Art History Lab

Exploring Inktober: The Art Challenge That Stirs Controversies

Inktober: The Art Challenge That Sparked Controversies

Inktober is an annual art challenge that was created by Jake Parker in 2009. The challenge is simple: create one ink drawing per day for the month of October.

This art challenge was designed to help artists around the world improve their drawing skills, develop good artistic habits, and share their work on social media platforms. Inktober has become one of the most popular art challenges worldwide, with millions of artists participating in it every year.

Description of Inktober Art Challenge

Inktober is an art challenge that encourages artists to draw every day using ink. The goal behind this challenge is to help artists develop good habits, improve their drawing skills, and connect with other artists.

Artists participating in Inktober are asked to create one ink drawing per day for the entire month of October. This challenge has prompts that are announced a few days before October, to provide artists with ideas to inspire their artwork.

Inktober can be seen as a positive experience for artists, as it can help them grow and improve their skills. Towards the end of the month, they may even see significant progress in their work.

Participating in Inktober also helps artists to form better habits, such as practicing their art regularly, sticking to deadlines, and trying different art styles.

History of Inktober

Inktober was created by Jake Parker, an American animator and illustrator. Parker started the challenge in 2009 as a personal mission to improve his inking skills.

His first Inktober was humble, with only a small following. However, over the years, Parkers Inktober has become one of the most popular art challenges globally.

Parkers Inktober has evolved over the years, with more rules and prompts added to the challenge. The challenge has become so popular that many people have used it to kickstart their artistic career.

Many artists have used their Inktober drawings as part of their portfolio or have turned it into printed art collections. Inktober remains a great way for artists to stay connected with other artists worldwide.

Inktober Rules and Prompts

Inktober has several rules that artists must follow. Each artist must create an original ink drawing each day for the entire month of October.

The drawing must be in black and white and must be created using ink. Artists are free to choose their medium (e.g., markers, pens, ink wash, etc.) but must not use digital drawing software or erasers.

Each year, Jake Parker announces a list of prompts that artists can use to inspire their daily drawings. The prompts are usually single words like ride, poison, or swollen, that the artists can interpret in creative ways.

It is not mandatory to use the prompts. Those who do not want to use them are free to create their own themes.

Inktober participants share their drawings on social media, using the hashtag #inktober and the corresponding prompt hashtag. The use of hashtags allows artists to connect with each other, explore other artists works, and learn from one another.

Controversies Surrounding Inktober

Like almost everything on the internet, there are bound to be controversies. Inktober has faced its fair share of controversies in recent years.

Legal Issues and Trademark Concerns

In 2019, Jake Parker faced backlash from artists who accused him of trademarking the term Inktober. Artists claimed that Parker’s sudden move to trademark Inktober barred other artists from creating art using the term ‘inktober’ or by selling ‘inktober’ merchandise.

This move upset artists who believed that the challenge was for everyone, and the trademark would monetize it.

Impact on Artists and Participation

In 2020, Inktober was cancelled due to persistent controversy about the challenges and risks the challenge poses to artists’ and their mental health. Critics argued that the daily grind of creating a drawing a day, using ink in a thirty-day span, was too demanding and could lead to burnout and self-disappointment.

Artists participating in the challenge also experienced creative blocks and frustration when they could not keep up with the day-to-day challenge. As a result, the hashtag for Inktober was trending with debates about the harmful impact of the challenge on artists’ personal and professional lives.


Inktober is an art challenge that has helped many artists improve their drawing skills and form good habits over the years. It has also served as a platform for artists worldwide to connect, share their work, and seek inspiration from each other.

However, the challenge has faced backlash over trademark issues and its impact on artists’ well-being. Despite the criticisms, Inktober remains one of the most popular art challenges globally and continues to draw the attention of artists everywhere.

Inktober 2022 and Tips for Participation

As the year 2021 draws to a close, many artists worldwide are already anticipating the next Inktober art challenge, which comes up every October. Inktober is an excellent opportunity for artists to improve their skills, develop good habits, and connect with other like-minded artists.

Here are some tips for participating in Inktober 2022:

Inktober 2022 and its Availability

Inktober 2022 is expected to be available to artists worldwide again, starting from the first day of October 2022. Jake Parker will announce the prompt list for the challenge a few days before the start date, so artists can get an idea of what to expect.

The prompt list is a collection of words, such as ‘wild,’ ‘bloom,’ or ‘screech,’ that artists can use to inspire their artwork.

Tips for Participating in Inktober

1. Schedule your work: To avoid getting overwhelmed or falling behind in the challenge, artists should schedule their work in advance.

This means planning what to draw and when to draw it. Artists can use a planner or a calendar to keep up and to create a work schedule for the thirty-day period.

2. Create an Environment with minimal stress: Creating art can be stressful, but participating in Inktober shouldn’t add more stress to an artist’s life.

To make Inktober more sustainable and enjoyable, artists should create a workspace that’s free from distractions and full of inspiration. They can decorate their space with plants, posters, or anything that makes them feel comfortable.

3. Adapt prompts to your needs: The prompts are provided as a guide to inspire creativity, but the artist should feel free to adapt them to suit their creative needs.

The words on the prompt list can be open to interpretation, and an artist can use a word to create something unique that resonates with them. 4.

Use Social Media to your advantage: Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are great places to share your Inktober drawings and connect with other artists worldwide. Artists can also join Inktober groups on these platforms to get feedback, exchange ideas, and learn from other artists.

5. Try New Techniques/ Mediums: Inktober is an excellent opportunity for artists to experiment with new techniques or mediums they have not tried before.

They can choose to explore new mediums such as watercolors, acrylics, or even sculpture. Participating in Inktober allows an artist to expand their horizons and explore new paths.

Benefits of Participating in Inktober

1. A new perspective: Participating in Inktober enables an artist to explore new subjects and test their creativity by experimenting with different media, techniques, and themes.

Harnessing your imagination and experiences can bring a fresh perspective and motivate the artist to find their unique style. 2.

Stress Relief: The process of creating art can help an artist to reduce stress levels and manage negative feelings. The excitement of having a new prompt challenges the artist to step out of their comfort zone.

Creating art also helps to promote the flow of dopamine within the brain, which is the ‘happy hormone.’

Materials Needed for Inktober

The tools an artist uses for Inktober ultimately depend on their preference and style. Some commonly used materials for Inktober include:


Ballpoint Pens: These are beginner-friendly pens that come in various colors and sizes and are excellent for creating dynamic line-work. 2.

Fine Liners: These are suitable for detailed work and are essential in producing intricate pieces of work. 3.

Felt Pens: These pens are perfect for creating rich, bold lines and are available in many colors. 4.

Brush Pens: These are highly versatile, producing benefits of both a brush and a marker. They are best for creating fluid and expressive line-work.

5. Watercolor Paper: This provides high-quality paper stock with a smooth surface to work on and suitable when working with wet media.

6. Sketch Journal: A high-quality, multi-purpose sketch journal is useful for keeping all the Inktober drawings organized.

7. Colored Paper: A vibrant and exciting material widely used in creating backgrounds or adding highlights to compliment the ink work.


In Inktober, an artist has an excellent opportunity to push themselves creatively, expanding their skillset and network. By following these tips, an artist has a higher chance of creating quality work, building sustaining habits and reach a wider audience.

Regardless of whether you are an seasoned artist, Inktober is an excellent opportunity to break boundaries in creativity. Inktober is an annual art challenge that has grown in popularity since its inception in 2009.

It provides artists a fantastic platform to improve their skill sets, develop good habits, and connect with other artists worldwide. While controversies and disputes linger around trademark issues and its impact on mental health, coalescing those tips has proven that Inktober is an excellent opportunity for creatives to push their artistic capacity considerably.

Scheduling one’s work, creating a supportive workspace, adapting the prompts, leveraging social media, and experimenting with different mediums are just a few tips suggested to maximize participation. Overall, Inktober remains a much-beloved art challenge worldwide.

Popular Posts