Inktober 2019 and artistic musings

While I’ve been quiet on my blog I’ve been posting every day on my Instagram during October for Inktober, a daily drawing challenge. I’ve been following Furry Little Peach‘s prompt list AND, because I am crazy, have been uploading process videos with mini vlogs on my YouTube channel. (I’ve decided to stop though for my sanity… and sleep. Drawing daily is hard enough without trying to film, edit and upload it all too. Maybe will do a wrap up at the end to show the ones I didn’t film.)

I decided to take a limited, multi-media approach to my first Inktober. A few weeks ago I had carved some tiny, random blob shaped stamps to use up some less-than-ideal carving block. So I thought I would base my Inktober drawings around these shapes–my condition was I would incorporate them into the daily prompts. And the format of the entries would be a postage stamp, with the face value representing the day of the month. Here’s a peak at some of my entries thus far:

Day 15 : BOOK
Day 14 : SHELTER
Day 7 : DEER

As you can see, I’ve experimented with a variety of different styles while staying true to my designated supplies of handcarved stamps, colored pencil and ink pens. Through this challenge, I’ve learned (or confirmed, rather) that I’ve got a pretty short artistic attention span. After a week of colored pencils I was itching to try different techniques, and I think it shows across the month.

The lack of coherency across my stamps has actually been a bit of a source of insecurity for me. I’d post whatever I felt compelled to create that day, only to check the hashtag and see so much more amazing, creative and coherent entries by other artists. I know, I know, comparison is the thief of joy, but it feels a little inevitable on social media. I might be satisfied with my little doodle, then I’d see actual, professional artists share their work, and honestly, I’d feel silly and small. All the more so probably because secretly, in my heart of hearts, I’d like to take my art to the next level. I’d like to find my artistic voice and style, create characters, make stationery products… and seeing established artists already doing everything I want to do, and doing it better, felt a bit discouraging at times.

On the other hand, I’ve also met some really cool artists through Instagram and this challenge who have been encouraging, and that’s been really, really nice. My blog friend Sarah over at Secret Art Expedition, has also been a constant companion and cheerleader during in Inktober. Her classic and detailed pen drawings are awesome and inspire me to learn how to actually draw.

On a different note, Furry Little Peach shared a post of her studio space recently, and the natural lighting and big desks are just #goals. In the spirit of recording memories and points and spaces in time, I thought I would share my own workspace.

My veranda

Tada! my workspace. I’ve dedicated this little table for Inktober activities for the month. Since I’ve been trying to film as well, I set up in my veranda (enclosed porch space) to try to glean as much indirect natual light as I can… which is not much since my veranda directly faces another building πŸ™‚

My Inktober materials, self explanatory

Not pictured here is me huddled up in a blanket since I have to open the veranda doors to let light in (the outer doors are frosted glass) and it’s October! Now please excuse me, as I’ve got to draw my prompt for today: FLAME. Have a great day πŸ™‚


  1. Like all artists, you are so hard on yourself. You’re doing great work β€” but more importantly learning and exploring. It’s good to see what others are doing, but you’re living your life!!
    Wishing you lots of creative energy and inspiration for the rest of Inktober (and beyond).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Su. Everything in you comment was spot on and encouraging. And thank you for being a constant source of both beautiful photos and positive energy! I appreciate it a lot and am glad I was led to your blog πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with Su, you’re being too hard on yourself! The BF’s a digital artist and he’s been doing these online courses to work on his techniques. Maybe that’s something in the future to try? I know what you mean about trying to take your stuff to the next level, that’s been my writing this year. The submission process is a long and windy road!

    But I must say I do enjoy your aesthetic. The stamp frame was enough of a unifying theme, and a damn cute one too. Have fun along the way…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Lani, online courses are a great idea, especially for me and my schedule (with frequent travel for work). I have a withering subscription to Skillshare that I am DEFINITELY going to take advantage of once Inktober is done! And good for you for working on your writing this year. I do like reading your take on things on your blog. Are you looking to publish on different platforms, or try different forms of writing?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have always avoided getting my stuff published in literary mags and other pubs, but this year that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to focus on. Through the process I’ve changed directions (what I write), but I wanted the challenge which I think has made me a better writer.

        By the way, I like your desk set up. I had one just like it many years ago. My dream though is to have a standing desk, one of those thingys that can be raised and lowered.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s great! I look forward to reading more from you. (Your post on Asians and self love got my brain percolating and heart reflecting–waiting to comment once I get my thoughts organized!) Yes to the fancy standing desk–my friend has one in his home office and it was so cool. I have a makeshift “standing desk” that I might share later. It’s manual though–not automatic πŸ˜„

        Liked by 2 people

  3. First – you said it yourself: never ever compare yourself to other artists or people in general!! (I know it’s a tough one and I’m guilty of doing it all the time too but I try really hard not to, and sometimes it works. πŸ˜‰) And don’t worry too much about finding your own style or voice – this will come in its own time. Artists in earlier centuries were made to copy hundreds of other drawings and paintings before their masters allowed them to try their own hand and create something new. That’s an important lesson people and artists and teachers are overlooking these days I think in their pursuit of originality. Learning different techniques is important to find your own, trying out every kind of medium too. You’re doing a fantastic job and watching your process has been such a joy in the last months to me. I honestly adore your stamp art – it’s bloody difficult to create something in so small a square of paper! Your drawings have character and something that’s unique to you – there’s no need to feel small at all. Most importantly – just enjoy your artistic journey! If you do that, nothing can go wrong. 😊
    And thanks so much for mentioning me in your beautiful post! πŸ™πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I really really appreciate you taking the time to leave this thoughtful comment, and appreciate you! I don’t know what else to say, other than thank you. And that I’m glad we are friends on our respective art expeditionsπŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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