We’re officially in the second half of the year, and this means that Inktober is coming up!
The 31-day-long art project may seem daunting for many artists to take on, but we’re here to break it down and show how it can be manageable — one of Jake Parker’s main intentions when he created the challenge.
We believe every artist aspires to have consistency and would like to be dedicated to self-improvement, so we hope that this guide will help make the challenge more accessible for you, letting you focus on creating everyday.
Pick A Theme
Having a theme can help you know what to draw, as it narrows down a potentially overwhelming pool of possibilities while also keeping the main tone or style of your work consistent.
If you're planning to use a Mossery sketchbook, you can personalise your theme name on the cover — this way, it can be kept with your other completed projects or as part of your portfolio.
@whamonster incorporated themes into her previous Inktober challenges — Game of Thrones for 2017, and Stranger Things for the year before that.
Your theme can be anything you like: a TV show, a movie, a limited colour palette, or a specific style of drawing. Be sure to choose something that helps you generate more ideas and not get stuck too often!
Pick Your Tools
While Inktober initially started out as a means to practise ink drawings, many artists have also used the prompts to experiment with different mediums.
Remember, the goal is to make things easy for yourself, so it's best not to go too overboard with the kinds of tools you plan to use. We recommend keeping it simple with just two to three pens of different textures and sizes, especially if you’re looking to incorporate colour.
But if you're up for an extra challenge, this could also be a great time to familiarise yourself with a new art tool or method. It's all up to you — which kind of muscle would you like to exercise?
If you're planning to use a Mossery sketchbook but don't know which one to pick, the 224gsm Mixed Media paper is ideal as it can take a wide variety of mediums, allowing for flexibility and experimenting.
However, if you are planning to paint with ink, we recommend the 300gsm Watercolour paper so your artwork doesn’t bleed easily onto the back of the page.
Over the course of a month-long challenge, there will be times where you may feel like skipping a day or two.
Whether it's sketching the artwork or writing down ideas for each day, planning ahead can go a long way — this means you have one less to-do to worry about when you’re in the thick of it.
Don't worry about coming up with fantastic ideas for each prompt. While we understand the urge to create a masterpiece everyday, the real purpose of Inktober is to simply maintain the streak.
So even if you feel that your preplanned idea or sketch could be better, what counts is that you created something for the day and didn't get stuck in the ideation process.
Mixed Media artwork by @angelynpeh
Outline a schedule in a notebook, or list down ideas for each day based on the prompt. You can even draw rough sketches for the days you know you already have visual ideas for.
We all need some motivation from time to time: doing a challenge with friends can be the best kind.
Encouraging each other through demotivating days and brainstorming ideas together can go a long way to making Inktober less daunting.
Don't worry if you can't find someone to take on the challenge with you — the Inktober hashtag shows many other artists who have committed to seeing the challenge through, and following along with them is another way to boost your morale.
Just like last year, we’re currently working on our own prompts for the upcoming Inktober. We’re also inviting 31 artists once again to submit a piece of artwork for each day’s prompt, which we will post all throughout Inktober itself on our Instagram profile.
Keep an eye out for the official prompt list — we hope to share it with all of you very soon!
For now, we have great news: you can pick up a Mossery Sketchbook (both Mixed Media and Watercolour) for 15% off using the code INKTOBER15!
The discount is valid from 20th August to 14th September – the perfect amount of time for you to receive your sketchbook and get it ready for the challenge.
It goes without saying, but we can't wait to see everyone's works! Here's to improving our skills and learning together.
How do you prepare for Inktober? Share some of your tips with us in the comments below!
Can a gratitude journal work for you?
You may be reading because you’re thinking of starting one – except you’re not sure where to begin. Others may have given up on the idea, but don’t let that get you down. The trick is to keep your journal in a way that works for you. We’ve come up with this post to help you build your own journal – take a look at the prompts below and see if it’s easier to get started!
Why have a gratitude journal in the first place?
A gratitude journal places focus on the positive in your life. It’s scientifically proven that we remember the negative points better than the positive, so maintaining a gratitude journal is a manual way of retaining the good in every situation. The results? An improved attitude and confidence in your abilities to handle tough situations – because as your journal proves, you’ve done it before.
How do you keep a gratitude journal?
It’s as simple as picking up a notebook and pencil or pen that you like. Tip: choose tools that you love so that you can associate the feeling of gratitude with the pleasurable feeling of making crisp lines on smooth paper.
Here are four simple ways that you can use to keep up with your gratitude journal. Remember, it’s completely up to you which one you use – just find what works for you.
Describing a specific action or event can boost your mood when you look back on it. For example, instead of writing ‘My dog’, write something like ‘My dog greeted me at the front door.’ Writing about the people in your life and how they make you feel is another good idea. When you decide to flip through your journal in the future, it’ll bring back those positive memories with added clarity.
Reflect on how your life would be if certain things were absent. For example, how would it feel to not have met the people you love? Or to live in a different part of town? This simple exercise helps us to realise the good side to a negative situation – it’s okay to see the unpleasant side too, but don’t lose sight of the positives even when you’re down.
Go With The Flow
Being grateful isn’t supposed to feel like work or a chore, so write in your gratitude journal when you actually feel like doing so (not because you’ve imposed a strict writing schedule on yourself). The main point of this journal is to improve your wellbeing and create a time in your day or week to relax.
To reap the benefits of gratitude, take the time to feel gratitude itself. Then, start journaling.
Finally, keeping a gratitude journal follows no restrictions – you can stick on photos and event tickets, draw and make a collage, whatever makes the process most enjoyable. The ways to customise your gratitude journal are endless, and you make the rules.
Tip: separate your grateful moments into categories for a cleaner look. Try out different layouts and styles and find what works best for you.
Gratitude is a powerful mental tool that gives you a positive outlook on your day-to-day. Practising it once in a while can set positive changes in your mindset in motion.
Do you have a gratitude journal? If so, did you notice any changes in your moods or behaviour? If not, tell us one thing you are grateful for today! Let’s chat in the comments below.
It’s easy to see more and more people using their phones, tablets, and computers to take notes and pen down thoughts. Productivity is key in the fast-paced era we now live in, so coming to rely on note-taking apps to store our ideas and stray thoughts seems only natural.
However, paper notebooks still seem to keep their place in society today, not as easily erased as some might expect. Personally, we think it’s because paper is intuitive – something people will always use because of its sheer simplicity.
Here are four reasons why we believe paper notebooks are here to stay.
Reason #1: It improves your memory.
A screen gives you a limited sensory experience, leading to a higher chance of mindless note-taking. Due to this, your brain has less cues to refer to when it needs to recall this information later.
On the other hand, writing on paper triggers your senses. You see the words you’re writing, form each stroke of every written word, and hear the rustling of the paper as well. Not only does this create more cues for your brain, it also promotes a more effective learning experience in general.
Reason #2: It helps you to improve your learning.
Although writing on paper can seem counterintuitive, taking more time and effort, it makes you an active listener and trains you to pick and synthesise information at a moment’s notice.
Research shows that students who take down their notes by hand have a better understanding of concepts compared to their peers who used laptops to take notes. This is due to the fact that taking notes by hand exercises the ability to digest and process knowledge consciously, helping you learn better.
Reason #3: There are no distractions.
You have a brilliant idea and immediately rush to your phone to open your notes app. But before you can make it past your lock screen, you see an unread email. The message may be urgent, so you open it, only to find that it was a promotional email. Relieved, you lock your phone and absentmindedly wonder if there was anything you had wanted to note down.
It’s easy to get distracted when so many apps try to catch our attention with a constant flow of notifications. Thankfully, a notebook has none of that.
Reason #4: It’s efficient.
If your note-taking process involves a device, chances are you’ll have to deal with an app’s fire-up time, find internet connection, or come across other small, pesky problems which stall your note-taking process.
Countless creative people have had the habit of keeping a notebook close with them, even up till today, understanding the importance of capturing an idea before it vanishes. It can be just as easy for you to retain an idea – all you need to do is find your notebook, open it, and write.
Even with the hype of countless note-taking apps that promotes productivity and efficiency, nothing can quite replace the meditative feeling of writing on paper.
Does note-taking with pen and paper improve the process for you? Do you prefer to use apps or physical notebooks? Tell us in the comments section – let’s talk about it.