Tail Jar

Jasper St Aubyn West


So I've recently finished another month of making a new piece of art and posting it every single day... And, now that it's over I figured I'd jot down a few thoughts on how it went and these kind of challenges in general.

On one hand I think there were a few fun pieces came out of the process but on the other it was actually a really hard month to get through. Work stuff got really busy, there was a bit of travel in the mix, I got sick for a few days... And life in general was fairly action packed.

It was tough finding the time to fit in a piece some days...  

Which is to be expected. In fact its kind of the point of a challenge like this. The whole idea is to try and force yourself to sit down and get something done every day, no matter what else you've got going on.

There can be/are some real benefits from doing this. Practice in general is always good and by making the challenge public you have a little more accountability and therefore (hopefully) motivation to see it through to the end.

And you end up with 30 or so shiny new pieces at the end of the month...

To really make the most of it though, I'd suggest trying to create a consistent "body of work". I didn't do that this time and overall it made the process more difficult creatively and ultimately less satisfying.

I had a general theme (Halloween/horror) but I think it pays to be even more specific than that. I did some pieces as photo/sketch mash-ups, some pen and ink, some canvas/board paintings, some quick animations... I even scribbled on a chunk of wood. It was all over the place.

The basic rules of Inktober are great, I'd recommend sticking with one medium (i.e. Pen and Ink or watercolour or a specific set of digital tools or software package) as well as having a solid theme.

Try to imagine the pieces as part of a series or exhibition... 

While there's certainly nothing wrong with a mix of mediums and styles if that's what you want to do. Personally, when I've been consistent with theme, style and medium in everyday challenges the past. I've ended up with a collection of work that I've felt was more valuable as a whole.  

Give it a shot sometime.

All the pieces I did during October 2016 are dated/numbered over on my Instagram if you're interested.