What I've Been Working On (October 2019)
by Anne Kostecki
(Spoiler alert: it's mostly Inktober.)
It's October - one of my favorite times of year. I love the mild weather, the overcast days, and the deep sense of foreboding before Halloween. Well, I get a sense of foreboding, usually because I haven't picked out a costume or figured out what I want to do for Halloween. It's a little more complicated now that I have a little one - she's too young for candy, but I want her to go trick-or-treating, but we definitely don't need more candy between my husband and I. We've decided to stay home and dress up and hand candy out to the neighborhood kids. We are curious how many we will get, since the weather is supposed to be cold and possibly even snowy!
For those of you who are unfamiliar, October is Inktober month. Inktober is a month-long art challenge on Instagram to create an ink-based (or ink-inspired, or even ink-adjacent) piece every single day. Jake Parker, the creator, has a prompt list of 31 random words he publishes about a month ahead of time, or, many other artists and makers create their own prompt lists, or don't use prompts at all.
I started ahead of time in September by studying the prompt list and planning what I wanted to draw. Some of the words I loved, but some of them forced me to stop and think about the prompts in different ways. For instance, the word "ride," could have gone a number of ways - a horse, a car, or I could go crazy and draw a theme park ride, which I did. And, I ran out of time to ink it, so I had to just go with the pencil version. But I liked the result so much, I have some ideas about future interpretations of favorite vacation spots or Walt Disney World attractions or something. There's a lot of potential there. One of the words I wasn't particularly feeling - "mindless - only made me think of zombies for a while. Then, I thought, which creatures function without brains? Jellyfish. And they are very fun to draw.
I use Inktober as a way to explore different subjects, styles, themes, and interpretations. My Instagram feed is filled with lots of different types of drawings: watercolor and ink, colored pencil and ink, stippling, line work only, mechanical pencil and ink, representational work, symbolic work, figures, lettering, and so on. I believe in the last month, I've gained a lot of strength just in sketching quickly and more accurately. There has been a noticeable decrease in the amount of time it takes me to finish a pencil sketch and lay the ink down. And, I've gotten a lot more comfortable trying new things and changing the order of how I do things (pencil, ink, watercolor, colored pencil, in differing orders). Best of all, I think I have some work that I can capitalize on in the future - either by selling originals, making prints, making temporary tattoos, notebooks, shirts, or something. I love hearing about how people respond to certain pieces and hear why it speaks to them.
As you can see, all of my work ran the gamut this month. I'd love to hear what you think! Visit my Instagram profile and let me know which one is your favorite in the comments! What do you think worked well, and what didn't? What should I do in the future? I'm happy to hear any feedback. I love starting a conversation with all of these ink drawings.
And so with that, October is over, but not before I can say Happy Halloween! I celebrate most holidays by watching favorite movies. I have a set of movies I like to watch every October: Interview With The Vampire, The Crow, 28 Days Later, and Hocus Pocus! I've only watched half of them, so I will try and watch the other half today.