I decided to participate in the month-long InkTober drawing challenge this year.
I completed the entire challenge in 2016 and 2017 but I opted out last year because I was struggling with some health issues and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the pace of the daily challenge.
So far, I’ve been keeping up with this year’s list of daily prompts. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with a creative way to illustrate each word; and I hope I won’t run out of creative inspiration or the physical energy I need to invest in each day.
To save on the amount of time I invest each day, I’ve changed the way I share my drawings each day. Instead of writing a blog post for each drawing, I’m sharing them on my Instagram account with a short blurb about what inspired them, then I’ll share them here in groups as the challenge progresses.
As titled, this post is to share my drawings for the first ten days of InkTober 2019. I’ve included the image of the official InkTober prompt list below:
The first prompt on this year’s list is Ring for which I didn’t stretch my imagination too far.
Mindless was the prompt for Day 2 of the challenge. All that kept popping into my thoughts as I tried to decide what to draw was one of the characters from the Wizard Oz…
A bout of insomnia gave me the opportunity to add some colour to my mindless scarecrow.
For Day 3 the prompt was Bait. An unfortunate worm on the end of a fishing hook is what I was inspired to draw.
How could one not think of the beautiful and unique results of what happens when it gets cold enough outside to Freeze water droplets, which is what I drew for Day 4.
LEGO is a toy that I believe has no age limit. Over the years, I’ve given many sets of it as gifts to the children of close friends and family, and I’ve often felt like keeping some of those gifts for myself. The Day 5 prompt was Build, which made me think of all the things I built with LEGO over the years.
More insomnia means more colour…
I wrote recently about wanting a dog, so of course what immediately jumped into my mind to illustrate the Day 6 prompt, Husky, was a dog—a Siberian Husky to be specific.
On Day 7, I drew a fairy—at least how I think a fairy might look— to illustrate the prompt Enchanted.
The prompt Frail brought up some very personal thoughts and emotions for me. It made me think about how I’ve had to accept that there are times, because of my health challenges—especially my chronic pain, when I am frail.
The prompt for Day 9, Swing, uplifted my spirits. It made me think of happy childhood memories.
My favourite prompt to illustrate in the challenge so far is Pattern for Day 10’s prompt. It gave me the chance to indulge in drawing lines, which I’ve grown to love.
I hope you enjoy what I’ve created for the first ten days of InkTober 2019. I’ll be back to share more drawings soon…
That’s partly because I have a large stockpile of art supplies to choose from but I’ve settled on some favourites that I use most of the time.
The other, more significant part, is that sometimes the way I feel physically makes me forget to do some of the simple things I truly enjoy doing. Although art is now the method I use to cope with my pain, engaging with the creative practice I’ve established isn’t always easy.
Pain that never stops has a way of dulling one’s interest in doing anything beyond basic daily tasks and it isn’t always easy to muster the energy to do much more.
When I do feel able to do something creative, it usually involves drawing lines; and drawing flowers that might exist only in my imagination is definitely one of my favourite things.
Not for the sake of satisfying a fetishized idea of what it is to own a dog; the way I’ve seen people who go out and buy tiny teacup dogs that can fit in purses to match with their favourite celebrities. I’ve wanted a dog because I really do like dogs and because I fell head over heels in love with my dad’s dog a few years ago when I visited him during what I refer to as my “tropical test trip” to figure out if I could handle traveling long distances and flying in general.
My dad’s dog is adorable. You can see him for yourself right here:
_______________ Chance _______________
I returned home from that trip thinking of nothing but when I could get a dog, and more importantly, how I would cope with caring for it while living with daily pain. I didn’t want to become the kind of dog owner who only walks their dog when it’s absolutely necessary. I didn’t, and still don’t, want to subject a dog or any animal to being stuck within the walls of my home day after day because I’m not well enough to take it outdoors for exercise. Nor did I want to become a neglectful pet owner because pain makes it impossible for me to care for its basic needs.
For just over a week, I’ve been taking care of the dog that belongs to some close friends while they are on vacation. I offered to take care of him because, aside from the fact that he’s adorable, I wanted to give myself the chance to see how well, or not, I’m able to cope with taking care of a dog full-time.
_______________ Giorgi _______________
He’s small: a Maltese mix that weighs less than ten pounds, so he’s not able to overpower me with his weight. He’s hypoallergenic, which means he doesn’t shed, so there isn’t any daily dog hair clean up, at all. His exercise requirements are not excessive; therefore, short strolls along my block a few times a day are enough for him to sniff around trees and poles, and make use of the outdoor facilities while getting the exercise he needs. I also had the good fortune of being able to let him run wild around a friend’s property in the country for a few days, which took some of the pressure off me to be physically active more than I am able.
The experience of this past week has given me some valuable information: As much as I’ve wanted a dog, I can’t have a dog.
The toll of getting up early every morning to take him for his first walk of the day alone has been hard to bear. Mornings and the latter part of most evenings tend to be the worst parts of the day for me. Whether that’s because I tend to wake in the mornings after not sleeping well or that the minimal physical activity I engage in throughout each day both increase my pain, I have not fared well this past week. In addition, the responsibility of taking him out for a walk multiple times a day has been hard on my legs and irritated my pelvic pain. I’ve been sore during each walk, and even more so, after we return home. That makes enjoying his company and playing when he wants to play difficult.
As unfortunate as this outcome is, I believe it’s best that I learned all of this while taking care of my friends’ dog for a short period, rather than after making the commitment to get one of my own. I can’t imagine what the effect on a dog would be after being brought home and bonding with a person, then having to be returned to a shelter or a breeder. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for doing that to any animal—or to myself.
I’ll miss my four-legged visitor when he goes home. Although, it has been physically painful for me to take care of him, I’ve enjoyed his company.
I used to live a very active life: running, hiking, riding my bicycle, skiing, swimming, and trying extreme activities on a whim—think skydiving. Now, even when the weather is gorgeous, like it was last weekend, I need to stay away from too much activity. As tempting as it was to be in a boat on the water for long stretches of time, or to go swimming in the middle of a deep bay to cool off, I had to spend time in solitude resting my body to avoid another pain flare up.
Thankfully, because the weather was so beautiful, I was able to sit outside in the sun as I drew. The surrounding scenery influenced the colour I chose to start filling in my line drawings. I’ve been using lots of blues and greens in the things I create this summer, probably because I’m spending so much time outside.
This page isn’t finished yet, but I think I got off to a good start while enjoying a sunny afternoon…