5 Reasons Why You Should Inktober

We are one week into the inking challenge known as Inktober. It was initiated in 2009 by Illustrator and cartoonist Jake Parker so that he can improve his inking skills.

I am participating in this boot camp this year, and I have been sharing my traditional and digital submissions on the social media. It's an opportunity to finish a personal illustration project every day, no excuses.

You may ask: "How does Inktober help me improve as an illustrator?"

My traditional inking tools for the month

In my opinion, hanging in there for the whole month helps you improve 5 drawing skills:


Since there's a deadline to meet, You start thinking more about structure and less about the unimportant details. It has an element of time management to it. What are my priorities for this drawing? and that is what you focus all your resources on doing.

In a sense, you are improving your skill to see and draw ONLY what matters to your visual story.

Inktober 2017 Day 2 - Divided

Inktober 2017 Day 2 - Divided


When we work with pencil, there's room to work lightly then go over the line several times until we're happy with the result, not with ink!

Once you draw that line IT IS THERE FOREVER!

With time, you learn to have more intent in your art because even though you may have access to white out and correction tape to cover up your inking mistakes, you can't rely on those for every line.

So, you develop a skill to:

  1. imagine your path on the paper

  2. train your hand to follow that path with fewer strokes.

Inktober 2017 Day 5 - Long ( hair and beard )

Inktober 2017 Day 5 - Long (hair & beard)


Working with ink helps you see art in a different way. If you put your heart into it, It will definitely level up your design skills. you want to create beautiful artwork in a short time, so you have to pay attention to design too.

Working with ink allows you to:

  1. see your illustration as abstract shapes.

  2. ask this important question: How do I make those shapes interact well together?

Inktober 2017 Day 3 - Poison

Inktober 2017 Day 3 - Poison


Inktober will help you improve both the quantity and quality of your work because:

  1. there's a deadline to meet. You find out what you can really do! (adrenaline rush :D )

  2. you rinse and repeat everyday with different topics, which comes in handy when you call on your visual library in future projects. (mileage)

Inktober 2017 Day 6 - Sword

Inktober 2017 Day 6 - Sword

Animation-Friendly Art

You can also go the cartoony style route, which I am doing for when I start studying traditional animation. In traditional animation, you have to create hundreds, even thousands, of drawings for a short animation.

Coming from an oil painting background, adjusting my style is important. Also, it doesn't hurt to add a new style to your drawing arsenal!

Inktober 2017 Day 4 - Teeming

I created a section on the website for my Inktober submissions.

If you are not moving forward, instead of staying in place, you are actually moving backwards... just like when someone quits the gym, they lose the muscles they worked so hard on building.

Are you inktobering this year?

How is Inktober helping you improve?

Share your stories and experiences with me!


Heidi Ahmad (@heidiGFX)

Digital Illustrator & Colorist

Telling Stories Through Light & Color

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Third Culture Kid (TCK)

Freelance Writer/Translator - Design Guide Magazine