My Inktober 2017 Adventure

I want to tell you about making my Inktober project "My One and Only Planet", while it's still fresh in my memory. 

As a child, I spent a lot of time in the countryside, digging up worms in the garden and running wild in the woods. I could see with my own eyes how greedy people can corrode a beautiful landscape and how slowly alien materials decay in a natural habitat. Some time ago, I started reading more articles about environmental problems faced by people with different economic backgrounds and living in different parts of the world.  As I read and looked at the pictures, I felt more and more helpless. I realized that I was only a tiny person, one of eight billion, who couldn't possibly change the course of unfolding environmental disaster. Then I began to look for ways to reduce my own negative impact on the world around me. Soon I had a set of new, less wasteful habits, but I still felt completely helpless. That's when I had an idea about Inktober. It was clear to me, of course, that my pictures would not break the habits of millions of people, but on the other hand, in my experience, I felt that many people, especially city dwellers, do not realize that their daily routine might harm the planet and contribute to global warming.

 Fragment from "Microplastic" illustration for Inktober, 2017

Fragment from "Microplastic" illustration for Inktober, 2017

I started working on "My One and Only Planet" in July. I knew that in order to complete it I had to use my own prompts, because there's no better motivation than doing something for yourself. I also knew that I wanted to make a series about climate change, but just telling everyone about doom and gloom didn't seem very appealing to me. I needed to come up with a charming character, personal prompts and limited palette or color accent (I was bored to death last year after using only black ink).

So, at first, I began rounding up topics about climate change and narrowing them down to fun prompts. I realized that my theme would only resonate with people if I told them about tiny things anyone could change or do in their everyday life.

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Then I started working on my character, as you can see at first it was a cat, but then I thought that the Internet is over-saturated with cats as it is and decided to go with a fox. After I had my character and prompts I started working on my thumbnails, because thinking and coming up with ideas are actually the hardest and most time-consuming part of Inktober. I swapped and reordered some prompts at this stage.

When October arrived and I started drawing actual Inktober pieces, I ticked them off in a little table to keep track. (I think I shamelessly stole this progress tracking system from Vera Brosgol, author of "Leave me Alone!", and it proved amazingly effective. Thank you, Vera!).

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Some ideas and sketches changed along the way, but having thumbnails on the ready has helped me tremendously.

"My One And Only Planet" was conceived as a visual project to be shown on Instagram. It had a specific grid layout. You can see all of my Inktober illustrations in order from #01 to #31 with cover on my Instagram page here.