Inktober 2017 is a trend gradually taking over Twitter and Instagram feeds this October.
The trend began in 2009 by illustrator and cartoonist Jake Parker, according to his website. Parker said he wanted to develop better skills and habits in his drawing, so he started Inktober as a personal challenge. According to Parker’s website, each day of October one must create an ink drawing and post it online using the #inktober or #inktober2017. Since 2009, people everywhere have started participating in this creative challenge.
Daniel Adams, chairman of the Department of Art and Design, has decided to not only encourage his fine art students to participate in Inktober, but also to grade them on their participation. Adams said to be intentionally creative every day manifests discipline in your practice of fine art professionally.
“That’s what the Inktober thing is about: having a personal project that’s not tied with school things or, if you’re a professional, it’s not work-related. This is for you so that you continue to develop as an artist,” Adams said. “In (my) class, it has everything to do with a grade, but everywhere else it is just developing the discipline to keep doing it.”
Adams does not participate in the prompts given by Inktober but instead has created his own theme that matches the theme of his class at church on Sunday mornings. Each day, his creations are based on scriptures from the New Testament referencing the Holy Spirit.
Junior graphic design major Jake McCoy has followed in his professor’s example and added his own spin to the trend. Having grown up with a passion for music, McCoy said he applies that passion toward each prompt. So far, he said the prompt of “run” for Oct. 11 has been the most difficult. McCoy said that adding limits to his creativity helps him with his inspiration.
“A lot of times what I find is it’s really hard to be creative when you have no boundaries,” McCoy said. “I always try to find ways to integrate music into my art, and this just seemed like a really good opportunity to challenge myself to kind of be able to combine the two.”
Junior Elijah Sheffield has been participating in his own personal version of Inktober since this past summer. Encouraged by an older member of men’s social club Knights Sheffield challenged himself to draw and develop a new character every day for a full year. Sheffield said producing new material every day can be difficult, but he finds inspiration in activities like reading.
“I try to read a little bit every single day and sometimes either imagery used by a really good author or just characters from the books kind of inspire or spark a little train of thought,” Sheffield said. “It’s literally just putting my pen on the paper and just hoping something eventually comes out because, for the most part, it’s really difficult to do it every single day.”