Alum in Inktober

October 9, 2018

Official Inktober Image

It’s that time of year when the ink and sweaters come out. Inktober! When artists take the month of October to create an ink drawing every day. There is an official prompt list from the instigator of this hallowed tradition, Jake Parker (Little Bot and Sparrow), but plenty of people make it their own. It is one of the best months for finding new artists to follow on Instagram.

Official Prompts

Every year, Jake Parker writes up an official list of prompts with items like “poisonous” and “chicken.” It can be fascinating to see everyone’s take each day: Dan Archer ′09, Sam Carbaugh ′09, Jen Vaughn ′10 (Teenage Wasteland, written by Magdalene Visaggio), Alex Karr ′16, Shashwat Mishra ′16, Ben Wright-Heuman ′16 (Letters of the Devil), Sandy Bartholomew ′17, Moss Bastille ′17, and Erienne McCray ′18.

Other Prompts

Other people create their own prompt lists. Some people do all about witches, or monsters. But John Carvajal ′15 is working from sci-fi list. And Bridget Comeau ′15 is drawing from a persona list.

Story tellers

Some creators take October to create a 31 page story, one page each day. Colleen Frakes ′07 (Prison Island) is writing a story about Hanne, who’s baby sister was snatch from napping in the shade while Hanne was hanging laundry. Reilly Hadden ′15 is recapping everything that has happened in Astral Birth Canal so far. And Angela Boyle ′16 is doing a story to practice spot blacks.


Using only the prompts in their heads, lots of people celebrate Halloween by drawing a new monster each day of October: Ian Richardson ′13, Holly Foltz ′10, Jesse Durona ′11 (Dr. Professor Snugglebottom’s Horrifying Housemates), and Steve Thueson ′17.


A good source for monsters is Dungeons and Dragons. JP Coovert ′08 (Charlie Joe Jackson illustrator) is coming up with D&D character to fill a city, about whom he will eventually make a whole book. Rainer Kannenstine ′18 is also drawing DnD characters.


Lots of artists come up with their own theme. They don’t want the restrictions of someone else’s list, but it is hard to come up with a new drawing 31 days in a row without some place to start from: Bonesteel ′10, Andy Christensen ′11, Kate Larson ′13, Bryn Adams ′15, and Whiteley Foster ′18.

Excellent Practice Time

Inktober is also just a great time to focus on your ink work. And plenty of artists use it as a 31-day bootcamp to practice a specific skill. Laura Terry ′10 (Graveyard Shakes) is adding watercolor to her Inktober illustrations. Jason Week’s illustrations are intense and detailed and sometimes on colored paper. Lena Chandhok’s illustrations are smothered in ink. Max Riffner (The Crippler’s Son) is practicing straight to ink. Dan Rinylo is loosening up with his inks. Josh Lees is using fan art to practice with some new pens. Jonathan Rotstztain is drawing gag comics and coloring them digitally. Andi Santagata is working some crazy abstract magic (the image below is Dracula).

Tags: Alex Karr, Andi Santagata, Andy Christensen, Angela Boyle, Ben Wright-Heuman, Bonesteel, Bridget Comeau, Bryn Adams, cartoonstudies, Colleen Frakes, Dan Archer, Dan Rinylo, Erienne McCray, Holly Foltz, ian richardson, Inktober, Jake Parker, Jason Week, Jen Vaughn, Jesse Durona, John Carvajal, Jonathan Rotsztain, Josh Lees, JP Coovert, Kate Larson, Laura Terry, Lena Chandhok, Max Riffner, Moss Bastille, Rainer Kannenstine, Reilly Hadden, Sam Carbaugh, Sandy Bartholomew, Shashwat Mishra, Steve Thueson, Whiteley Foster