Yes, I'm already a week behind. What can I say, it's a tradition.

I have been doing the Inktober challenge for years. Maybe too many. But it's the best thing for getting me back in the habit of drawing everyday. And it has inspired me to create my own challenges as well.

If you aren't familiar with the concept of Inktober, it was created by cartoonist Jake Parker as a way to practice his inking skills. Every October, he posts a list of word prompts. Each day of the month, Artists create a black and white drawing inspired by that day's word prompt and post it to Instagram.

I always add extra challenges to my own practice. At various times I have added the word itself to the drawing (to practice my lettering skills), added my Geeky Girl character (to practice consistency), added Zentangle patterns, added color... and this year, I decided to illustrate a quote that includes each word.

Song Lyrics count as quotes! (above)

One year, I combined the Inktober Challenge with 24 Hour Comics Day. I used the word prompt list to create a comic, with 24 pages, in 24 hours. That was kind of insane, but it turned out to be FISH - and one of my favorite new characters. AND - I just got glow-in-the-dark stickers made of FISH!

FISH also appears in another self-imposed challenge, LEARNING to SURF. To get myself drawing again, I challenged myself to draw one page everyday for a month. I only had the title, but no idea where the story was going each day.

Inktober has a year-long challenge too - Inktober52. I did that one year... 52 drawings - which became the QUARANTANGLES card pack.

I collected two years worth of drawings into the Inspiration Sketchbook #4 and the Inspiration Coloring Book #1.

And the last two years, I turned the Inktober prompts into a tarot deck and an oracle deck! The Faux Tarot and the Geeky Girl Oracle Deck.

And, lastly (I think?), the biggest project of all! I challenged myself to draw one of my toys everyday for a year! I wanted to learn to use alcohol markers and take stock of my huge toy collection. I completed 222 images (I had some serious surgery and other good excuses that year). 144 of those were exhibited, My Year of Toys, at The Childrens' Museum in Dover, NH last year. All the images were collected into Begin Again #6 - The Toy Issue - which also includes a mini print and a coloring book!

All these items are on SALE for the month of Inktober... um... October... at my Etsy shop - Bumblebat.

I'd love some encouragement - let me know if you think I should keep going with the challenge this month, or get a real job. Kidding. Buying my books also works as encouragement! :-)