So if you have been following my social media channels, you will know that I have been taking part in the Inktober challenge. This is a commitment to produce one drawing or painting using ink for each day of October. That's 31 ink drawings. The guy who started inktober supplies a 'prompt list' of words to use for each day. You do not have to stick to this, it is just a list of suggestions but I have found that by sticking with the prompt list, you are already forced out of your comfort zone and made to think outside of your usual 'box'
I enjoy my work but I did not want 31 ink drawings hanging around at the end of this process, so I decided to sell them and raise money for charity. The charity I chose was Tommy's charity (www.tommys.org) as Inktober would be happening alongside Infant loss awareness month. Tommy's fund research into miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth to try to prevent these awful things from happening. For a flat fee of £25 (plus P&P) £15 would go directly to Tommy's. I have to say that so far, the support has been incredible. So many people have gotten behind the project and bought the art or engaged with the process. It's been wonderful to raise awareness for such a great cause and I have been privileged to do so.
So what about the art itself? Well, I have never done anything like this before. Finding the time during the day has been difficult. By the time the kids are down, I've picked up all their shit and cooked a meal etc, it can be 9pm and the very last thing I want to do is start a drawing. But it is a commitment and by making myself accountable to the charity and to all the great people who follow my work and have supported it from the start, I will start that drawing. Now, I am starting to look forward to the time I can crack on with a new mini-artwork. Some of the drawings take longer than the others but its more about making the piece work than how long it takes - part of the reason I decided on a flat £25 price for the work.
I am working one day ahead currently, to give me some room if something happens with the kids or whatever. I spend the day thinking about the prompt word that I need to work with and I band about ideas and alternative meanings etc. Sometimes I will have a great idea but be unable to exectute it for some reason (time scale / limits of the medium etc) so I have to either think of another way to execute it or think on another idea.
Even just 17 days in, I am already astounded at the new techniques I have encountered and tried out and how sitting and drawing has forced me to practice my drawing skills. I had never used a Chinese brush before, now I have one and I am enjoying incorporating it into work. I struggle to get perspective on buildings and now I am seeing where I am going wrong and how I need to correct it. Each drawing is a mini lesson and anyone who buys one will have a part of a learning process. It is not meant to be 'perfect' It is a sketch with mistakes and faults. I have been able to 'play' with the media and see what I can and cannot do with it. Of course, If I really screw it up, I will start again, but for the main part, the sketches or paintings are snapshots. Quick and undetailed. Grabbing at the idea and getting it on paper.
I have so far found it tough, but thoroughly enjoyable. I am glad there are still another couple of weeks left for more skills practice and idea turning. A few people have asked if I am taking commissions or would draw a certain thing for a certain word, which is fine and I am loving having suggestions as they often trigger a thought process in a direction I would not have gone. Please don't be offended If you have suggested something and I haven't gone with it, its not personal! It's probably more to do with the limitations I was talking about earlier. If you are interested in a commission of something in particular, I would of course love to discuss that and so please do get in touch. The £25 is specific to this process though so be aware my usual commission prices will apply.
Look out for the next instalment dropping at 12.30pm (GMT) on my Facebook page and my instagram (@stef.the.artist). I try to upload the pieces to the website also, so you can browse pieces still available. If there are any pieces you would like to buy, please drop me an email or a direct message.