Sometime early this year, I’ve made my decision. This is the year.
I was gonna participate in Inktober.
Now for those who don’t know, Inktober is basically a month-long challenge to draw something with ink for the entire month of October. A lot of the people in the art community participate in this but basically anyone who likes to draw and wants to improve their inking skills are open to participate.
A part of me was excited and determined and all sorts of giddy. But a huge part of me was also skeptical. The moment I made that decision, I’m pretty sure that huge part of me turned around to look at that tiny, energetic, always-quits-halfway part of me thinking, “…Can she even do it?”
Folks, I admit, even I had doubts I could do it. I’m not proud to say that I’ve had a preeetty long track record of endeavors that I started but never finished. *cough*like Friday Fangirling*cough*
But guess what?
I DID IT. I-freakin-did it! I finished Inktober!
It was quite the exhausting month for sure. But more than that, I enjoyed it so so much! And like any experience that I have, I’ve got some great takeaways from participating.
No one’s Putting Any Pressure on You
That is, no one… except you.
Classic case, isn’t it?
No one was pressuring me to do Inktober every day (although that’s ideal) or to follow the official prompt or to just use ink or whatever. But going through it, I felt like I should do all these things. I felt like I should follow the official prompt or some other prompts, which I did. I actually used four prompts for my Inktober. Four. (I know, I know. Why am I so extra?)
The thing is, this self-inflicted pressure has brought me more stress than Inktober should have brought. And that’s not what the challenge was all about! Sometimes I could get so caught up in the little details and I go down the Everything Has to Be Perfect Rabbit Hole™ and it is so hard to get out. But sometime in the middle of the month, I just decided:
“Screw it. I’ll finish this. But I’m finishing it on my own terms. I want to enjoy this and that’s what I’m gonna do.”
And you know what? That was all the permission I needed. There were days when I don’t have any inspiration to draw or I’m not motivated. I would have to push myself a little bit to catch up on the days I missed but that’s okay! Because I’m having fun. Which brings me to the other takeaway…
Remember to Have Fun!
Inktober was a wonderful platform for me to improve on and get to know my art. There were quick doodles, there were drawings I didn’t like and there were those that I absolutely loved.
And those times I was by my desk, concentrating on every curves and strokes and line? When I was completely present in what I was doing? They were the best part of this whole experience.
These are my top five favorites because I did something new in each of them and that was fun! 😀
PS: I also updated my Portfolio page to add two of these.
I learned so much on where I want my art to go. But also, taking some time in my day to just sit down and draw was… kinda therapeutic.
What I’m trying to say here is: monthly challenges usually have two objectives.
- To push you into doing something now
- To have fun while doing it
And we often forget that second one because we’re too caught up trying to achieve the first. So please remember to have fun, okay? <3
There are several more monthly challenges in the next two months before we say goodbye to 2017. There’s the famous NaNoWriMo, the not-so-famous NaBloPoMo… I think there was another art-related Na-Mo for November as well but I forgot what it was hehe
There’s also Blogmas for December! And if you’re participating on any of these, allow me to impart on you some friendly reminders:
<3 No one’s pressuring you to do anything in any particular way. You do you and you do that challenge on your own terms 🙂
<3 Find a challenge buddy! It makes the whole challenge experience easier to endure 🙂 Oh, by the way! Shan from Going with Happy has made an accountability group chat on Twitter for those who’s doing NaNoWriMo.
<3 Don’t be afraid to reach out to people if or when you feel burnt out. My inbox is always open, okay? ALWAYS. And I will shower you with encouragements and happy gifs and battery-recharging words (Because you TOTALLY deserve it.)
<3 Have fun! Because it’s going to be stressful, no doubt, but there are always something fun to experience in monthly challenges! 🙂
I wish anyone participating on a November monthly challenge the best of luck!
You got this. I believe in you <3
Are you participating on any monthly challenge this month? How about in December? Is anyone even planning their Blogmas posts already? Whatever you’ve got planned, I’m cheering on for you!! Whoop whoop!