Artists of all forms and fashions experience mental blocks in one form or another with their work. Inspiration does not come when convenient, life gets in the way of creating, hobbies and work can sidetrack what one initially intended on creating. It is often helpful to be kept in check when working on a project. Workshops, groups, or simply checking in with fellow artists do wonders for motivation. A widely used tool are prompts that promote daily work to be produced by the artist.

Inktober is a month-long art challenge created by artist Jake Parker. The challenge supplies artists with daily prompts for them to create art of all forms and encourages them to post those drawings online. It occurs yearly from October 1st (which, ideally, would be your first post) and ends on October 31st (ideally your last). The daily work is meant to promote positive art practice and skill.

Inktober.com started supplying prompts to participants in 2016. Before that, people used their own imagination and freeform. Four variations of the October prompt list can be found on the inktober website. These prompts are simply to guide- participating artists can go outside them so long as they are creating every day. The website is available in seven languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Chinese and Japenese.

Initially, the challenge focused on traditional ink drawings but now includes digital, calligraphy, or even creative writing. Artist can use watercolor, or other methods, but are encouraged to stick to simple black ink. This stems from the challenge’s intent of “simplifying your options as an artist and seeing what you can create with a white sheet of paper and black ink,” according to the website’s FAQ page.

The challenge holds artists to a standard by encouraging them to post their work with the universal hash-tag: #inktober or #inktober2019. The website emphasizes that if you cannot do the challenge every day, it does not mean you should not participate. They ask that whatever you try to do be consistent, improve and grow.

Artists sometimes need motivation to grow within their niche. Challenges such as Inktober offer up an invitation to a community that some may have been waiting to sink into. No matter if an artist can participate every day or once a week, participating as a whole can offer them an excuse to work on their craft.