I Can’t Draw, part 1 – An Inktober 2018 Diary

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Welcome to part 1 of my journey through my very first Inktober attempt.

“I can’t draw.”

I’ve stuck behind this sentiment for years. Since the end of high school, my ability has always remained far beneath the shadows of more talented friends and relatives. My particular brand of scrawly, abstract, fuzzy ink lines with questionable perspective and wild inconsistencies has been something I’ve kept mostly to myself for over a decade. At this point, I never really expected to revisit drawing.

This October, I made the decision to embrace change.

I first saw a social media post talking about Inktober (and its sister challenge Drawlloween) sometime back in 2016. It’s hard to recall where it came from, exactly. It could have been from one of the multitude of my talented tattoo artist or graphic designer friends. More likely it was the work of my 2 Headed Hero compatriot ROLLINKUNZ!, but wherever the source, I chose to embrace my shaky ballpoint pen drawings this year and flaunt them to the world – flaws and all.

Having read nothing about Inktober before, I decided it was fitting to start with a simple self portrait. Behold, my first effort at picking up a pen after years of artistic atrophy:

inktober 2018 Day1 – I can_t Draw – Poisonous
Inktober 2018, Day 1
Title: I Can’t Fking Draw – A Self Portrait
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper
This self-portrait accurately portrays not only the artistic lifestyle, but the frustration caused by the failure of my skills to intersect my vision. Note the trade off of clear detail in favor of raw emotional content! Admire the strange caricature proportions and weird hands! Also, since I neglected to read up on anything Inktober related, you can see that I didn’t bother to do anything related to the prompt, which I later learned should have been “Poisonous”.

Well, I guess the spilled beer and toxic expression cover the prompt well enough.

inktober 2018 Day2 – Euphelia – noprompt
Inktober 2018, Day 2

Title: Euphelia, the Prettiest Mermaid
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

As you can see here, I still didn’t know about the whole “prompts” thing, so I decided to just draw a mermaid. Her name is Euphelia, she is the most beautiful mermaid in all the land, and she is an accurate representation of sailor tattoo flash from the mid-1800s.

My Inktober 2018 Experience: Once More Into the BACKLOG.PNG

inktober 2018 Day6 – Lewdwizard – drooling
Inktober 2018, Day 6
Title: Lewd Wizard
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

I got lazy for a few days until after a few drinks at a good friend’s house. One of my friends reminded me that Inktober was still happening, so I dove into action by immediately taking a nearby ballpoint to an innocent piece of mail. Somehow, I created the hairy and vulgar monstrosity above. Note the particular detail of the side-pubes, dead-eyed expression, and copious amounts of slobber. Coincidentally, it was this same friend that advised me that Inktober drawings use a list of prompts, which are available on the Inktober site.

As an added bonus, they also didn’t get angry at me for drawing all over their mail.

inktober 2018 Day7 – Insomnia Alien – Exhausted
Inktober 2018, Day 7
Title: Insomniac Alien
Prompt: “Exhausted”
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

I now had a backlog, so I knew I had to really step up my game. Armed with the prompt “exhausted”, and coincidentally being exhausted myself, I started to think about things that keep me up at night. Then I wondered: ”What would keep an alien up at night?” The grim answers lie in my rough rendering above.

inktober 2018 Day8 – Day2 backlog – Punk Rock Safari -Tranquil
Inktober 2018, Day 7 (again)
Title: Punk Rocker Safari – Catch and Release Edition
Prompt: “Tranquil” (backlog from Day 2)
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

I had to step up my game. Day 2’s theme was “tranquil”, and there’s nothing more tranquil than animal tranquilizers. Right? Well either way, I sure did a haggard job on those hands.

I guess I’m not sure what motivated me to draw an 80s-looking punk rocker dude getting chased by Melania Trump’s fashion adviser. Regardless, as a longtime member of punk bands and a lifetime member of the lower-middle class, the idea of a catch-and-release urban punk-hunting safari doesn’t seem that far-fetched anymore. Especially since we’re now living in The Onion timeline.

inktober 2018 Day8 – Day4-5 backlog – Poultry Scrabble – chicken and spellInktober 2018, Day 8
Title: Poultry Scrabble
“Spell”, “Chicken” (Backlogs from Day 4 and 5)
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

“OK,” I thought to myself. “Now I’m starting to get that mojo back.” I could start to feel the pressure of the ever-increasing backlog, so in the words of Ricky LaFleur, I decided to “get two birds stoned at once” and incorporate two themes into one entry. Spell? Chicken? We all know chickens can’t spell. But if they could, I bet they’d be alright at Scrabble.

They might also be better at perspective drawing than I am.

inktober 2018 Day8 – Geriatric Supernova – StarInktober 2018, Day 8 (continued)
Title: Grandpa Supernova
Prompt: “Star”
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

Know how I can tell it was a Monday when I drew this? The subject matter, of course. Stars are old. And the oldest stars are the crankiest ones – sometimes ejecting their mass in a spectacular manner and taking a whole solar system with them. Other than the ink smudges from my big dumb fingers, I’m actually sort of happy with the way it turned out. 

Could I be… improving? Nahhhh.

inktober 2018 Day8 – Day3 backlog – Euphoria Ham – roastedInktober 2018, Day 8 (some more)
Title: Euphoria Ham
Prompt: “Roasted” (Day 3 Backlog)

Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

After realizing I totally spaced on catching up to day 3’s theme, “roasted”, I threw this little guy together in five minutes. Of all the Inktober drawings I have done so far, this is my favorite. Look at that face, with those happy little eyes and weird wiggly smile! The perspective isn’t all jacked up (as much as usual)! Best of all, it’s ham. If ham looked back at me the way that I looked at ham, you can bet it’d be wearing this same expression of boundless euphoria. This is just begging to be made into an enamel pin design or something. Maybe.

inktober 2018 Day9 – My Precious – preciousInktober 2018, Day 9
Title: My Precioussss

Prompt: “Precious”
Medium:Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper

I’d be betraying my nerd roots if I didn’t equate the word “precious” with everyone’s favorite 589-year-old Tolkiensian creature. This one took me a few attempts, mainly because it was the first drawing I tried to do with a reference picture and kept totally sharting the bed with his expression and hands. On my third shart, I decided that Smeagol’s bedroom eyes were fine just the way the way they were and ditched the hands, as well as the rest of the body, while including the One Ring instead. If you closely inspect the finer details, you can see the ring’s Elvish runes have been translated.

Go on… I’ll wait.

A Third of the Way to the Finish Line

inktober 2018 day10 flowing sinus river rafting_small
Inktober 2018, Day 10

Title: Sinus River Rafting
Prompt: “Flowing”
Medium: Pilot Ballpoint/Scrap Paper/Antihistimines

I was a bit under the weather for Day 10. The marathon from doing the rest of Inktober 2018 must have taken a lot out of me. Or, more likely, fall allergies were coming in force. Since I couldn’t tear my thoughts away from my nasty nasal cavities, Day 10’s prompt became the quick, sloppy sketch you see here.

Enough was enough. I felt emboldened by my modest efforts in the first ten days. I decided It was time to get serious about Inktober 2018 and take my drawings to another level. Ditching the scrap paper, I armed myself with a real deal sketchbook and scrounged a couple sizes of fine-tip Sharpies.

inktober 2018 sbpicSML

I was ready.

How will the next ten days turn out? Keep an eye out on Topless Robot for “I Can’t Draw” part 2!

Are You Drawing For #Inktober2018? Show Us What You Got!

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