In the world of art, challenges like Inktober 2023 often serve as a means for artists to test their creativity, discipline, and dedication, but mainly improve skills, find styles, and have fun. Inktober is a popular annual event that tasks artists with creating an ink drawing every day for the entire month of October. You got it? That’s why Inktober. It is one such challenge that has captivated artists from around the globe. It was created by Jake Parker and this year we have Inktober 2023, which is it’s 8th year running. And here on Bohemian’s Minds, three talented artists, Tefa Vento, -MK-, and Mackenzie A. Parker, decided to embark on this creative journey and shared their remarkable experiences on their way to completing the Inktober challenge.
You may have noticed an earlier article about this challenge, so check it out, if you don’t know anything about the Inktober and you can join us next year!
Fall into Creativity: Join the Inktober Drawing Challenge This October! by Mackenzie A. Parker.
Tefa Vento, also known as Erika Retiz, is a gifted illustrator whose artwork exudes positivity, cuteness, and simplicity. Her illustrations are perfect for those who want to add a touch of calmness and relaxation to their surroundings. Tefa Vento offers a range of art products, including canvas prints and shoes, that are sure to delight anyone who loves her unique style.
Marek Gabriel Kovar, also known as -MK-, is a talented illustrator and graphic designer.
His style is distinct and recognizable, characterized by his use of India ink in his drawings. Marek’s illustrations often contain a blend of eerie and fairy tale elements, creating a sense of unease in the viewer. His attention to detail only adds to the overall unsettling atmosphere of his pieces.
Marek’s work is not for the faint of heart and may evoke feelings of fear or discomfort, but it is certainly not lacking in impact. If you’re looking for art that pushes boundaries and challenges traditional norms, Marek’s illustrations are sure to do just that.
Mackenzie A. Parker
Mackenzie is a registered therapeutic counsellor and artist of movement and dance, painting, and creative writing. She strives to live with zest and presence, is sentimental and caring in her relationships, loves to explore and learn, and cultivates a creative lifestyle of art and connection in her work and play. She is a self-taught painter, inspired by the sublimity of nature, altered states of consciousness, universal love and transcendence that binds all of humanity and nature, together.
What is the Inktober Challenge
Inktober, founded by Jake Parker, has become an annual tradition for artists worldwide. The challenge requires participants to create a new ink drawing each day during the month of October, based on a list of daily prompts. While the rules are simple, the task is far from easy, testing an artist’s creativity, time management, and endurance.
Here are the prompts for this year:
Inktober 2023: Dream, Spiders, Path, Dodge, Map, Golden, Drip, Toad, Bounce, Fortune, Wander, Spicey, Rise, Castle, Dagger, Angel, Demon, Saddle, Plump, Frost, Chains, Scratchy, Celestial, Shallow, Dangerous, Remove, Beast, Sparkle, Massive, Rush and Fire.
Each of these artists embarked on their Inktober journey with determination and a unique approach. Let’s hear their stories.
In my third year of Inktober, the discipline it instills and the creative habits it fosters have brought tranquility to my daily life. Before this challenge, drawing wasn’t a hobby, but the thrill of creation always resonated with me, dating back to high school art classes. Acting and holistic medicine took precedence, but the Inktober challenge rekindled my commitment to art, turning it into a joyous adventure.
This year, our Inktober experience went beyond individual endeavors. “Wine and Draw” sessions on October Mondays became cherished moments of disconnection, allowing us to reconnect with paper, ink, prompts, and the emotions they evoke.
My Inktober 2023 journey
My artistic focus during Inktober 2023 centered on drawing eyes, a conscious decision rooted in a deep appreciation for their symbolism and beauty.
For me, eyes represent a profound connection to the universe, crystalline windows to our souls. They hold a magical quality, allowing us to perceive the cosmos—a lens absorbing the world’s intricacies and reflecting our experiences.
The crystalline allure symbolizes clarity, transparency, and the inherent purity within us. Each stroke became a meditative process, an exploration of introspection and connection with the universe.
In drawing eyes, I engaged in a silent dialogue with the cosmos, capturing not just physical features but the intangible essence they hold. This artistic focus transformed Inktober into a contemplative exploration of the beauty embedded in the human experience.
Despite occasional feelings of limitation, focusing on eyes fueled creativity. Some drawings may seem simple, but they encapsulate the essence I sought to convey. Thanks to Bohemians Minds for providing a space to share this glimpse of my creative process—I eagerly anticipate the continued journey of self-discovery through art.
Well, let’s begin. As is the case every year, October proves to be an exceptionally hectic month for me, but not only October, haha. I kicked things off with some initial sketches in the opening days. However, due to my jam-packed schedule, I had to put my drawing endeavors on hold for a while. But amidst the chaos, we managed to put together (with Bohemian’s Minds) an extraordinary event, the WINE & DRAW, which happened 4 times in October. I carved out precious time in my calendar and created a few pieces at each Wine & Draw event.
Then, on the very last day, I found myself in a race against time to complete a whopping 16 drawings. Miraculously, I pulled it off, putting the finishing touches on them just one minute before the stroke of midnight. All of this was accomplished in collaboration with Tefa Vento, as we embarked on an additional private WINE & DRAW venture, ensuring its successful execution and timely completion. We also livestream our finishing line and around 100 people watch.
6th Inktober in a row
This marked my sixth consecutive Inktober journey. Over the course of these six years, I’ve certainly refined my artistic style and approach for each piece. However, as this year’s creative venture showed, I also tried out different styles, techniques, and approaches. I have a deep love for fairytales and cute little monsters, and my dream is to create an animated movie someday. Currently, I’m working on an ongoing project, illustrating European fairytales. It’s been a multi-year effort, but I’m not in a hurry. Perhaps, one day, God will bless that movie to come to life.
My Inktober 2023
In the meantime, I use Inktober as a way to experiment with character designs, artistic styles, monstrous creations, tools, and prompts. This is all aimed at getting me ready for my future animation project. Basically, Inktober keeps me committed to creating at least 31 drawings each year. Luckily it is always much more. It also helps me discover the right character concepts and elements that could be important for my future movie. Most importantly, it keeps me in that wonderful creative state of mind that engrosses you when you’re drawing. It’s a double-edged sword, though, as this strong connection to my art often makes managing my time during Inktober a real challenge. I become so absorbed in certain drawings that it’s tough to stop and move on to the next one. I can’t help but resonate with Leonardo DaVinci, who rightly said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
Yeah, so that was my Inktober, I hope you will like it.
Mackenzie A. Parker
Checking off my third consecutive Inktober, I sure am thankful for the ‘push’ this global community art challenge offered me in my artistry and beyond it, once again. Did I put more ink to paper than most months of the year? Absolutely! And did life push and pull my priorities elsewhere, away from this grand invitation for daily art and discipline I’d so intended and aspired to practice? Absolutely! As I dedicated minutes-at-minimum each day for this online challenge, it proved both exhilarating and too, demanding. And yet when I could, I sunk into the day’s prompt pushing the boundaries of my skill and imagination. Alas, as I breathe out and smile humbly in retrospect, Inktober reminds me to practice grace, self-compassion, and to be proud of the effort I put into intentional creativity time, amidst a wild and whirling social and productive autumn season.
While the prompts sparked inspiration, they also presented challenges. They acted as catalysts for creativity, nudging me out of my comfort zone and encouraging exploration of new themes, concepts, and styles. However, interpreting these prompts sometimes felt like solving puzzles; finding a unique angle within the constraints required careful thought and often led to unexpected, rewarding results.
Permanence and Imperfection
In most of my paintings, I use pencil to sketch out and erasers to adapt, as the dream evolves. However, I challenged myself this time to use ink only – and to run with the first draft as final. This constraint pushed me to hone my confidence and decisiveness in each stroke. Yet, it also made me more comfortable with imperfections, learning to embrace mistakes as part of the artistic process. And hence, the permanence of ink taught me to adapt and evolve my style, turning mishaps into opportunities for innovation.
As -MK- beautifully encourages us Bohemian’s Minds artists, the step where we “show our work” is really where art comes alive, and is what ignites a liveliness within us, as creators. Overcoming self-doubt and the fear of judgment required resilience. Yet, reconnecting to my heart, a source of abundant and unwavering self-love, acceptance, and trust reassures me of my process as beautiful, in and of itself; an affirmation of the significance of perseverance and connection in artistic growth.
Artistry and Beyond It
Ultimately, Inktober 2023 was a transformative journey transcending the art-creative space and revealing of other aspects of our life beyond it. It always tends to remind me of the idiom in yogic living, where yoga extends and really ‘lives’ off the mat. How we show up in one area affects and shapes how we think, feel, breathe, relate, and behave in all others. So Inktober then taught me the value of consistency, adaptability, and community in the artistic process, as well as in greater areas of life. The challenge wasn’t merely about creating art; it was a testament to resilience, creativity, and the power of shared passion. While it had its highs and lows, the lessons learned and the progress made throughout the 30 days made every stroke of ink a worthwhile endeavor.
Here’s my scribblings and sketches from this year’s Inktober 2023!
Challenges and Triumphs of Inktober 2023
Inktober is not without its challenges. For all three artists, juggling daily life, personal commitments, and maintaining the quality of their art was a daunting task. Yet, their dedication and passion for their craft fueled their journey.
The Grand Finale
The climax of their journey arrived as October drew to a close. On the final day of the challenge, with the clock ticking, Tefa Vento and -MK- managed to finish their respective pieces one minute before midnight. Their sense of accomplishment and relief was palpable as they did the last stroke.
The Inktober challenge tested the artistic mettle of Tefa Vento, -MK-, and Mackenzie A. Parker, pushing them to their creative limits. Through determination, dedication, and a love for the art form, they not only completed the challenge but also produced an awe-inspiring body of work. Their stories serve as a testament to the power of artistic commitment and the incredible journeys that artists embark on to explore their craft.
As the Inktober challenge comes to a close, Tefa Vento, -MK-, and Mackenzie A. Parker continue to inspire fellow artists and enthusiasts alike, demonstrating the profound impact of creative dedication and the ability to conquer artistic challenges one inked stroke at a time.
About the author:
My pursuit of artistic perfection extends beyond the stage and into the world of film. Represented by agent Jill Kabush at Dorothy S. Management, I am actively seeking opportunities to make my mark in the industry. Though my creative interests are diverse - including DJing and illustrating - my primary passion lies in acting. I received rigorous training at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts and have since performed in prestigious theaters such as Theater Around The Corner, Moravian Theater Olomouc, Theater DiGoknu, and Mlada Scena II. Through unwavering dedication and hard work, I continue to hone my craft and push myself to new heights in pursuit of artistic excellence.