Friday, November 11, 2016

That Inking Feeling - An Anecdote About Inktober

A few of the illustrations I did for Inktober. These were the ones with the most likes.

The Inktober challenge has been going on since 2009 but it was only this year that I decided to join. I'm so glad I did. I usually stay away from online challenges (remember the ice bucket? That's the only one I remember because like I said, I don't join these things), but I may have had a few good reasons to join this particular one.

1. An unopened bottle of India Ink which I impulsively bought months earlier despite having no experience with this medium.

2. The desire to create something tangible. I needed a regular activity away from my digital devices and work with my hands again.

3. My Facebook timeline. It was starting to overflow with bad vibes. Political rants, judgmental brain farts, fake and dangerous news articles--it was getting overwhelming.

4. Fear of having forgotten how to draw. Or draw well. As a graduate of fine arts, people think that we've all got this skill forever but really, it's easy to lose or get sloppy when like me, you spend years working more with your computer. 

5. The need to keep myself occupied. I spend so much time alone, which I usually enjoy, but other times, it gets lonely. Most of my friends work regular hours and that means most days, I am by myself. I felt I needed something to distract me and keep my head in a good space. 

The decision was made. I needed to use my ink, spread some good vibes and improve my technique while I was at it. One cheerful/funny/playful illustration a day for every day of October. That's what I committed to. 

Almost suddenly, all these fun illustration ideas came at me, even at inconvenient times. Like, as I was about to fall asleep, or while driving my scooter in the rain, or as I was cramming for a work deadline. But it didn't matter, it got me so excited to execute these ideas and most importantly, share them. I've been too shy to put my work out there the past years but having a small goal, even as simple as getting people to smile, made me push aside any insecurity about my work and just put it out there, on my Facebook page and my Instagram account. I just thought, surely, someone was going to appreciate it. Like, my mom. Thanks Mama! :P

A lot of people joined the challenge and a lot also dropped out. You know why? Because it was fucking hard. It's not really a challenge if it's easy, right? We eventually get caught up with our day to day tasks and concerns that we run out of the energy to sit and draw. For me, it was towards the end. News got heavier, personal affairs brought me down, even the shift to gloomy weather here didn't help. It suddenly felt like so much effort to produce something good. It got frustrating and I wanted to forget the whole thing. The problem was, I also wanted to keep my word. By announcing before hand that I was going to do this challenge I kind of left myself without a choice. (Thanks a lot, past Denise!) So I stuck with it.

In the end, I received so much good vibes back from friends and strangers, folks who messaged me about the way my works cheered them up. I even made new friends and possible business partners! The positive response really boosted my confidence and interest in illustrating again. Apart from that, this whole thing got me to open an online shop. As friends asked if they could purchase my illustrations, I thought that it wouldn't hurt to just put my stuff out there for anyone who wanted a copy. 

Which is the whole point of this post, actually. I just wanted to announce to anyone who still reads blogs (why, by the way?) that I have some of my Inktober stuff out there, as prints, mugs, shirts and my favorite--shower curtains. 

Also, to revive my poor, forgotten blog, I decided to make use of this space for sharing anything related to my new adventures as an illustrator/shopkeeper. Haha! So there you go. If you appreciate, surfing-related drawings or cursing animals. You might find something you like here. They are mostly inspired by life on the beach with a touch of my sometimes distorted way of seeing things. Here is the link to my shop and a preview of some of the available artworks. Thanks for reading! Bravo! That was like, 29 Tweets. ;)

1 comment:

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Actually, when I saw the first illustration you posted, I said to myself "this would be great on a t-shirt or a beach towel for shops near beach resorts. The illustrations were simple but catchy - in terms of concept; and distinct in terms of style . For anyone who has gone to a beach, any beach - a recollection of the feel, air, aroma, vibes of different people and characters in the place, and the general aura of beach life; the posted illustrations depicted these with remarkable accuracy and executed with humor and fun in mind!

The illustrations were done in simple lines and the backgrounds were apt but distinctive. These portray an uncomplicated life in simple surroundings, abundant fresh perspectives, and a strong attachment to the natural environment expressed all over the presented image. It had enjoyment depicted and expressed in all the illustrations.

It has all the makings of a great collection! Keep it flowing. Congratulations, well done!