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A fundraiser event for Ben Jealous took place at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland nearly a month ago. I only held off on writing about this because I was waiting for this video to be made then uploaded. I was also distracted by taking part in Inktober and a side project that I’m still currently involved in. Since tomorrow is the midterms elections, I finally decided that it’s time for me to write a post about this since no one will care after the polls close tomorrow.

Here’s the gist: A day-long fundraising concert was being held at the New Deal as a benefit for Ben Jealous’ campaign to become the next governor of Maryland. It started out with being a typical concert with local acts performing.

In the middle of the concert a music video touting Ben Jealous was shot. Here’s some background, a couple of years ago a musical duo known as The Bachelor and the Bad Actress made a music video at the same venue called “Be a Believer” and it was about Bernie Sanders and his ill-fated candidacy for president of the U.S. I took part in making that video and I had a blast making it, even though my own appearance in that video was no more than two or three seconds (and you’d have to strain hard to see me wearing a flying pig hat that I purchased when I was a vendor at the Pigtown Festival in Baltimore back in 2010).

A few days before the Ben Jealous event I saw a notice on Facebook from The Bachelor and The Bad Actress saying that another music video was going to be shot in the middle of that concert and they needed people. Apparently they were going to use that same song “Be a Believer” and they were going to alter some of the lyrics so it’ll be about Ben Jealous instead of Bernie Sanders. I showed up wearing the same flying pig hat but I wore a different shirt because it was a relatively warm day that day. Here’s a selfie of me in the bathroom wearing that hat.

So I waited patiently until it was time for the music video to start filming. While I was there I shot this short video of a drumming jam session featuring this little girl who was dancing to the rhythm.

Eventually those of us who were participated in the video were instructed to walk outside to the front of the cafe where we did a brief rehearsal of that song then we walked back inside. At one point the candidate himself, Ben Jealous, showed up where he gave a brief speech.

His running mate, Susie Turnbull also showed up and she jointed Ben Jealous on stage.

Susie Turnbull gave her own speech.

Ben Jealous had another engagement so he left. But Susie Turnbull stuck around and she even joined in when it came time to shooting that video, which was pretty cool. The video was eventually uploaded only to Facebook but I somehow missed that notice. For whatever reason, no one had gotten around to uploading it on to YouTube and Facebook doesn’t have a way that anyone can embed its videos into this blog. Just click here to view the music video for “Be a Believer” featuring Susie Turnbull. (If you look hard enough, you could see me wearing that flying pig hat in the background but, like the earlier video, I’m hard to spot.)

I left the New Deal Cafe after the video shoot ended. As I walked outside, I saw Susie Turnbull meeting with a few locals where they expressed their concerns to her.

The next day I saw these signs and masks in the New Deal Cafe window.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “swollen.” This was yet another prompt that I struggled with. In a desperate attempt to come up with something, I finally decided to use my medical training (or lack thereof) to raise awareness for Swollen Ego Syndrome while I publicly diagnosed Donald Trump as having that affliction because he met all of the criteria I came up with that makes up Swollen Ego Syndrome. (I should mention that I am not a medical doctor. LOL!)

I drew Donald Trump having this smirk on his face. I was trying to replicate something I saw years ago. Here’s some background. My then-husband and I used to go to New York City about once or twice a year to visit his father and step-mother, who lived on the Upper West Side. We usually drove and I generally let my husband do all of the driving because I just didn’t have the guts to drive through Manhattan at all. (If you’ve ever been in New York City, you’d understand my reluctance to drive in that city.)

In order to get to my in-laws’ place from the Washington, DC area, we generally went north on I-95 through Baltimore and beyond, crossed the Delaware Bridge, went through the Delaware Turnpike, and headed north on the New Jersey Turnpike before we finally took the Lincoln Tunnel into the city. Lincoln Tunnel always had a slowdown going into the city. No matter what day of the week or time of day it was, there was always this traffic jam where the cars slowed to a crawl right outside that entrance until we managed to get inside of the tunnel.

There are billboards plastered all over the area near the tunnel entrance because the advertisers figured out a long time ago that they had a captive audience. During one of our trips we saw a giant billboard for the Trump Taj Mahal, which was a big hotel and casino in Atlantic City. That billboard basically showed a giant picture of Donald Trump flanked by two smiling bejeweled blond-haired showgirls who were both young enough to be his daughters. Donald Trump had this incredibly smug looking smirk on his face like he was announcing to the world “Look at what I got—I have it all and you don’t! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!”

That billboard looked so ridiculous, especially since we both knew that Trump had filed for the first of his many bankruptcies just a few years earlier and there were reports that he lost a lot of his own money. It was also around the time that Donald Trump had ditched his first wife, Ivana, for Marla Maples. Or maybe it was around the time that he was married to Marla but he had decided to ditch her as well and he was often photographed in the company of models who were at least two or three decades younger than him. (I don’t remember exactly when I saw that billboard other than I somehow remember that it was before he married his current wife, Melania.) My husband and I were looking at that ridiculous billboard while being stuck in traffic.

I finally blurted out, “Oh my God! He’s a buffoon!” My husband responded, “But he’s a rich buffoon!” We both laughed. Even back then we thought he was a total joke as a businessman. If either one of us had said that day, “One day that man will become President of the United States,” we probably would’ve erupted in laughter because that idea sounded so incredibly ludicrous. But we never said that because the idea of Trump even entering politics sounded so silly and stupid since, at the time, he seemed to be more focused on plastering his name on so many buildings throughout Manhattan while going out with attractive women young enough to be his daughter and getting his name and photo in the gossip pages than in running for any kind of public office.

But now it’s 2018. The Trump Taj Mahal has since gone out of business. My husband and I got a divorce. My father-in-law passed away one year ago this month. (I devoted one of my Inktober drawings from last year to him when I learned from other relatives that he was on his deathbed. He died a couple of days after I finished that drawing.) Donald Trump now sits in the White House as President of the United States. There are times when I still long for the earlier days when Trump was just a celebrity businessman and reality TV star who showed zero political ambition. He may have been a joke back then but at least he didn’t have the codes to the nuclear bombs nor did he have the power to make policies that could be a disaster for not only in the United States as a whole but in the rest of the world as well. So I tried to replicate that Trump smirk from that billboard that was erected a long time ago in my latest Inktober drawing.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “weak.” I struggled with this prompt. I considered different ideas but I ended up jettisoning them because they would’ve been too depressing to draw (such as drawing a picture of migrant children in cages or a Syrian in a refugee camp). I decided to draw some fan art where I had Poison Ivy taking on Donald Trump and defeating him with one of her plants. For added measure, I related it to the prompt word while referencing that infamous Access Hollywood bus recording by having Poison Ivy say “Grabbing me by my pussy is so incredibly weak!”

Yeah, I went there with one of the vines of Poison Ivy’s plant going into Trump’s pants in an effort to grab him by his cock and give him a taste of his own medicine. Some of you may question the tastefulness of what I drew but after his recent appearance at a political rally where he openly mocked a woman who accused a Supreme Court justice nominee of raping her, I have zero fucks left to give about whether other people will like this drawing or not.

A few months ago I checked out a couple of graphic novel reprints of the Harley Quinn comic book series from the library and Poison Ivy frequently makes guest appearances in that series. (Poison Ivy is a close friend of Harley Quinn and there are hints that they may be close friends with benefits.) By the way, I saw two of the people behind that comic book, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, at a Batman forum held at the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

Here are some photos of the couple after a fan had given them Batman and Harley Quinn masks that he had obtained for free from a comic book store that he stopped at on his way to Baltimore Comic-Con. (It was Batman Day in many comic book stores and this forum was also held on that same day.)

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “cruel.” I decided to use it to actually do some fan art that I had thought about drawing for quite some time but I was too lazy to do it sooner. I did a mash-up of Harley Quinn taking on Donald Trump and defeating him with her giant mallet while he’s clutching at his crotch in pain with his tiny hands. Yes, I referred to that infamous Access Hollywood recording and the fact that he’s sensitive about people referring to his hand size. My latest Inktober drawing is more timely than ever before given the fact that Donald Trump spoke at a rally where he literally mocked a woman who accused a newly-seated Supreme Court justice nominee of raping her. Here is my drawing.

I have a DC Super Hero Girls doll (which I purchased during Toys R Us’ going out of business sale a few months ago) that I used as a model while I was drawing. A few months ago I checked out a couple of graphic novel reprints of the Harley Quinn comic book series from the library and they are definitely hilarious and full of dark humor, especially since she can have a cruel streak at times (which nicely dovetails with today’s prompt word). By the way, I saw two of the people behind that comic book, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, at a Batman forum held at the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con.

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

Here are some photos of the couple after a fan had given them Batman and Harley Quinn masks that he had obtained for free from a comic book store that he stopped at on his way to Baltimore Comic-Con. (It was Batman Day in many comic book stores and this forum was also held on that same day.)

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

Baltimore Comic-Con, September 23, 2017

As of today, I’m now one-third of the way through Inktober. I have many more drawings to do until the end of the month.

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A few months ago I found that Five Below had these Talk Back Pets, which cost $5 each. I purchased one and I made a special greeting video for Easter and the Fourth of July.

This weekend is another holiday weekend so I made a special Labor Day greeting video. I was influenced by Donald Trump’s announcement this week that he’s seeking to freeze pay raises for federal employees. Here’s the video. Enjoy!

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A few days before the Women’s March on Washington I attended a screen printing workshop at Art Works Now known as The Art of Resistance. The participants were screenprinting signs and t-shirts that they could use either at the march or use at a later date. I took a few photos during my time there.

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

"The Art of Resistance" Workshop

ReCreative Spaces, which opened back in 2015, was a studio space for artists and makers located in Mount Rainier, Maryland. Last month I got word that ReCreative Spaces decided to close its doors. I wanted to go to its Farewell Party last month but I decided to scrap that plan when a snowstorm coupled with below-freezing temperatures hit the area and I just didn’t want to risk going out too far from my home and risk either getting in a car accident or slipping on some ice on the sidewalk and risk injuring my hip replacement. (Although that storm made some pretty pictures, such as the ones I took that day.)

Ultimately I went to the last ever event at that place, which was basically a going-out-of-business sale where everything must go. Here are a few pictures I took while I was there.

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

I only found two things that I decided to purchase, both of which had cost me a total of one dollar. I got a pack of inkjet fabric sheets.

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

I also found this Christmas rubber duck that I thought was cute enough to purchase on impulse.

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

Here’s the rubber duck next to my small collection of Ginger Cottages. This rubber duck is now currently residing in storage with the rest of my Christmas decorations.

The ReCreative Closing Sale, January 6, 2018

Since I’m publishing this post on a Thursday, I’ll make this into a Throwback Thursday by highlighting just a few past photos of ReCreative Spaces along with links to the original posts that they appeared in.

The first and only time I ever took part in a vendor show at Recreative Spaces.

ReCreative Spaces Open House event in Mount Rainier, Maryland, September 6, 2015

Photo originally published in the September 21, 2015 post.

I created this Christmas card during Small Business Saturday at ReCreative Spaces.

photo24

Photo originally published in the December 9, 2015 post.

The time ReCreative Spaces sponsored Art in the Park(ing Lot) where local artists painted murals on a soon-to-be-torn down shopping center.

Painting Party, August 7, 2016

Photo originally published in the August 23, 2016 post.

The time I made this Christmas ornament as part of Small Business Saturday at ReCreative Spaces.

Small Business Saturday at the Gateway Arts District of Prince George's County

Photo originally published in the December 19, 2016 post.

When I saw this funky Christmas tree made entirely of wood.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour, December 10, 2016

Photo originally published in the December 27, 2016 post.

When I colored a page from an adult coloring book.

Winter Gallery Opening Event at ReCreative Spaces, Mount Rainier, Maryland, January 8 2015

Photo originally published in the January 12, 2016 post.

I created this postcard-sized collage.

surrealflight-webversion

Photo originally published in the March 3, 2016 post

I’ll never forget the time after Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States where ReCreative Spaces hosted this mural.

Deport Trump Mural

Photo originally published in the March 16, 2017 post.

From time to time ReCreative Spaces had musicians and deejays provide the tunes at their events, such as these two musicians.

ReCreative Spaces

Photo originally published in the May 22, 2017 post.

I’ll definitely miss going to their events because I usually enjoyed myself as I made art and met some new people.

I went back to Baltimore earlier this month so I could check out the latest session of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at The Windup Space. Once I arrived at the Station North Arts District, I still had some time to kill so I decided to play around with my Canon camera (which I purchased used off of eBay for only half the price of the same brand-new camera in a store). These days the days are shorter while the nights are longer, which means that the sun starts to set around 5 p.m. or so. I decided to put my camera on the low-light setting and I took a few night photos of the area near The Windup Space.

I eventually went inside The Windup Space where I continued to take pictures inside the place using the same low light settings on my camera. This is also the section of my post where some of the images are definitely NSFW. The next photo shows the stage where the model poses while we all draw.

Here’s a photo of my drink, which I only shot because I liked that line drawing of the ram that was on my drinking glass.

Here is a photo of some of the really cool looking beer taps at the bar. (And, yes, they are really functioning beer taps.)

I took a few photos of the current exhibit that’s on display at The Windup Space (as of this writing). Many of the photos on display are definitely NSFW.

This box is another indication that Christmas is coming next month. (No, I didn’t take up the offer of snagging myself a free Xmas hat. I already have an old Santa Claus hat with Mickey Mouse ears that I purchased at a Disney Store years ago and that’s good enough for me.)

Here is some graffiti I found inside of one of the stalls in the women’s restroom.

The last two photos are two different promotional flyers advertising the latest Dr. Sketchy’s event.

The rest of this post features only my drawings because there’s generally a ban on photographing the model. The model for this Dr. Sketchy’s session was a burlesque performer named Ruby Spruce and some of these drawings are definitely NSFW.

At one point Ruby Spruce did this performance that totally flipped me out for reasons that had nothing to do with Ruby or Dr. Sketchy’s or even Baltimore. Two weeks earlier I ran into a friend at my church’s annual Halloween/Samhain service (which also included a Trunk or Treat event and a party) who was dressed in this costume as Carol Burnett doing her Gone With the Wind parody. I recognized the reference because my family used to watch Carol Burnett’s TV show when I was growing up. (If you want to see Carol Burnett in that costume, you can watch a poor quality video of a short excerpt from that comedy sketch right here and/or you can watch a better quality video of Carol Burnett reflecting on that comedy sketch.) Very few people in my congregation recognized that reference. I think it’s because my congregation is a mix of older people who rarely watched television—even when they were younger in the 1970s (which was The Carol Burnett Show‘s heyday) they didn’t watch TV very much—and people who were either too young to remember that show or weren’t even born then.

So here I was at Dr. Sketchy’s and Ruby Spruce decided to do her burlesque performance midway through that evening and she appeared in that same curtain rod dress that my friend wore two weeks earlier while the theme song from The Carol Burnett Show was playing while she gradually stripped down to pasties and g-string. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to photograph the model so I couldn’t show my friend any pictures of Ruby wearing that same costume she wore at church.

Instead, I’ll just post the photo of my friend wearing that curtain rod costume at church two weeks before Dr. Sketchy’s chatting with another church member.

Halloween/Samhain Service, October 29, 2017

After Ruby’s performance, I drew her with that hoop structure she wore underneath her curtain rod costume.

The one contest I took part in that evening was about the then-upcoming Black Friday. The owner of The Windup Space, Russell, was working behind the bar that night so the emcees had this idea of somehow incorporating Russell and Ruby Spruce with a Black Friday sale. I came up with the idea of Russell grabbing Ruby and taking her away from the store before Donald Trump could. I had an orange-skinned Donald Trump shake his tiny hands and yelling “You Son of a Bitch! I had first dibs on her! I’m the President! COME BACK!” Then I had Russell say “President Trump still has Melania and Ivanka. He doesn’t need Ruby as well.” I’ll admit that this drawing was the culmination of my pent-up frustration with Trump and his crazy antics both in the White House and on Twitter. (Of course I also derived inspiration from The Daily Show‘s classic two-part series Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter and Again, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter.)

My drawing made it among the finalists but I didn’t win. After that contest, I did one more drawing of Ruby Spruce before the event ended for the evening.

Dancing Skeleton

Today is the day after Halloween and the first day of the two-day Mexican holiday known as El Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In addition, Inktober officially ended right on Halloween yesterday. I succeeded in drawing and uploading 31 ink drawings in 31 days from October 1-31. I finished Inktober at the same time as I ended up getting sick with this stomach flu where I constantly felt nauseous and I alternated between going through dry heaves and diarrhea. The fact that it also happened on the same day as Halloween totally sucks. I barely managed to get myself together enough to give out treats to the trick or treaters. Instead of going to a Halloween night party at a friend’s house, I had to make an emergency run to Giant after the official trick or treat time ended just so I could pick up some medication and toilet paper.

Today I feel better in that the dry heaves and diarrhea has subsided and I feel mostly tired. I took a nap today and I’ll probably go to bed early tonight so I can rest some more.

As I go over the drawings I did during the month, I realized that I could easily put them into certain categories (with many of those drawings falling under more than one category).

Animals: Penguin, panda bear, black cat, dinosaur, swan, pig, two former ride cars from the now-defunct Enchanted Forest amusement park shaped like a duckling and a swan, Willie the Whale, goat, and Zombie Dog.

Based on Dolls I Currently Own: Volks Dollfie Dream, Batgirl and Wonder Woman (with Donald Trump and by themselves).

Building: Crooked House.

Clark’s Elioak Farm: Two former ride cars from the now-defunct Enchanted Forest shaped like a duckling and a swan, the Crooked House, Willie the Whale, goat.

Death Penalty: Guillotine.

Friday the 13th: Black cat.

Halloween/Day of the Dead: The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Goat Man, Zombie Dog, Day of the Dead skeleton, Frankenstein, Jack O’Lantern.

Hollywood Scandal: Harvey Weinstein.

My Own 100% Original Character: Zombie Dog.

Native American (For Indigenous Peoples Day a.k.a. Columbus Day): Wolf kachina.

Real People: Donald Trump with Jesus Christ, Donald Trump again (with Wonder Woman and Batgirl), Donald Trump yet again, Donald Trump one more time, Tom Petty, burlesque performer Reverend Valentine, Harvey Weinstein, my father-in-law, my mother (which also includes Elvis Presley), Madonna Girl Dale.

Religious-Related Drawings: Jesus Christ (with Donald Trump), Unitarian Universalist flaming chalice, wolf kachina.

People Who Celebrated a Birthday During Inktober: My mother.

People Who Died During Inktober: Tom Petty and my father-in-law.

Politics: Donald Trump with Jesus Christ, Donald Trump again (with Wonder Woman and Batgirl), Donald Trump yet again, Donald Trump one more time.

Relatives: My father-in-law and mother.

Superheroes: Batgirl and Wonder Woman together with Donald Trump and by themselves.

Supernatural Book/Movie Characters: The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein.

Virtual Models from Figurosity.com: Woman running with a gun, woman dressed in psychedelic tye-dye outfit holding a gun.

The biggest challenge for me is that working on a new drawing a day then uploading it online to this blog and various social media sites took a portion of my time that I could’ve spent doing other things (such as doing house cleaning, putting up Halloween decorations, sending out a few more resumes). That was the main reason why I had quit a previous effort to do one new drawing per day starting on January 1, 2016 (which was a New Year’s resolution). I think the reason why I was more successful at Inktober than my previous daily drawing effort last year was because I knew it was only for 31 days that I had to worry about doing a new drawing each day. After that I could draw as much or as little as I wanted.

Even though there was an official Inktober prompt list of one word for each different day, I was more interested in doing my own thing since this is the first year I participated in this. (Inktober has been going on since 2009.) I only used the official prompt list if I was stumped for inspiration. Now that I got my desire to draw whatever I wanted for Inktober out of my system, I’m thinking that if I was to do this again next year, I would discipline myself by sticking strictly with the prompt list. It would be a way to challenge myself, especially since I’m sure that there will be a word or two that will have me totally stumped at first.

The biggest benefit I got from Inktober is that I was able to learn which social media sites gave me the best exposure in terms of publicizing myself and my work. I uploaded my drawings to the current popular social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) as well as other social media sites I haven’t posted anything in a while. These sites used to be relatively popular until they were overshadowed by Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. I decided to upload to them because I wanted to see if I should still bother with them. I found that the absolute worst were Flickr and Google+ because I only got one “Like” on both platforms and that was it. Tumblr was hit or miss in that I got maybe one or two Notes (which is Tumblr’s version of “Like”) for some of my drawings but there were others that got zero Notes. (The one drawing that got the most attention was the one I did of Tom Petty and that one only got four Notes.) Minds, the open source alternative social media site, was just as hit or miss as Tumblr in that I got maybe one or two “Likes” on some drawings but others were totally ignored.

By far the best response I got was on this blog and Instagram. In fact I got new followers on both platforms because of Inktober. Twitter came in at a close second in that I also got new followers as well as retweets. Facebook was surprisingly more of a mixed-bag. While I got a better response than Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, and Minds combined, the response rate was lower than this blog, Instagram, and Twitter.

The one major social media site that I didn’t use was LinkedIn because that one is more of a professional social media site and some of my drawings were either too political (such as the ones featuring Donald Trump) or the subject matter was one where I just didn’t feel comfortable in posting there (such as the one about the Harvey Weinstein action figure). I’ve seen people get chewed out on LinkedIn for posting anything that was even remotely controversial (especially one that’s political) and I’d rather avoid it since it’s common knowledge that would-be employers tend to look you up on LinkedIn to see if you’re someone they would even want to hire. I don’t want to lose out on any potential opportunity because of some post I made there.

It was time consuming to upload the same drawing on so many different social media sites per day but at least I gained knowledge on which ones are worth investing my time in promoting myself in the future so it was worth it in the end.

I also learned that there is certain value in practicing drawing only for yourself because you’ll never know when one of those drawings you’ve done have struck inspiration to do a regular art project based on what you’ve drawn. I’m thinking about doing a watercolor version of that swan I drew during Inktober because I really liked the results.

Another positive result of Inktober is that I discovered Figurosity.com and that site was valuable in providing virtual models for me to practice my drawing with. I plan to use that site for my drawing more often.

I also looked at other people’s Inktober drawings on social media and I was amazed by the amount of creativity I saw there. There were a few people who did some really ambitious things for Inktober. I saw some people do two or more drawings per day, which I personally admired since I found it a challenge to do even one new drawing in a small sketchbook every single day. I saw one guy who was working on a graphic novel and he decided to use Inktober to draw and ink one new page per day. There was another person who decided to use Inktober do a large complex drawing where the person inked just one section of that drawing each day with the goal being that the large complex drawing would be completed on October 31.

The biggest challenge with Inktober is to maintain my enthusiasm for continuing with drawing one new drawing per day then uploading it online. The first few days I was very eager and enthusiastic. But then I came down with this nasty cold but I continued to work through that cold even though my body wanted to get more sleep so it can knock off those cold germs. After I got rid of that cold I began to gradually view the daily Inktober sketches more and more as some time-consuming daily chore instead of something that I was excited and enthusiastic about. Even though I tried to keep the designs relatively simple and I used a small sketchpad, I still found myself burning out towards the end. This was especially true when I wanted to put up Halloween decorations or go to some Halloween-related local event only to remind myself that I needed to make time for my daily Inktober drawings.

By the last week I went to Clark’s Elioak Farm because I wanted to draw enough pencil sketches so I could just ink over them on the allotted day for the next few days. Then I spent one additional evening filling up my sketchbook with enough Halloween-themed pencil sketches to last me until the very end of the month.

But then I began to just burn out on even doing the ink over the pencil outlines, especially during that last weekend before Halloween. I started to partially-ink over more than one pencil sketch a day or two before the allotted date while leaving each one intentionally unfinished until the allotted date, when I would finish it so I could technically say that I did work on one new drawing per day each day during Inktober. One evening, about two nights before the end of Inktober, I used my free time to do the bulk of the inking on my scheduled drawings of the last two days while leaving just a small area of each drawing unfinished so I could spend less than 15 minutes completing each drawing on the allotted day.

I did it this way because I grew tired of spending anywhere from a half-an-hour to a full hour working on each new drawing then spending additional time photographing my drawing then uploading it on my various social media accounts. You may think that I was cheating but I don’t care. If I hadn’t done something like this, I would’ve grown so tired of spending a chunk of time on my Inktober sketch that I would’ve quit just days before October 31.

Right now I’m typing this in the early days of NaNoWriMo, which is something similar to Inktober where you spend every day in November writing your novel. I’ve read about people who are doing NaNoWriMo but I’m definitely not taking part in this. Spending time each day doing Inktober was enough for me without having to go from doing daily Inktober drawings in October to writing daily NaNoWriMo prose in November.

Now that Inktober is over, I’m going to take some time off from drawing on a daily basis because I have other things in my life that I need to focus on (such as the upcoming winter holidays in December). Ultimately I’m going to try doing a new drawing in my sketchbook at least once a month. I would do this by just working on that drawing in blocks of 15 minutes on a given day (and that would be only if I had extra time available for me to do such a drawing). I would keep on working on the same drawing, 15 minutes at a time and one day at a time, until I’m finished. Basically I want to practice my drawing but on a more leisurely schedule where I can balance that with other activities that require my attention at the same time.

Of course only time will tell whether I actually achieve this. (LOL!) But I’m willing to at least give it a try.

Here are a few things I would advise a person who’s thinking about doing either Inktober next year or simply wants to devote a different month to doing one drawing per day (such as December or March or June):

1. Don’t obsess too much about drawing supplies. I know the official Inktober site has a list of recommended supplies but some of these supplies (such as Micron pens) can be pretty expensive to those on a tight budget. If you can’t afford the recommended Inktober supplies, don’t fret. Just go with cheaper supplies instead. I did my Inktober drawings using a cheap pack of multicolored Paper Mate InkJoy pens that I purchased at Target for only $10. And I wasn’t the only one who didn’t use the best supplies either. I saw quite a few Inktober drawings that were done only with the cheap disposable blue ink Bic ballpoint pens and I found them to be just as interesting and well-done as the ones that were used with the more expensive pens. As for drawing paper, I would recommend shopping around because sometimes you can find the best bargains. Here’s one example: I’ve seen 9” x 12” (23 cm x 30 cm) sketchbook drawing pads on sale at my local Five Below store for only $5.

2. Use a small sketchbook that’s no bigger than 9” x 12” (23 cm x 30 cm). Not only will you fill up the page faster than with a larger sketchbook but a smaller sketchbook is more portable. I did my Inktober drawings using a 4” x 6” (10 cm x 15 cm) sketchbook. When I decided to travel to Clark’s Elioak Farm to do some more Inktober drawings, all I had to do was to put my sketchbook (along with my pens and pencils) in my purse and I was good to go. Heck, I saw some Inktober sketches online that were drawn on Post-It Notes.

3. If you can, try setting aside a certain time each day to work on your Inktober sketch. It could be when you wake up the first thing in the morning or after dinner or whenever. If you can’t commit to the same time every day, then just take advantage of whatever free time suddenly materializes to do your drawings. I’ve seen people admit that they did their Inktober sketches while riding public transportation on the way to or from their day jobs. I’ve even seen people admit that they did their drawings on the sly while being forced to sit in on a boring lecture at school or they took advantage of some downtime at work. Just do whatever works for you.

4. The one thing about Inktober I learned is that you can do some advance drawings in pencil as long as you wait until the designated day to do the final inking. In fact, I learned that this year’s official Inktober prompt list was put online two weeks before the month began so one could have the luxury to decide what he/she wanted to draw on the designated day and even do a rough sketch in pencil. I took advantage of this policy towards the end of the month when I began to burn out on doing a new drawing every day and I was in danger of quitting before the month was over. What I did was to go to Clark’s Elioak Farm, where I finished one new drawing in ink but I did other unfinished drawings in pencil that I could finish in ink over the next few days. By the time I finished that series, it was close to Halloween so I spent one evening just doing a pencil drawing of Madonna Girl Dale (who usually wears a costume in public all year round) followed by pencil drawings of traditional Halloween and Day of the Dead figures until the 31st drawing of the month. So I spent the last week of Inktober just coloring in one previously made pencil drawing in ink per day until I reached the last drawing on Halloween.

5. If you hit a rough patch where you really can’t focus on doing any complicated detailed drawings or you don’t have a lot of time to do anything too complex, just do a simple drawing that you can easily finish in 30 minutes or less. I experienced this challenge earlier this month when I came down with this horrible cold that literally left me feeling very weak and tired all the time. For those days I decided to do simple drawings of a penguin and a panda bear because those animals were relatively easy for me to draw quickly before I felt tired enough to take another nap. As an added bonus, those two drawings were basically black and white drawings so I didn’t have to do much thinking while I drew them. I also didn’t bother with drawing backgrounds because that would’ve been more time-consuming and I didn’t feel wide awake enough to draw something that would’ve been more complex.

6. Don’t be a perfectionist about your drawing. The whole purpose of Inktober is to practice your drawing, not focusing on being the next Rembrandt or Keith Haring. The idea is to do a quick drawing that can be done in a small part of your day.

7. Don’t be afraid of posting your drawings online, even if you personally feel less than enthusiastic about your latest drawing. I found that people tended to be really nice towards those who posted their Inktober drawings and many of them gave positive feedback. I personally didn’t encounter any cyberbullying in the month that I posted my Inktober drawings online. Just post your drawing online even if you personally don’t like it because there will be people who will like it better than you do.

Well, that’s it for Inktober 2017. I’ll end this post with a couple of embedded things in case you’ve missed some or all of the Inktober drawings I’ve been uploading over the past month. One is a YouTube video that includes some catchy background music.

If you prefer to view the pictures at your own pace without background music, you can view my Flickr album instead.

Inktober 2017

Today my coughing fits are fewer and they have gotten less intense than in previous days. I started taking Mucinex last night so I think my new medication is working. Maybe I’ll get rid of the last vestiges of this cold by the weekend.

Yeah, I did another Donald Trump parody drawing for today’s Inktober piece. I’ve been feeling so worn down by the latest Trump drama coming out of the White House on a daily basis since January that I did this pretty cynical drawing.

A few months ago there was this story where Donald Trump had planned on visiting the UK sometime in the future and he insisted on riding in a gold-plated carriage procession once he arrives in London. Yesterday there were new reports that if and when Trump travels to the UK, his trip will be downgraded to a “working trip” where he would not meet as a guest of the Queen and it’s even iffy whether he would address Parliament.

I hit upon an idea as to how Trump could still get the royal treatment. I ended up shifting the location to France since it was the French who tended to execute people with the guillotine (I’ve never heard of the British using this) and Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette had ruled France.

I think I’m going to lay off the Trump caricatures for the rest of Inktober unless some new outrageous story warrants a new drawing.

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