I finished Inktober! I was able to paint 15 different illustrations this month. I’m pretty happy with that! And I think I learned a few valuable things along the way. I thought I would share them with you…
1. It is all about the process.
I think a fantastic plus side to this challenge is that it helped me believe this statement more. A lot of pressure can be on a good end product, and rightly so — I want to produce something skillfull and worthwhile. But so much of achieving that is caring more about the process and leaning into the process. Inktober is about daily practice and I uploaded a new illustration so often that there wasn’t time to fret over a perfect or ideal outcome every time. I had to be in the challenge for the process of learning my strengths and weaknesses. This is a lesson I have been needing to learn…be patient in the process, be patient with growth.
2. Next time I will choose a different, perhaps simpler, theme.
The theme I chose, “things I like about Fall”, ended up being too unspecific. I found myself having a hard time narrowing down my ideas. I also could conceive of big scenes I would have loved to paint as well as small little scenes I would love to paint. Next time I will choose something simpler and smaller so that I can maybe have 31 illustrations by the end of the month. This may have been a case of “biting off more than I could chew.”
3. I need a daily art habit.
October was perhaps one of the most art-productive months I have had in a long time. It helped being held accountable to my word by lovely instagrammers, but I see a huge need to continue in this vein of daily practice. I am normally led more by feelings of inspiration rather than the habit of practicing. And unfortunately feelings of inspiration are not regular enough to be productive in art-producing and practicing.
4. I need to figure out what a sustainable daily art habit will look like in this season.
The one obstacle that will take me more time to figure out is how to better work this into my schedule. Being a stay at home mom, I am the sole care provider for my child from morning until evening. I found it hard to juggle everything on my plate and I didn’t like staying up so late and feeling as if I was neglecting important things for the sake of high output of art. And honestly, I would love to paint during daylight hours. If anyone has tips on how to do art with kids around, I would love it. It feels impossible with an almost 2 year old and soon an infant will be added into the equation. So as wonderful as it was to come away with 15 illustrations, I learned that it may not be a sustainable expectation for every month in this season of my life. And that is okay!
How do you practice daily? How do you make time for it? What are the benefits you have gained from a daily practice? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!
Disclaimer: I know Inktober is defined as all ink drawings every day in October…so technically I didn’t abide by the Inktober rules. However, I think it is really intended to help you create a daily habit. And it certainly helped me do just that. I was excited to redefine it for myself and my purposes.
Hope you all had a wonderful October and are looking forward to these wonderful, cozy, end of the year holidays. I sure am.