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Inktober 2019 – the last 16 drawings

Here are the rest of my Inktober drawings for 2019.

During the month, though I never seemed to have much time for contemplation, I was repeatedly asking myself, where is the essence of what I do? How can I connect with that mysterious flow of creativity, when things seem to just come together, almost by themselves, without me having to think too deeply – let the rhythm flow.

That is the goal of all our art of course, and one of the attractions of Inktober. Another reason why I didn’t want to prepare anything in advance, it’s all about responding to the prompts in a short space of time. Immediacy is paramount.

Ironically, it was often the most last minute drawings, squeezed in before going out, or racing the last minutes before midnight, that produced the most satisfactory drawings. Why does it always seem to be the case that the more pressure is on, the better the result (within reason)? Sometimes the more time I have to do something, the more consciously I mull over things, the more laboured it becomes, the flow of creativity becomes a dribble.

I don’t like the way things ebb and flow with my brain. I like deadlines, I work best with a bit of time pressure, so long as it’s not too much and prevents me spending enough time or energy on the drawing. When the balance is right on some days I’m on a roll, then something knocks me of my inspiration perch and I’m working like a slug for the next day or two. I don’t like the way I can’t control this.

 But we’re not robots, the fact that creative energy is a bit of an untamed beast that refuses to be switched on – or off – at will is all part of the humanity of drawing. I wish I could pin down the algorithm that results in making good art. What programme do we need to follow? Drink this! Eat that! Do X, add Y, squared, and result = Zzzzzzzz……. Formulas rarely work when it comes to the mental process of making pictures.

Getting enough rest though certainly makes a difference. And getting out the house every day! I was definitely enjoying myself a great deal at this point in the month.

There was more time pressure towards the end of the month as builders began demolishing my downstairs fittings, and I slipped into being a day late with posts again, but by this point the end goal was in sight, so onwards steadily….

So it was done! Inktober was so much fun this year, despite a couple of tough periods during the month, with computer/scanner breakdowns, volunteer commitments, and building work on my house. But got there in the end, and on time!

#Inktober #inktober2019 #dailydrawing #penandink #drawing

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All illustration images © John Shelley, not to be used without permission scribblatosis(at)gmail(dot)com