The aftermath of Inktober 2018

Game over, man. Game over.

Inktober is finished, and here is my final piece:

Day 30: Jolt

Inktober 2018 - jolt

It was almost Halloween, so Frankenstein’s monster seemed like a solid subject. I’m really satisfied with the way this one turned out, although at the time, I regretted going in on the Kirby dots, because that is some time consuming work.

A final thought

Something which I forget is that “Inktober is a month long art challenge”, with the emphasis on that last word: challenge. And frankly, after week three, it was a challenge that I wasn’t sure I was going to complete. But I did manage to complete it, and on a fairly positive note, which was nice. But it was challenging. Between the day job and life in general, time is always tight. Plus, given my relatively slow pace when working, it was a real challenge to find the time. But find the time I did, and the experience of doing Inktober, even if it was the half marathon, is something which I think has made me a better artist, but not completely in the way I expected.

“When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

Far more intelligent people than me have said it, but time is one of the most important parts of creativity – time to practice, time to produce, time to fail, time to try again, time to recharge your creative batteries, time, time, time. But time, unless you have access to a time machine or the Speed Force™, is a zero-sum game. When I’m not working on a commission or design project, I have a bad habit of wanting to just relax. And don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t love making art, but, frankly, certain parts of life really sap my energy and so after a tough day or week, I generally feel like I don’t have anything left to spend on creative endevours. And make no mistake: being creative is fulfilling, but it is taxing. I’m sure there’s some neuroscience out there to back this up. And if there isn’t, there should be damn it. Anyway, this was my big revelation:

Tough shit, soldier.

This is not a profound thought. When you have to work, you work – simple. But like many simple things, simple does not mean easy. So Inktober was a reinforcement of this principle for me. And sure, I think some of my technical skills improved (incrementally), but the real benefit of Inktober was reminding me that yes, I do have the energy reserves, time management skills, and self-discipline to produce art even with the rest of life happening.

The blog Dear Art Director has a fantasic article about being creative when you have low energy, which I initially read a few years ago, but I obviously never absorbed until now, so thanks, Inktober!

Next year?

If you asked me right now, “Hey, Rob – are you going to do Inktober 2019?”, I’d say, “How did you get in my apartment?” But after we established you had no nefarious purposes, I’d say, “No.”

I’m glad I did it, but right now, I’m burnt out on Inktober. Of course, it just finished a few days ago, so I may very well change my mind. If I do decide to do 2019, I might be a little less strict on the prompts, or even ignore them altogether: a drew a blank on a few of the prompts, and those were the days which were the most stressful. And one of my goals, to push my drawing beyond my usual fare (i.e. comic book / fantasy / sci-fi stuff), is something that never materialized, so it would be good to move in that direction.

So, I’m not doing Inktober next year. Maybe. Or I might. I dunno. I’ve got about eleven months to decide, and it’s dinner time now, so I’ll deal with it much later.

Copyright © 2018-2021 Rob Hori. All rights reserved.