To many people, October signifies beer and costume parties. But for painters and cartoonists, it’s an intensive month where you dedicate yourself to a grand challenge of creating a drawing a day throughout the month in 31 different themes. In Dongguan, a WeChat group was founded to gather a bunch of local and regional drawing enthusiasts and share their InkTober drawings.
When the founder, illustrator and cartoonist, Jake Parker from the US, set himself up with this personal mission in 2009, he merely wanted to improve his cartoon inking skills. In order to make it more substantial, Jake published his works everyday. Soon, more and more artists followed. By 2012, InkTober had become a worldwide art challenge and celebration, with millions of participants each year.
“This challenge is about ink. It’s like comics, you draw with a pen and over it you have to put the ink. Normally it’s very careful and precise work to ink it,” said Antoine “ChN1” Ravnich, illustrator and the founder of the INK’tober 2016 edition WeChat group.
Everyone can do this challenge; there are only four rules: make an ink drawing, post it online, hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober 2016 and repeat. To commit to drawing something creative everyday between all the daily work and obligations is quite a task. That’s the purpose of the WeChat group that Antoine set up.
“The moment you join the group to do the challenge, you can expect a bit of pressure because I’m putting myself through this to make one drawing everyday. Besides work, the kids and all the other things I have to do, I’m trying to draw everyday for one month in a year,” said Antoine. “I’m a bit pushier in this than I am in the other one because people are signed up. Yes, I want to do this challenge. If they want to do, they have to do it. It’s a commitment.”
Grace Law, who participated in the challenge for the second time, has been enjoying this year’s daily prompt list. “It’s really fun to see how different people can think about the same word and come up with something really fun,” she said. “And you can see people’s personality in their drawings and you can tell the differences in culture… I’m always curious about how the same word is interpreted differently by people from other countries and how they make something good, interesting and creative with it.”