Artists spark creativity through month-long social media challenge

Meghan Dincler | Online Editor

Senior Kathryn Gross has plans to create art for all 31 days of the Inktober challenge

Pen touches paper, creating a permanent line. 

Artists spend hours planning one stroke, sketching and erasing over and over– but that all goes out the window when Inktober rolls around. 

Inktober is an event that artists around the world participate in, frequently through social media. Lists are created of single word or single phrase prompts, and people use those to create a daily art piece and share it with others doing the challenge. The event was originally created by animator and children’s book illustrator Jake Parker, but it has become so widespread that many artists create their own lists for others to save and use. What makes the event so unique is that there are no erasers allowed; the artists are only able to work in permanent mediums, such as pen or paint. 

Senior Kathryn Gross is participating in Inktober this year, attempting to complete the month-long challenge after participating in it sporadically for the past few years. She said it helps her branch out and explore new styles that she wouldn’t normally try, and improve her art day-to-day. “Inktober helps me work out of my comfort zone,” Gross said. 

Junior Meriele Green is another artist walking the halls of MHS who shares her Inktober art on social media. Green said she enjoys the creative freedom that Inktober brings and loves being able to just sit down and create something new. 

“[Inktober] forces you to find ways to use the prompts in a way that fits your art style.” Green said.

Though the challenge is fun, Green and Gross still admit that it is sometimes difficult to not be able to erase or sketch anything. They both spoke about often feeling a sense of perfectionism towards their art, and scrutinizing every tiny detail and mistake. However, Inktober has allowed the artists to find new ways to attempt to overcome that struggle and try to let go of being perfect.

Gross testified that she is often a perfectionist when it comes to her art, and that doing the challenge has not only improved her skills but also shown her the importance of taking the time to think about what she’s doing before putting in on the page.

“I unfortunately am never satisfied with what I make because I’m always seeing the flaws.” Gross said, “However, with Inktober, I don’t have the time to be perfect — I’m just trying to just draw in the time I have. Working with permanent mediums allows me to work on creating the best lines possible on the first try.”

Green seconded the notion that all artists tend to be nitpicky with their work, especially if that work is being shared on social media for hundreds of people to see. But even with the doubt, she finds ways to learn from her mistakes during Inktober and improving it to the best of her ability. 

“Everyone finds more flaws in their own work than anyone else’s.” Green said, “Most artists have an amplified sense of [perfectionism] because so many people [can] see their work. Working with permanent mediums just makes you find ways of utilizing a mistake instead of letting it get you down.”

The main purpose of Inktober is to help artists harness their creativity and think outside of the box. Gross said she has used this challenge to push her abilities, and even attempt new art styles in order to improve her skill.

“The challenge helps my creativity flow, and the prompts challenge me to think outside of my comfort zone,” Gross said. “Inktober [is] pushing me to create art every day and make the time to do it. Since I’m creating a little every day, I’m slowly improving.”