Kieran McClung
cover image for Inktober 2023
2 min read

Inktober 2023

There we are then. It’s (finally) over!

Inktober comes around yearly, and I put it off yearly. It's a month-long drawing challenge where you're given a daily prompt and draw something inspired by that. Technically, you should be "inking", but I didn't, because I'm a bloody maverick.

A robot dreaming of electric sheep

I've always toyed with the idea of taking part, but I've always put it off last minute. I blame it on time constraints, which is true, but I’m also really particular about drawing. I’m not the best, and I beat myself up about not drawing things 'realistically'. Most of the stuff I draw ends up getting thrown away. Inktober 23 came around, and it wasn’t until the evening of October 1st that I thought: “fuck it!

A Spitfire plane dodging two missiles

The main reason I jumped in this year was to simply draw more. I've neglected my iPad for the best part of the year, and I'm conscious of that. I've sat down a few nights to draw something, but... see above. I deleted pretty much everything. With Inktober, however, there's a schedule, which means I'm forced, one for a better word, to draw something.

A ghostly fisherman out at sea in a little wooden boat. The boat is tethered to the dock by a rusty chain

Time constraints are still very much an issue, so I set some basic rules. I'd only use black and white, I'd limit myself to an hour per drawing, and I'd post my work even if I wasn’t 100% happy with it. I broke all of those rules because of course I did. I introduced colour, I spent longer than an hour on some of them, and I deleted some drawings that looked dreadful.

The moon riding on the back of the Earth. Both are happy

But, largely, the rules worked, and I managed to get through the month. It was a bit rocky because of other commitments, but it's done. And now I've got 31 new drawings. Would I do it again? Err. Maybe.

A man floating into the air through a tunnel of light. An alien abduction?

You can view all the other drawings over on my Instagram profile:

A little silhouette of a man having a walk along a rock path. There's an alien orb floating in the background with cables hanging from it

A galaxy made up of hundreds of tiny dots

A treasure map with an X marking the spot. There's a skull mountain in one area of the map, a shipwreck, and a spaceship

The silhouette of a figure with their arms outstretched towards the sky. Their shape is drawn with a series of sparkles

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