Inktober: a drawing a day

Summersdale designer Marianne Thompson introduces us to the pleasures of ink and the many artists who dwell among us…

marianne_2This year we were prepared. There were some among us whose fingers had tingled in anticipation for weeks, casting longing glances at the inkpots in our desk drawers. We watched the late September days become overcast and a little rainy and we swapped ideas: sketchbook or loose leaf? Which pen(s) are you going to ink with? Well, I have this sporty little Japanese-brush number…

For those of you who have never heard of Inktober, I shall explain: Inktober is a global art event (founded in 2009) which takes place annually and spans the month of October. The idea is simple — ink one picture per day, for the whole month. There are no size restrictions, no paper requirements and no stylistic boundaries. The only real rule is that the drawings must be done daily, in ink.

It seems so simple, so why is this challenge so exciting?

For some people, striving to ink every day within an already hectic schedule, is reward enough. For others, it is a chance to dabble with new techniques and art materials; an opportunity to buy that beautifully overpriced art pen. There are also those who simply relish in returning to their artistic roots, perhaps to rekindle one of the most traditional of artistic skills. Whatever the reason may be, artists everywhere rally together to draw each day and share their artwork on social media. A sense of connectedness settles across the art world; as the autumn leaves start falling, the sketchbook pages begin filling.

Last year Inktober had two and a half Summersdale participants, but this year we have a merry group of ‘inkers’ from across the company. Tucked away in various corners of Summersdale’s lovely topsy-turvy headquarters, is an eclectic collection of painters, illustrators and craft enthusiasts. In true Summersdale style, these hungry artists also need to snack. Snacks = good pictures. Therefore, it has been of upmost importance to frequent cosy coffee shops across Chichester for sustenance. Our Inktober gatherings have been excellent opportunities for nice bowls of fat crispy chips, decadent hot chocolates with bountiful swirls of cream, inspiring tea-shop vistas of the town centre and a good catch-up each week. (Debbie sauntered off to Hawaii at the beginning of the month to draw pineapples.)

sarah_1We have also bent the rules a little quite a lot this year. Not only have pencils and paints made their way into our armoury (watercolour is basically ink, right?), but also scissors, glue and a piano. Abi has chosen to craft with paper, while Sarah has dedicated herself to playing the piano every day — the most extreme of our rule breakers. Although it sounds clichéd to say it, it’s the taking part which counts. At Summersdale we are really quite good at putting our own stamp on things and Inktober is no exception to that!

So we are now approaching the final few days of Inktober and here is a selection of our beautiful creations: