This year I participated in Inktober 2016, a nationwide event started by Jake Parker. Inktober is an event where artists post a daily ink drawing each day of the month (check out the link at the end of my article for more information). I wanted to begin producing book artwork again having focused so much on marketing and book signings in August and September.
Having just released my first children’s book in August, Coco Wants a Burger, Inktober was the push I needed to get started on fresh book artwork. Working within a new medium was important to me so I decided that every Inktober post would include book artwork that was done digitally. Digital artwork in Photoshop using the Wacom Intuos is tricky because making marks with a digital pen is a completely different experience than with pen and paper. I met the challenge to create digital artwork and close the quality gap between my digital and physical artwork.
After the first few days of excitement the process became really hard. With each post taking 3-4 hours to produce and my only window to create being nights and weekends I had to get creative. I began sketching over my lunch at work so that after dinner, when I started drawing, the artwork was already sketched out and ready to bring into Photoshop. I stopped using a scanner to speed my process up. My iPhone did a good job of capturing the sketch and sending it to my laptop in order to create the final book artwork. Beyond the time restraints it was laughably difficult to begin learning how to do quality ink lines in Photoshop. I was literally laughing out loud at my computer at how wobbly my lines were, it felt like learning how to draw with my left hand!
The outcome of pushing through and posting all 31 Inktober drawings was that my digital inking game became strong. The other big change I noticed was that my routine of producing book artwork each day was restored. Book artwork is super fun and rewarding to create but the process takes patience. That patience builds up like a muscle and Inktober got me in shape.
I loved the whole process so much that I made up my own challenge for November called No Slack November! I even made a logo for it. Same constraints, a substantial piece of book artwork posted each day. Once again the work must be done digitally, besides the initial sketch (even though I do that digitally at times too). This is in full swing and I am having a lot of fun with it!
If you want to learn more about working digitally, producing daily artwork for an online audience, or anything else you can think of please get in touch!
Inktober Information: http://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-blogs/drawing-inktober-2016
Why Inktober may be something good for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6JQHYHz2bI