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Dancing Skeleton

Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “slice.” Like yesterday the only thing I could think of was a certain brand of soft drink. So I drew a can of Slice carbonated soft drink. I occasionally drink Slice if I’m at a friend’s house or an event at my church. (Usually I drink the lemon lime flavor because it tastes like Sprite.)

And on that note, this is the last drawing I did based on the official Inktober prompt list. I have to admit that adhering strictly to that list was harder than I thought it would be. There were some prompts where I came up with an idea really quick and I was able to whip that drawing to match the prompt very fast. But there were others that gave me a lot of trouble and I ended up doing some drawings that I would never have otherwise drawn, such as today’s prompt, where I could only think of Slice soft drink.

After I finished that drawing I was basically satisfied except for one thing. Today is not only the last day of Inktober but it’s also Halloween as well. I really didn’t like the idea of ending Inktober with a drawing that I could’ve done any other time of the year and it’s based on a consumer product that I could care less about. (Like I wrote earlier, I only drank Slice if I was at a friend’s party or church event and that was what they had available to drink.) I noticed both last year and this year that other Inktober participants were doing two or more drawings per day while using the Inktober hashtag on all of them, even though the original idea is supposed to be that you did only one drawing per day for 31 days in a row. So I decided that since it was Halloween and since other people were drawing more than one drawing per day during Inktober, I would do a second drawing as well. Here is the result:

After deciding between a witch, a vampire, and a skeleton, I remembered Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem “The Raven” so I decided to draw that bird saying “Nevermore.” I found a free tutorial on how to draw a raven so I based my drawing on that. The original tutorial said to color the raven in different shades of grey and black and I currently only have one black ink pen so I drew a less-detailed bird and drew it more of a silhouette or shadow. It would be the kind of design that one could easily use as a logo to sell something like Raven Beer or Raven Snacks or Raven Gas or Raven Fashion or Raven Shoes or Raven Nightclub or something like that. I decided to ink the “HAPPY HALLOWEEN” letters in purple mainly because that’s one of the official colors of the Baltimore Ravens football team.

After spending the last 31 days doing drawings based on the official Inktober prompt list, it felt liberating to try drawing whatever I wanted to draw. I don’t regret sticking with the official Inktober prompt list this year because, in some ways, it provided more of a challenge for me. In other ways it was hard because there were some prompts that literally stumped me and it took me longer to decide what I was going to draw to illustrate that prompt.

These two drawings mark the official end of my participation in Inktober 2018. From now on I’ll add new drawings in my small sketchbook only if I get a sudden flash of inspiration and I feel the desire to draw in that sketchbook. Even then I won’t be doing a new drawing every single day because it can get pretty tiring after a while. I’ll write a separate post about what insight I gained from participating in Inktober this year.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “jolt.” The only thing I could think of was Jolt Cola, which billed itself as “All the Sugar and Twice the Caffeine.” I used to drink it on occasion back in the 1980s and it was normally whenever I was very tired and I needed to stay awake (such as when I’m working at a job and I couldn’t get off for another few hours). I remembered that Jolt tasted okay (although I preferred Coke and Pepsi) but it definitely did a good job of keeping me awake. So I drew a can of Jolt Cola.

Tomorrow is the last day of Inktober 2018. Hooray!

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “double.” This was yet another prompt that I had a hard time dealing with. The only thing I could think of was those ads for Doublemint gum featuring identical twins. Through the Wikipedia I learned that 21-year-old Jayne and Joan Boyd were the first set of twins who appeared in Doublemint’s television ads way back in 1959. (They were born Jayne and Joan Knoerzer but used their mother’s maiden name professionally.) So I drew those twins based on the vintage print ads I saw online.

One interesting fun fact was that at one point Joan and Jayne actually cut a 33 1/3 EP record titled “Double Your Pleasure” (which also happens to be the official Doublemint gum ad slogan). Their gig as spokespersons for Doublemint ended in 1963 when Joan became pregnant. Information about them have been scant since their reign as the Doublemint Twins ended other than that they both got married and changed their last names, Jayne now lives in Beverly Hills, California, and the twins’ mother died in 1991.

Over the years other twins have shown up in TV ads representing Doublemint gum. I used to chew Doublemint gum when I was growing up (along with Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum) but I haven’t purchased any packs of chewing gum in years. But I definitely remember growing up seeing ads featuring identical twins hawking Doublemint gum. It turns out that even though Doublemint gum can still be found on sale in many places, Wrigley have long since dropped the Doublemint Twins ads and it has even stopped advertising Doublemint gum on TV.

Just two days to go until Inktober 2018 ends.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “gift.” I drew something a bit more serious for this prompt. Ever since my marriage abruptly collapsed in late 2011 I had to deal with financial struggle while I had a series of jobs that were either short-lived, poorly paid, or both. I read Melody Beattie’s book The Language of Letting Go where she had one suggestion of writing your deepest wish on a piece of paper or just saying it out loud. The idea is to put your message out in the universe. She said that doing this can get results. When I was doing rough drawings in pencil a few weeks ago, I decided to write down my biggest wish in the hopes that it will come true. I’m currently doing freelance work for a therapist on an upcoming webinar series that will probably end next month and I’m currently helping someone else with her eBay sales but the latter is through the local timebank so I’m only going to get time banking hours, not paid hours. For me having my wish come true would be a gift for me.

Three more days and three more drawings until this Inktober is finally finished.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “thunder.” I have to admit that this prompt was a bit of a challenge mainly because thunder is a noise that’s not visible. But then I thought about an ancient god of thunder and I did a Google search. One of the suggestions was Thor, the ancient Norse thunder god. In addition some of the searches brought up the Marvel Comics version of Thor. I remember reading that comic book when I was a kid and there have been a few movies released in recent years featuring him. (Although I must confess that I have never seen any of them.) I based this drawing on a comic book cover from the late 1970s since this Thor is close to my memory of the Thor from my childhood.

Four more drawings in four more days until Inktober ends.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “stretch.” The only thing I could think of was drawing Stretch Armstrong, which was a rubber toy action figure that kids could stretch as far as they possibly could without ripping the toy in half.

I never had a Stretch Armstrong toy myself but I saw kids in my neighborhood playing with this, especially the boys. Anyway, just five more days until Inktober 2018 ends.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “prickly.” I came up with an idea of doing a drawing based on a photograph I took of my late pet hedgehog Spike sniffing a rose that had thorns. I had purchased the rose from Wegmans around Easter and I decided to try putting it in Spike’s outdoor playpen to see how he would react to it. He initially moved the rose with his head a few times but then I managed to shoot a photo of Spike sniffing that rose. (He only sniffed that rose for a few seconds before he decided to move on to sniffing the dirt, the fallen leaves, and the grass that was in the process of growing from the ground.) Here’s the drawing I did based on that photograph.

I submitted the photograph that my drawing was based on to the Greenbelt Labor Day Photo Show and it won a third place ribbon in the Pets category. I later exhibited that photo at other local art shows. Spike the Hedgehog passed away suddenly five years ago last month. He had lived with me for a year and a half at the time of his death. I haven’t had a pet since due mainly to shaky finances. But I will never forget Spike no matter how long I live.

Just six more days and six more drawings until the end of Inktober.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “chop.” It was yet another prompt word that I struggled with until I remembered a character from my childhood. Lamb Chop was a puppet that was operated by Shari Lewis. Lamb Chop had a childlike voice and she was pretty cute. I used to see her and Shari Lewis guest star on various TV shows. Shari Lewis died in 1998 but I learned through the Wikipedia that Shari’s daughter, Mallory Lewis, now operates the puppet. She has the performing rights to Lamb Chop while DreamWorks have the main legal rights now.

I wrote some information about Lamb Chop below the drawing mainly because I wasn’t sure if younger people would have even gotten the reference. That’s because Shari Lewis has been dead for 20 years and I haven’t heard much about Lamb Chop since her death. But then, just a week or two ago, long after I did the initial pencil draft and inking of the outlines and lettering of this drawing, I happened to be doing some grocery shopping at Giant when I saw these Halloween-themed plush squeak toys for dogs.

Yes, it’s Lamb Chop wearing a witch hat in a variety of colors. It’s nice to know that Lamb Chop haven’t been entirely forgotten.

Just seven more days and seven more drawings until Inktober 2018 ends.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “muddy.” It was yet another prompt word that I struggled with mainly because the only thing I could initially think of was a pig wading through the mud. Unfortunately, I had already done such a drawing for last year’s Inktober and I drew that one in response to that day’s prompt word, “filthy.” So I was undecided on what to do about that “muddy” prompt until I hit upon the idea of drawing famed blues guitarist and singer Muddy Waters.

Only eight more days to go until I am through with Inktober 2018.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “expensive.” I initially struggled with that word until I had to go to a nearby gas station so I could fill my car up with more gas. I experienced sticker shock at how expensive gas has gotten per gallon and, in the process, I got my inspiration for how I was going to deal with today’s prompt word.

I have nine more days to go until Inktober 2018 is finished.

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