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Inktober 2021 – Art Challenge Yourself

With Inktober just around the corner, this year marks the 11 year anniversary of this worldwide challenge. Inktober is centred around promoting creative growth, improving the skills and sharing the talent of artists around the world.

What is Inktober?

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Grab a pen.. or digital pencil and start challenging yourself with the Inktober challenge.

Founded by artist Jake Parker, the month long Inktober challenge urges artists to create ink drawings to be posted online. The intent behind the challenge is for artists to work on their skills, potentially step out of their comfort zones and most importantly, have some fun throughout the entire month of  October!

It’s important to note that Inktober is not a content but a challenge. There is however a Inktober Awards contest in which artists of any and all skill levels can win high-valued prizes.

Share your work

Share your art throughout the month via any of your social media platforms and tag #inktober or #inktober2021. By sharing your art this way, you’ll be able to see the work of others also participating in Inktober. No social media? No problem. You can still participate in the challenge by simply sharing your art with friends, family, or by displaying it around your house.

Ink only?

A number of art forms and creative processes are welcomed; whether your go-to medium is ink, digital art or calligraphy – this challenge is for you.

Up here you see some super cute illustrations of the talented CATRU. Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

Where do I start?

Inktober 2020 promptlist
Inktober 2020 prompt list / source: inktober.com

To help you out, Inktober has put out an official 2021 Prompt list, which they have been doing since 2016.

The prompt list is intended to provide some guidance and inspiration for artists to follow during the month of October, but feel free to create your own or simply use it as a starting point.

See this year’s list below.

Inktober 2021 Promptlist
The official Inktober 2021 Promp List / source: inktober.com

How to make time everyday

A key tip would be to manage your time well and plan ahead. There will come a day (or a few days) in the month of October where you feel incredibly demotivated and uninspired – but that’s okay! Inktober is about having fun and working on your skills, so make sure to find a plan, timetable or process that works best for you. Flow with what you enjoy and feel driven to do. Remember to be patient with yourself and by the end of the month you’ll have a collection of work you’ll be incredibly proud of.

Some lovely illustrations created by the talented artist maddie_artdesign above. Remember, there are no rules for Inktober, just try to illustrate the topic on the prompt list right.

Set up a workspace

By having a workspace already set up for your October creative adventure you’ll avoid wasting time and energy setting up a space every day. It has also been proven that having a designated workspace greatly supports productivity and will undoubtedly help while you try to adjust to this new daily routine. As a tip, try setting up both your space as well as a resource bank of tools, inspiration and creative ideas that you can easily access throughout the month.

Workspace from CATRU
This is the workspace where the magic happens for CATRU.

Where it all began

Creator of Inktober, Jake Parker noted that he “created the challenge back in 2009 as a way to improve [his] own inking skills. Since then the challenge has grown to be a massive event with people participating all over the world.”

“The last few years I’ve received countless emails, messages, and in-person comments from people telling me that Inktober got them drawing again. They tell me that for years they hadn’t really drawn, or drawn anything for themselves, but when they committed to Inktober it got them out of the slump, back into drawing, and more importantly, back to being creative again.” – Jake Parker

For more on Inktober from Jake Parker make sure to visit this article.

Need some resources?

To give you a head start and some extra inspiration, we have selected a few interesting free and premium resources that can help you with the challenges.

44 Free Photoshop Brushes

This free download brings you a huge variety of different ink brushes that you can use for line art, calligraphy, painting and a much more. The brushes imitate a lot of painting styles, from pen drawing – to more like Chinese art. Special effects are included: Spray, wet edge, grunge. If you use Photoshop, this one is a must have!

Free Ink Brushes for Photoshop

63 Brushes for Inking in Procreate

For only $14 you will receive a collection of 63 brushes for realistic Inking in Procreate. The brushes imitate real instruments like sharp nib pen and flat nib pen, bristle, round, and flat brushes loaded by ink, ruling pen and folded pen, some of them make some nice spatter like real instruments do. A number of spray and splash brushes are to give liveness and fine naturalness to your art.

63 Ink Bruhses for Procreate

Don’t forget to also check out the brushes of Grutbrushes. You can read all about them in this Grutbrushes review.

Learn how to draw

Do you want to learn how to draw or improve your skills, or maybe learn other techniques? Why not follow one of the great courses out there? We selected a few that can help you!

Ultimate Pen and Ink Drawing course

Ultimate Pen and Ink Drawing course

This course will learn you how to draw with ink step-by-step. Kevin Gardin & Mitchell Bouchard teach you how to ink on paper & ink digitally on Photoshop. You’ll also learn which inking tools suits your style best and how to cel shade on Photoshop. By the end of this course you will be able to create an inked piece of art that has an unmistakable finished quality! Check it out: Ultimate Pen and Ink Drawing: Plus Colour!

The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced

Learn how to draw in perspective - The Ultimate Drawing Course - Beginner to Advanced

One of the best selling courses is “The Ultimate Drawing Course” created by Jaysen Batchelor and Quinton Batchelor. Already 404,058 students has followed this course and rated it 4.5 of 5 starts. In this course you learn how to draw objects out of your head, understand the fundamentals of art, draw the human face and figure, draw realistic light and shadow and learn how to draw perspective drawings. The Ultimate Drawing Course – Beginner to Advanced is a great course to follow!

Need some inspiration?

Do you want more inspiration for the Inktober event? Get inspired by other artists and search for them on Instagram using the tags #inktober or #inktober2021 for this years edition.

Make sure you get inspired and follow Artsyofficiale who created the two beautiful artworks you see up here.

Sketchbook illustrations by CATRU
Get inspired by great illustrators like CATRU

What are the Best Illustrations of Inktober?

Last year we scraped all social media channels each day for the Best Illustrations of Inktober 2020. It resulted in an incredible post containing fantastic inspirational artworks. This year we will do this again, so make sure to tag us in your Inktober Posts! (#xquissive).

Every day in October we scout the internet for the three Best Illustrations of Inktober. Visit and follow this page to check them out!

The Best Artworks of Inktober 2021

Do you think your artwork should be in the Best of Inktober 2021 collection of Xquissive? Make sure to tag us when you submit your Inktober artworks online. You can also leave a message in the comment field. We’ll scout the internet every day for the best submissions!

Want more information about Inktober?

Make sure to check out the official Inktober website for more info about the challenge, to purchase took kits, merchandise, or to take part in ink drawing tutorials. 

Alternative Art Challenges

Are you looking for an Inktober alternative? Make sure to check out our October art-challenges article for great art challenges that you can do!

Did you miss this months art challenge? Don’t worry! Be sure to check out the Huevember Art Challenge or our Calendar with all Art Challenges. If you don’t want to participate in an art challenge, but if you’re just looking for some drawing ideas, be sure to check out our drawing ideas generator!

Why not combine the art challenge with an online art class to improve your drawing skills? Make sure to read our article where we take a look at the Best Art Classes you can follow online. You could also take a look at our curated top 10 of drawing books to help you improve your drawing

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