School is kicking into gear now that September is over and in the history books. Many of us are piled high in homework, booked with sports practices, or by now, studying for your first or second exam. It's so easy to get lost in our day-to-day lives. The sudden explosion in busy-work from school can no doubt lead to stress, fatigue, and anxiety; the kind of things we all know do the opposite of helping us in doing well in our classes and work. Luckily, there is a month-long challenge you can participate in to straighten up a little bit called the Inktober Challenge, or simply, Inktober.
Started in 2009 by an artist named Jake Parker, Inktober focuses on our capacity for art on a daily basis. This means you simply just draw something, anything really, for each day of October. If you are already being turned off by the idea, don't fret. Remember that this challenge is for everyone, not just professional artists looking to show-off. Let's take a look at the official Inktober rules according to Jake Parker's Inktober website.
1. Make a drawing in ink
2. Post it online
3. Tag it with #Inktober and #inktober2017
4. Repeat for each day of Inktober
For each instance of Inktober, Jake Parker provides the participants of his version of the challenge with drawing prompts each day. These writing prompts are usually just one word themes your drawing should follow. This helps so that no one has to commit a lot of time deciding what to draw each day. Though, some see it as a challenge to be original with the drawing prompts. In all, there are a lot of things you can do with it. Some examples of writing prompts are words like "swift" and "divided".
The primary objective of this challenge is to improve as an artist over the course of the month, but there are other benefits too. I think of it as a wonderful way to relieve some of that stress and anxiety with a little expression. Think about all of the times you get so fed up with class that you start doodling because, maybe, you're overstimulated with information (or maybe not stimulated enough). Doing that helps you take your mind off of things right? Now imagine a hypothetically stressful class spanning the entire month of October. This class represents your busy life. Wouldn't it help to be able to doodle a bit here and there to get your mind off of things when you get overstimulated by responsibilities? Think of Inktober as a collection of guided and focused doodling sessions. It can really help you stay more focused, think abstractly, and feel happier each day.
Take the time to invest in your mental health by taking breaks from your stressful life. If you don't know where you should start then maybe this challenge is a good thing to try. Even though there are rules to the challenge, nothing is taken away from changing how you go about drawing each day. Perhaps you'd rather not share your drawings on social media. That is perfectly okay. Perhaps you'd rather draw in charcoal or paint instead of use ink. That is also perfectly okay. Perhaps you'd rather come up with your own prompts for what to draw. That is perfectly okay too. A tip I would give is to take a peek at these tags on Instagram or Facebook and see what other people are doing. You'll see that many people doing this challenge aren't the Leonardo Da Vinci you'd think. Do what you need to get the most out of something like this. Who knows...maybe you'll get a little better at art too!