Is Inktober truly dead? Am I late to the party? What’s all this noise and drama?
These were my first thoughts when I started seeing articles and YouTube videos with titles like “Did Jake Parker ruin Inktober,” “Is Inktober cancelled this year?,” and “Jake Parker plagiarised my Book.”
Year after year I’ve been watching other artists and friends post their daily pen and ink doodles for the October challenge known as Inktober, and every year I made a pledge to myself that “next year will be the year I join for sure.” The trouble has always been that October is my busiest month, with all the Halloween content that I produce for my adult coloring following. Ironically, this year being the busiest of them all, I suddenly decided that THIS is finally the year! But lo and behold, what do I find? Controversy! Drama! Noise! Ahhhh….
Wait. Hold on. It’s YouTube. Of course there’s drama.
So, I took a few days and did some reading and watched some videos. And …
I’m not going to go through all the dirt on Jake Parker with you. Sorry. You can find it all on YouTube if you’re into that kind of thing. The truth is, a month ago I didn’t even know who Jake Parker was, and I didn’t care.
Inktober, the event, has been on my radar for years. Jake Parker, the person, has not. I stopped an analyzed all the reasons that I’ve always been excited by this challenge. Have they changed? No.
I still find the concept of a drawing bootcamp extremely appealing. I still want to have the pressure of a deadline and the discomfort of an assigned subject matter to push me to create something out-of-my-comfort-zone. In my experience, all the best art is made under pressure, and with collaboration.
We get cozy and lazy by ourselves. When we’re alone in our studios we draw and paint things that are easy and obvious. We may even think that we’re challenging yourself, but we’re really not.
I truly need an outside force to push me off my balance, and it’s the attempt to get back on my horse that inspires me to create art that is unique and risky, and opens new doors. Maybe not perfect, maybe rushed, but the concepts that pour out of my head when I’m under pressure are way more interesting than the stuff that I come up with when I’m relaxed and stress-free.
That’s just me though. A pressure-driven creative process is not for everyone.
Having determined that my interest in the Inktober drawing challenge has not changed, I asked myself the following questions?
- Am I able to organize a multi-thosand participant event that will challenge me to draw something new every day? No.
- Am I able to simulate such a challenge by myself or with a handfull of friends? Absolutely not.
- Did I care about Jake Parker, his cause, or supporting him in the previous years? No. Inktober has always been its own beast in my mind. To me, Inktober is a game. I love games. Will I stop playing Borderlands if I find out that its creators are involved in some YouTube controversy? Hell no.
- Will NOT doing Inktober improve my art skills? No.
- Will DOING Inktober improve my art skills? Yes.
So, after writing all these thoughts down, I came to a conclusion that I just don’t care about the drama.
I’m going to do Inktober 2020.
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If you’re on the fence about Inktober like I was, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions as well. Your answers may be different, and that’s fine. But whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself, not for Jake Parker, not against Jake Parker, not for Inktober, FOR YOU.
DRAW. GROW. INSPIRE.