idea Gun doodle which came from my list, it started out as “Lightbulbs.”
Sometimes ideas come from other people as well, an example of this was from my friend and former powerlifter teammate, Mark. Mark had an idea for me and told me as a request, he said, “The Hulk doing squats.” This was a great idea! It was funny and witty, and I have missed competing so this was a joy to make.
Another one was sketching a moment or an event. I just finished watching The Martian one day, I loved the movie! I wanted to draw it, but what would be happening in the doodle? I ended up going for my favorite aspect of the movie which was how he survived by planting potatoes on Mars. (He was the greatest botanist in the planet, Captain Blonde Beard Space Pirate)
“The best kind of happiness is a habit you’re passionate about.”
-Shannon L. Alder
Final Thoughts: Practice, practice, practice
You don’t have to wait for next year to do this practice, for every month you can challenge yourself into coming up with ideas and practicing everyday! And I’m planning to do this again soon. Maybe on the start of 2016 I’ll post monthly challenges, so stick around!
All in all this was a fun experience, a great practice, and the result is a habit worth having.