Akin to 36 Days of Type, a challenge for type designers and calligraphy nerds, Inktober participants post one drawing a day responding to a word prompt that Parker sets. Knowing that agonizing over what to draw is often the hardest part of the process, Parker creates an annual “Prompt List” for each day of the month. The list is available in several languages—including Japanese—which my seat mate may have appreciated.

Here’s this years’s list:

Get drawing.
Get drawing.
Image: Inktober/Jake Parker

Today’s theme is “roasted,” and the entries do not disappoint:

Inevitably, some artists circumvent Parker’s prompts and use Inktober as an excuse to draw whatever they want, which is perfectly fine. It’s all about nurturing the habit of drawing.

Parker says he’s moved by the feedback he gets from people who complete the 31-day challenge. “They say it helped them form positive drawing habits… other people tell me it’s boosted their creativity and they’re thinking more creatively now.” he says on his YouTube channel.

Open to anyone with a pen and a piece of paper, Inktober echoes the notion that drawing isn’t necessarily only for artists. As D. B. Dowd argues in his book Stick Figures, the practice of drawing is a vital educational method that can teach us about close observation, patience and humility.

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