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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author

Show Up: Inktober 2023



Artwork of face
Image credit: Gina Greenlee, Inktober 2023





The pen and ink version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), Inktober was created in 2009 by an artist to challenge and improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

 

“Anyone can do Inktober, just pick up a pen and start drawing,” claims the website.










Ink Artwork
Image credit: Gina Greenlee, Inktober 2023






Before October, I’d been drawing with pen as a new-to-me-artmaking practice. My social media platform of choice is YouTube. For 15 years I’ve discovered artists and art-making processes on this platform and the algorithms never let me down. I see work I like and, more importantly, process I like (easy, simple, no agonizing, just get the hell on with it, organic discovery, happy accidents). Then I follow along.









When YouTube served up an Inktober video in late September, I thought, I’m doing this anyway. Why not make it a daily commitment for the next 31 days and try a new drawing?




Gina Greenlee Artwork
Image credit: Gina Greenlee, Inktober 2023

For me, Inktober is an intentional practice of showing up – of stating and honoring a commitment – to myself. Finished, polished, gallery-bound artwork is not the goal. I feel much better about life when I show up for myself daily. It’s also a play space where I experiment, get messy, let go of adulting and nestle into my brain’s default network, which is a resting, regenerative state. So, when I return to adulting (work, paying bills, otherwise being a responsible, functioning grown-up), I can do so with renewal.



Orange box painting

Gina’s Inktober 2023

I’ve sprinkled portions of my Inktober practice above. More images below. I’ve enjoyed Inktober as a grounding practice, so I’ve kept it up. You’ll see date stamps on some for November and December. Several YouTube tutorials inspired these pen, pencil, and paint drawings from which I learned new techniques from artists worldwide. They kept me virtual company while I played daily with pen and ink. I share links to their YouTube channels at the end of this post:



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Artists I Followed for Inktober 2023…and Beyond



































































































































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