Illustrators pull out the drawing pens for Inktober

  • Local artists participate in the challenge
  • Inktober seeks to improve inking skills and develop positive drawing habits


The month of October marks that time of the year where artists and everyone is encouraged to pick up a drawing pen in the name of Inktober. Inktober is a month long challenge where creatives produce one ink drawn illustration for each day of the month of October. This is a worldwide creative challenge to inspire daily art making which is posted on social media networks with the hashtag of #Inktober and #inktober2018. Local artists and illustrators have caught the bug and joined in the worldwide challenge posting their daily artworks and doodles online for the next 31 days.
“I simply love this challenge. It started in 2009 where artists, painters and other creatives committed to posting a drawing everyday in the month of October to instill drawing habits. It’s a challenge I have committed to, to sit for an hour each day, draw and post online,” said illustrator and artist, Tebogo Cranwell adding that the challenge is open for everyone and is not a competition.
Cranwell centers her art on feminism and she participated in the Inktober challenge for the first time in 2015. While some artists let their imagination run wild during the 31 day challenge others including Cranwell create themes for their artwork. Her first series of the challenge featured women’s hair, in 2017 she explored a woman’s body language with her black and white drawings and this year she focused on body positivity featuring women’s silhouettes. “I will be participating in this challenge every year because as an artist you get better with more practice. Also, imagine having 31 new pieces you didn’t intend on doing that you can sell or improve later on and have an exhibition,” she said.
However, completing a daily drawing can be a daunting exercise but Cranwell says the challenge is made easy by the fact that the exercise inspires growth and there are thousands of people doing it at the same time. “Inktober is about being consistent and getting better through practice. I am now planning an exhibition by end of November. It has not been finalised yet and full details will be communicated soon,” Cranwell concluded.
Karabo Maine is another artist who has made the challenge look effortless with his artistic doodles online. He started participating in Inktober last year and didn’t go the full 31 days but this year he intends to take the challenge head on. Maine describes his work as portrait art, which centres on faces with a strong black “African” aesthetic. This year Maine’s theme for Inktober is line drawings of faces.
“I draw them quite loose and quickly, which is a departure from my usual super detailed and controlled work. I am less precious with time this time around. I decided to be a part of this year’s challenge because it is essential to draw or create everyday, as an artist. It is a really fun exercise to do everyday, a way to test you if you will,” he said.
Illustrator Jake Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a way to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. The premise is simple, each day in October, artists make a drawing in ink and share it online using the hashtag #Inktober. Starting in 2016, Inktober has had an official prompt list with words to inspire daily routine if an artist runs out of inspiration of what to draw for their daily posts.