It’s that wonderful time of year again when #Inktober (previously, 2014 and 2015) makes an appearance on social media. If you’re unfamiliar with this annual tradition, it’s a creative challenge for artist and illustrators to ink something during the month of October. Many people choose to post something everyday, but Jake Parker writes, “You can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.”
While I don’t participate, I love seeing what other people come up with! Jake provides some prompts, but you’re totally welcome to go off script and create your own themes. Here are 5 illustrators who showcase the possibilities with #Inktober.
For this year’s #Inktober, Julia Bereciartu is painting “spontaneous portraits in ink and watercolor” every two days or so. Composed of people and animals, these small artworks are for sale through her online shop.
Gina Triplett has one of my favorite Instagram accounts, and her version the October challenge mostly takes place in her sketchbook. The focus is on black and white with splashes of vibrant color.
While Gina stuck with the striking black and white combo, August Wren lets her inky hues explode over the page. The carefree fluidity and diffused edges are created with both a dip pin as well as brush.
In addition to #Inktober, August also creates a painting a day. She’s prolific!
Designy illustrator Gian Wong uses #Inktober to make sure his “trad[itional] hands aren’t getting rusty,” His bold, typography-centric pieces feature letters as the burst from bold patterns and colors.
Kathleen Marcotte created an apt theme for this month—horror movies! Her black and white drawings are a much less scary reinterpretation of some seriously spooky films.
1. Black Rabbit Enamel Pin by Eradura
2. Girl and Tiger Dish by Lisa Junius
3. Embroidered Collar by Casa Tienda de Amelia B
4. Mystery Cactus! by Close Call Studio
5. Red Fox Sleeping Mask by Julien & Emily Design
6. Cat Clutch by Bunnie Reiss and pskaufman (see more of Bunnie’s work!)
7. Cave Creatures Coaster by Meg Hunt for the SALUT! Show at Nucleus Portland
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Earlier this fall, Anja Sušanj shared a series called City, based on a book by Alessandro Baricco. The text influenced her greatly through the years, and was part of the inspiration for these drawings. “City is also the name of my graduation project that tries to recreate the mysterious and whimsical world of Gould, a child genius,” she explains.
The surreal illustrations are created with graphite, and they’re are a beautiful use of the material. Through her line work and shading Anja has communicated movement and drama, as people stand in fishbowls, navigate through the stomach, and wear a house around their head. Each is intriguing and begs a closer look.
Self-taught illustrator Jérémy Combot says that he’s “guided by passion” in creating his fashion-centric portraits. The colorful and intricately detailed—just look at all those lines!—feature a dizzying array of motifs that vibrate when placed next to one another. “Mixing patterns that are not supposed to fit at first sight makes my work very interesting and fun at the end,” he explains.
Jérémy also enjoys fusing seemingly disparate cultural influences. “I like to work on the mix of genres, reflected through my work,” he writes, “unravel the periods of time and trends to reconstruct a unique and personal look.” Continuing, “I am inspired by very eclectic references: sometimes a chic and cool Saint-Germain-des-Prés Icon, or a Shoreditch neo-punk, or even a Geisha doll-like. It is limitless.”
Do you take a sketchbook with you when you travel? Clover Robin does… and then some—she collages her adventures! The London-based illustrator and pattern designer recently created a bevy of collaged imagery from her roadtrip through the West and Pacific NW of the United States and Canada. Using textured paper and bold shapes, she assembled the giant Redwood trees, the lakes of Oregon, and desert in Nevada. It’s a great way to commemorate her trip, and impressive, too, creating these detailed paper pieces as her vacation was happening.
Clover is also in the midst of creating a floral alphabet!
Cruschiform is the moniker for Marie-laure Cruschi, a French illustrator and graphic designer whose colorful digital works showcase the beauty of rural and urban landscapes. Whether she’s depicting a vertical garden in Paris or a solitary cabin in the woods, Marie-laure does so with the same bold shapes and fine details.
“My art grows into the poetry of simple modular forms,” she writes. “Little by little, my graphic vocabulary get more and more figurative, driving me to new narratives territories, without loosing sight that I believe the best work is a combination of a keenness mind, a great know-how, a good dose of insight and a bit of malice.”
1. Relax Pose Ceramic Sculpture by Tactile Matter
2. Owl and Owl Ceramic Sculpture by Nathalie Choux
3. “Trash Squirrel” Pin by Teagan White + Lost Lust Supply
4. Fluffy Cat Bag by Kate Spade
5. Make A Face by Moon Picnic
6. Monogrammed Meadow Trinket Dish by Amelia Herbertson
7. Dagger Necklace by Erica Weiner
This week, I spent a lot of time perusing through the Moon Picnic shop. It’s geared towards kids, but I am enamored by so many of its illustrative products. If you’re looking for a beginner cross stitch project, they’ve got several DIY kits available. Like this owl! Or fox!
And one more thing for your special eyes! Nicole Rallis of Leila + Olive illustrated 48 cards in her new Oracle deck. It’s “rooted in mythology and infused with plant magick,” and is read in traditional Tarot spreads. (If you don’t know how, Nicole includes instructions.)
If you’re itching for a new sketchbook, look no further than that an old (unwanted) book on your shelf. Its pages are begging to be upcycled into colorful works of art. A fantastic example of this is illustrator Molly Egan who showcases the possibilities with her fun and vibrant imagery. Spread after spread is filled with amusing characters, hand lettering, and bold shapes. And because these pages are already printed on, there’s less pressure to make each of them perfect. This book has already had a full life—Molly is giving it a new one.
Molly chronicles her work on Instagram and sells a selection of it in her online shop.
1. Ceramic Serving Board by Bon Matin Studio
2. Moth Rubber Stamp by Beetle Ink Co.
3. Cat Iron On Patch by I Like Cats
4. Rosebud Stag Socks by Bonne Maison
5. Forever Plant Enamel Pin by Weekender Supply Co.
6. Hand Painted Evil Eye Wall Ornament by eikcam
7. Colored Concrete Planter by Fox & Ramona
Happy Friday! This Instagram is perfect and I don’t need to say any more.
Have you started thinking about Halloween? Now that September has rolled around, it’s time to get spooky. Illustrator Eleni Kalorkoti has crafted a whole zine around a holiday favorite—specters—that’s appropriately called Ghost. It’s 12 striking black and white portraits of ladies who haunt. Each has their own personality; some wear stylish garments while others are cloaked in long hair from head to toe. They’re set against a solid background where Eleni’s strong, bold shapes create the illusion that they are, in fact, hovering on the page.
Ghost is now available in Eleni’s online shop.