The Inktober 2016 Experience

Have you ever had that moment where you just want to draw something and see what happens? Maybe, you’ve been thinking creatively, but just haven’t picked up that pencil in a while to actually draw. That’s how I was feeling in September, and I wanted that to change.

Since graduating from college, I felt like I was trapped in some kind of artistic box. I had so many ideas just waiting to burst out and onto the paper, or the canvas, or whatever material it wanted to go on, but it just wasn’t happening. Stress, laziness, procrastination, worries about the future…it was all holding me back from doing art. I wanted to draw more, but just got so overwhelmed by the idea. Then, a close friend of mine suggested that we try doing Inktober together. Inktober? What? What does that even mean. Well let me tell you, Inktober might have changed my life.

So what is Inktober anyways? It was started in 2009 by this amazing creative, Mr Jake Parker. He wanted to get back in touch with the ink medium and practice his drawing skills, so he decided to do one ink drawing a day for the entire month of October. 7 years later, Inktober has turned into a worldwide sensation, with over 3 million tagged posts on Instagram alone. You can use any kind of ink, digital or traditional (brush, pen etc…), but the goal is to practice using one main medium.

I was so ready for this. I went to a couple art stores in Manhattan, got some good quality materials off of Amazon, and was excited beyond belief. You can learn more about the materials I bought in my post Beginner’s Tips: Inking on a Budget. I took Yuko Shimizu’s mini ink mastering class on Skillshare (she is probably my favorite ink artist of all time), and patiently waited for October to begin.

The first day was LONG. I realized that it had been years since I touched the ink and brush medium (literally years), and it took a few hours for me to get a handle of it again. I was using some student quality watercolor brushes and good ol’ Dr. Ph Martin’s India ink. I started the piece at around 2 P.M. (14:00), and a few meals and distractions later, finished at around 1 A.M. (01:00).


Day 1 by Debuccino

The first week was amazing. By the fifth day I was getting better at using the brushes, so my ideas became a bit bolder. I tried added some watercolor on the second day, but realized I wanted to focus mainly in black and white (maybe I’ll spend a month working on watercolors) The seventh day is one of my favorite pieces, and opened the doors to more 3D/experimental works.

Day 2, Day 5 and Day 7 (Left to Right) by Debuccino

The second week was detail heavy. I’ve always loved adding small details to my work that no one will ever see, especially when it comes to clothing and fashion. I think I like to do this because it makes the piece feel more realistic. Regardless, I became so enamored with adding details, that I would so much extra time adding them in during week two. Day 9 I put so much detailing into the clothes, and Day 11 I spent so long daintily coloring in the background tiles. Day 13 was rough but rewarding. I made tiny stars by drawing small circles (yes each white “star” or dot is a circle that I drew).

Day 9, Day 11 and Day 13 (Left to Right) by Debuccino

Weeks 3 & 4 were idea driven. I had been uploading my art for a while now, and I felt more comfortable with the idea of having my piece be “finished not perfect.” I was okay with the white space on my paper, and did not have to spend endless hours on repetitive patterns for aesthetically pleasing purposes. Instead I was able to focus more on the meanings behind the works. I played with ideas that stemmed from amazing individuals such as M.C. Escher, current events, or societal issues.

Day 14, Day 17 and Day 18 (Left to Right) by Debuccino

I did struggle during the final two weeks with drawing every day. It was more taxing on the brain that I imagined it to be, and there would be some days where I would draw absolutely nothing, and others where I would pump out three pieces in a few hours. Both situations challenged me in new ways.

I think the piece I was most disappointed with was Day 8. I had a vision (inspired by Yuko Shimizu) of a rocket with really detailed smoke coming out, but a few too many applications of ink blended the smoke with the background. It has a unique feel and I learned a lot about texture from it, but if I had the time I would definitely redo this piece because it has so much potential.


Day 8 by Debuccino

Today was the final day. I did both Day 30 and 31 today, and it felt so great. It was such an accomplishment. My stepdad has been cheering me and my sister on everyday with good morning signs (every day he writes day __ of Inktober and day __ of school for my sister) I love him and my family so much!

Day 23, Day 30   (Top, Bottom) and Day 28 (Right) by Debuccino

Looking back at this past month, I have grown so much more as an artist. I was able to create pieces from ideas that have been floating around in my head for years. And the support from all of the people I care about was so motivating. Thank you all, I could not have pull through and finished this without the constant encouragement from everyone around me J. I learned a lot about myself, my artistic process, and also I rediscovered why I love creating art so much. This was a difficult, but extremely rewarding month!


Day 31 by Debuccino

You can take a look at all of my #Inktober2016 on my instagram @debuccinoart . Cheers to all of us who participated in Inktober, even if it was only for a few days, congratulations! We did something! We put our ideas on paper, and improved our skills over a short amount of time. Be proud of your accomplishments, this was an amazing year for Inktober!

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