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​31 drawings in 31 days

Arts | October 23rd, 2019

Inktober - drawing by Colby Nelson

Each October a number of drawing challenges appear across social media. Think 31 drawings in 31 days. The original Inktober challenge was started in 2009 by artist Jake Parker to boost his drawing and inking skills. Since then multiple drawing challenges have popped up and countless artists around the globe have joined the call to action through facebook and instagram united by the hashtag #inktober. We had a chance to check in with three local artists who accepted the challenge and posted their work on instagram.

Colby Nelson (@ghostpyramid)
High Plains Reader: What made you want to accept the inktober/drawlloween challenge?

Colby Nelson: By accepting to draw 31 days straight, it gives me an added boost of creativity to carry myself and artwork through the winter months where creativity and strive usually take a blow.

HPR: Have you done the drawing challenge before?

Colby Nelson: I have. I’ve tried to get into a few different Clubs throughout the years. A few are: 30 days of cats, Craig Gleason’s Season of the Bad Guys Club, Mab Grave’s Drawlloween Club, Dungeon Drawing Dudes, and a few others.

HPR: How much time on average do you dedicate to your daily drawings?

Colby Nelson: Most of my drawings take two hours or more. It all depends on how many details are involved and if the piece required coloring.

HPR: You work in a variety of media, is there one that you prefer over the others?

Colby Nelson: I try to stay open to all forms of media, but as of late, I’m enjoying ink and colored pencils. I dig shading with them and it’s fun to see the tones you can come up with.

HPR: What inspires your work stylistically?

Colby Nelson: This is a loaded question, but I’ve always loved vintage cartoons and as a kid cereal box art sparked my imagination. I really live in the nostalgia of all the cartoons and exude it out through my art.

HPR: How often do you get to just sit down and draw for yourself?

Colby Nelson: I try to doodle daily when time permits. Evening hours seem to trigger my creativity.

HPR: Are you currently working on anything?

Colby Nelson: I am. I’ve been working on a massive “Bunny in the Flower Patch,” piece. It’s taking me longer than I expected because I always want to shade darker.

HPR: What do you think about Instagram as an arts platform?

Colby Nelson: Instagram is alright. The algorithms can hinder who you’re seeing and that kind of puts a damper on being seen in the light you want. The stories on there have been a way to get people’s eyes on what you’re creating faster and it’s nice to share other people’s pieces on it too for inspiration.

Inktober - drawing by Punchgut

Matt Mastrud aka Punchgut @punchgut
HPR: What made you want to accept the inktober challenge?

Punchgut: Healthy exercise and peer pressure

HPR: Have you done Inktober before?

Punchgut: I have done it for a few years and I don’t follow the “key word” guideline. So it definitely gets weirder as the month progresses.

HPR: How much time on average do you dedicate to your daily Inktober drawings?

Punchgut: No idea. Do you count the time and energy it has taken to develop into a creepy creep?

HPR: You don’t stick to the Inktober theme cues, what inspires your drawings?

Punchgut: I like random but I also enjoy seeing what others draw with the theme. I just scribble down concepts/ ideas / words and do a fairly quick drawings. Keep it loose n’ comfy.

HPR: You just had an oddity themed show for Drekkerfest, how did that go?

Punchgut: Drekkerfest was so much fun... lots of happy faces and hopefully they will invite me back. (Hint hint)

HPR: As a working artist, How often do you get to just sit down and draw for yourself?

Punchgut: Not a ton... so I have to make time. I will definitely miss a few days.

HPR: Are you currently working on anything?

Punchgut: Working on a few labels for Drekker and a really cool oddity for Beer and Fish... you won’t miss it when they open in a few weeks...

HPR: What do you think about Instagram as an arts platform

Punchgut: It’s perfect--- you can keep in touch with other social misfits without leaving your house.

Inktober - drawing by Jescia Hoffman Hopper

Jescia Hoffman Hopper (@jesciahopper)
HPR: What made you want to accept the inktober challenge?

Jescia: I think it is always beneficial to push myself to be more present in my artistic practice. It’s easy to get into a rut of only making gallery-ready work, and not making art just for the sake of creation. It’s a way to unplug and spend time unraveling my thoughts.

HPR: Have you done Inktober before?

Jescia: I assigned the challenge to my Sequential Art students at MSUM last fall, and did the challenge with them. That was my first time participating in the challenge as well.

HPR: How much time on average do you dedicate to your daily Inktober drawings?

Jescia: This year, I have been trying to work a little ahead to ensure that I won’t fall behind on the challenge. I’ve been spending around 1-2 hours per drawing. Obviously, life gets in the way sometimes, and I can’t spend as much time as I’d like on a drawing, but I don’t want to punish myself for that. As long as I do anything, whether it’s five minutes or five hours, I will be happy with that.

HPR: I see that your pieces all have a definite theme--are you going to carry it out until the end of the month?

Jescia: I decided that I would keep a theme of political cartoons throughout the month. I’ve got ample source material with current events, so it was an easy choice. It’s also good practice for me because I also teach Illustration at MSUM every spring, and we spend a good amount of time analyzing and creating editorial cartoons.

HPR: You’re no stranger to political art, I remember you had some killer pieces at the Upfront gallery years ago for a propaganda themed show. Had you done much political stuff between then and now?

Jescia: It’s crazy that you remember those pieces! James Wolberg was just talking about them over Studio Crawl weekend too (they must have had quite an impact...). A lot of my art over the last decade was created in reaction to politics, but didn’t directly reference any particular events. In previous paintings, I’ve used fire, destruction, and apocalyptic settings as a metaphor for political vitriol. Whether I am using metaphor or explicitly creating caricatures of politicians, I find that creating political art to be a cathartic release for me in these chaotic times.

HPR: You’re an art educator and a very active drawer-- last we chatted you were doing some online drawing courses. How often do you get to just sit down and draw?

Jescia: I teach middle school art. I am thinking by online drawing courses, you mean my YouTube videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/jesciahopper)? I create tutorial videos on a variety of art processes for my students. Many of the drawing videos have gotten quite popular--upwards of 3.5 million views, 96,600+ subscribers - crazy, right? Working multiple jobs and creating tutorials definitely sucks up a lot of my time, so I do not get as much time as I’d like to create work for myself. Inktober reminds me how much I like to just sit and draw and get lost in the creative process.

HPR: What do you think about Instagram as an arts platform?

Jescia: I love Instagram as a platform for connecting with artists globally. It’s an awesome way to discover contemporary artists who are creating impressive work, but may not be household names yet. 

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