Creativity in a time of Covid

There are a lot of art challenges coming up. The next one is Inktober in which I will be participating. I have not yet decided if I will be doing Line and Wash Winter again…. I think 90 days was a bit to high a hill to climb. It didn’t get me into the mindset of painting daily. Though I did do a couple of pieces after the challenge, I have not been consistently painting and so in that regard, the challenge failed.

On top of not feeling particularly artistic lately, I’ve also been feeling, as so many of us are, a bit overwhelmed with the year 2020. Between riots and civil unrest and viruses and isolation, there doesn’t seem to be much this year won’t do to us. It feels like we’re rapidly approaching the end. I don’t mind that… I’m not a nihilist or anything, but if the world wants to implode, I wish it would just go about it and get it done or calm the hell down. This slow escalator to hell is borderline unbearable. It does nothing for the creative juices.

Back to my plan for Inktober… I want to switch it up. Mary Doodles did a set size that she could put in a folio and that’s a good place to start, I think. My initial thought was to roll a ten sided die and choose the size based on that. If I roll a ten, it’s a 10 by ten, if a 5, it’s a 5 by 5. I am not doing that. I like the consistency of her idea and I like being able to put it into a folio instead of have a largely unfilled sketch book which seems like a waste to me.

I am also going to take a page from the book of Skottie Young and work in a larger format… maybe comic page sized which would be 11 by 17. It’s a standard size and Strathmore has a nice Bristol pad in that size. The paper is also something I’ve been going back and forth on. Bristol is standard for pen and ink and illustration which is what I’m going to be doing. I did an ink test and will be going with his recommendation of Speedball Superblack ink as well in a Kuretake 13 brush pen. If I decide to do a light wash, this ink won’t be going anywhere.

Ink tests with Wash, Alcohol marker, and white ink… Speedball Super black wins.

All of this is to say I’m not going to let the year beat me. I’m making my plans and trying to be optimistic. Maybe Inktober will lubricate the creativity pumps and get them flowing again.

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