Inktober and Energy

And who also looked kind of like a bumblebee.

And who also looked kind of like a bumblebee.

So this weekend I finally found out about Inktober. I feel like I’ve been seeing hashtags about it for a while, but it sort of slipped past me, like visual background noise. My first response, on realizing what it was: “How did I not know about this before?”

I did a whole post last year (the month before Inktober–seriously, how did I miss this?) about how uneasy I was with ink, and how I should probably be more comfortable with it. But somehow Inktober still didn’t register.

And now that I do know about it, I’m not sure I’m going to jump on board. At least not full throttle. Partly because it’s so late in the game, and partly because as much as I’d like to participate, I just don’t know that I have the energy.

That sounds a lot sadder than it is. Actually, the fact that I want to participate is (I think) a good sign. I mentioned before that I’d been pretty depressed recently. It was actually one of the worst bouts of depression I’ve ever had. So after that, it feels really good to care about things again.

I’ve burned out before, though–smothered the spark of energy by putting too many tasks on it. So this time, I’m trying to be more careful. Taking it slow, and not overburdening myself. It seems to be working, so far. Not to say there aren’t bad days, because of course there are, but in general, I feel good enough to say that I’m coming out of the fog.

And good enough to do some Inktober doodles. But I’m not going to hold myself to doing one a day, or posting them all here. Trust me. You don’t want to see the ones I choose not to post. Remember my old profile picture?

No? I can't imagine why not. It's incredibly memorable.

No? I can’t imagine why not. It’s incredibly memorable.

I’m posting this one, though, because I (mostly) like it. Sure, it’s simple and unfinished–the light rays are still in pencil–but something about it speaks to me. Maybe it’s the idea of turning wind into energy. Maybe it’s the idea of weathering any storm. Maybe it’s looking like a bumblebee. (Probably not that one.) Maybe I just like drawing lighthouses.

Well, there are worse things than drawing what you like, and having fun doing it. In fact, there’s an energy booster right there.

So to those of you who are doing Inktober: I wish you energy and fun. And really good pens.


I’m back!

Reading Slump

This is what being (really) depressed is like for me, it turns out. Not wanting to read. I needed to take some time away from the online world, so I did. I hope I’m coming out of it now. I’m mostly enjoying reading again, anyway, so that’s good. Going to try for regular posts on Mondays at least, maybe once more during the week if I’m feeling up to it/enthusiastic about something.

In the meantime: I’m rereading the Harry Potter series. And I say “rereading” generously, because… just because. On an unrelated note, how’s the fifth book? Would you describe it as dark, adventurous, sad, or some other adjective? Just as a completely random question, because I totally know exactly what happens in that book. Totally.

Ink and art and schedules

Ink 5I love watercolors, but with a severe drought in California, I feel a little guilty about using them. Not that I think there should be a statewide ban on watercolors. I’m pretty sure any artistic medium you could name has its environmental costs, and there are much worse uses for a few cups of water than building your painting skills, unwinding (I’ve found watercolors to be soothing), or producing something that helps either your soul or someone else’s. Since I seem to use watercolors mostly for simple background washes, though, the drought got me wondering about alternatives.

The first one to spring to mind was ink. That was about when this hand-lettering happened. (I’m trying to get better at hand-lettering. Go easy on me.) The statement is nowhere near as decisive as it sounds; if not for the rhyme, I could tack a “one would think” on there. Despite the fact that ink is easily the medium I use the most, my go-to for writing and doodling, drawing in pen makes me nervous. It’s no more permanent than watercolors, I guess, but watercolors have a certain softness to them that maybe I find less threatening? Or maybe it’s that my high school art classes touched on watercolors, but I don’t remember getting lessons on pen and marker techniques.

Whatever the reason, I hope to learn more now. I’ve already splurged on some Copics, to see if they can stand in for my watercolor backgrounds. I don’t know if ink can truly replace watercolors; in my limited experience, I love ink and watercolors for pretty much opposite reasons. But hopefully this will teach me a little more about both, so that in the future, when I select either one, it won’t be out of (quite as much) ignorance, but because the chosen medium is right for the job at hand. Then I’ll really be using them, not wasting either.

For now, though, it’s ink, so I’m nervous.

While I delay experimenting with my Copics, a bit of housekeeping: I’ve been considering a blogging  schedule. I don’t know that I can stick to anything as simple as Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but I do like the idea of connecting certain topics to certain days. So here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Monday/Tuesday: Something with panels, like my post on skimming ahead.
  • Wednesday/Thursday: Food, or other things I buy way too much of–art supplies, notebooks, etc.
  • Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Sketch/something about art, or possibly about writing. (I refuse to commit to that, though. Take that, reverse-psychology part of my brain.) Maybe social media/blogging admin posts, like this one, as relevant.

So at most, I might post three times a week. My goal is still twice, though. For example, panel post on Monday, food post on Wednesday; or notebook post on Wednesday, art project on Saturday. Ideally, the flexibility will keep things fun and stress-free for me, while the schedule will give a slightly clearer idea of what to expect when, which I hope will be helpful for you lovely people who are kind enough to give me some of your time. (Thank you for that! I would reward you with cookies, but those are a bad thing on the Internet, right? No, honestly, I’m a millennial…)

The schedule isn’t set in stone (or ink), but it should work as a guideline. Sort of like a pencil sketch.

Oh my gosh, those Copics. I really hope I like them.