Inktober 2017 Wrap Up

In a year full of monthly challenges to help, Inktober was probably the most fun and the most illuminating.  I learned so much about myself as an illustrator, that I thought I would take a moment to share with you my biggest takeaways from year’s Inktober challenge.  ((Read my “Half Way” post here))

I picked two subjects – Mandalas and Costume Illustration

Early in the month, I decided instead of doing the prompts, I would flip-flop between costume sketches and mandalas.  I’m in the final stages of completion of my next book, Color Theory with Pencils & Mandala.  This is the next entry into the “Workshop in a Book” series where I share how to select colors for costumes.  Understanding how colors work helps new designers as the experiment and play.  Using colored pencils and this affordable coloring book to learn how the color wheel works as a tool to identify color harmonies.  When October started, I needed just a few more images to round out the book.  This Inktober 2017 doodle wound up in the book on page 81.  (Of course, if you want to give it a go, just print it out and color it!)

The Costume Illustrations were Not Quite as Successful

On the costume illustration side of things, I was quite frankly, shocked and saddened that I had let my illustration skills slip so badly! I had to really think about the last time I had sat down to seriously sketch costumes, develop new croquis, or even drawn a bunch of flats.  The dark realization was that it had been an age.  I learned that in addition to my pens running dry, I had lost some of my hand-eye connection.  I had run dry too!   What an eye-opening moment.  

Inktober Rebooted My Drawing Habit

Along with the realization that my drawing skills had decayed, I noticed that I was gaining the skills back more quickly with the daily drawing.  So I’ve committed to making November a month of costume sketching in one of my old Bianfang Note Sketch notebook.  I’m taking the same chunk of time that I devoted to an Inktober drawing each day to fill up this notebook.  Oh – and as you can see by the sad drawing above, bottom left, I really need to invest in new markers, that streakiness is caused by a lack of solvent.  Bottom line, I need to invest time to get my drawing mojo back and new equipment to make it happen!

Inktober Made me Happy

By the middle of the month, I realized that I was really looking forward to my evening drawing.  I had initially added the Inktober challenge to my “end of day” routine. By the middle of the month, I was too eager to wait and moved it to the mornings.  As the month went on, I found myself devoting more time to the project, and so the mandalas were becoming more filled in with solid color and hatching.  I found myself very happy with the process.  Drawing is something I did daily for years, and I had simply forgotten how genuinely happy the act of putting pen to paper made me feel.

And so that is how the Inktober 2017 story ends.  I’m so glad I rediscovered this lost habit.  I’m looking forward to continuing daily drawing with renewed vigor!  But best of all, our upcoming book “Color Theory with Mandala & Colored Pencils” is with the editors and I look forward to the debut coming soon.

Now, I think I’m going to go do some research on new markers! 
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
November 1, 2017

PS – If you are interested in following my drawing journey, join me @davinadevine over on Instagram where I will be regularly posting daily drawings.

By Davina

Davina ~ Dawn Devine is a belly dance costume designer, dance instructor and author of more than a dozen publications on Middle Eastern dance.