At the Firehouse Art Center, October is Inktober. And now that November has arrived, patrons to the gallery can see the works of art it generates.
Started in 2009, the annual social media event encourages artist-members to hone their talents with the opportunity to have their work showcased at the Firehouse.
Inktober features a different prompt every day on the Rules & Prompts page, from which artists can draw inspiration. Or artists make their own lists and create art using supplies they have on hand.
Brandy Coons, curator at the Firehouse, said, “We actually have broader requirements than the actual ink challenge.”
The Inktober rules indicate that participants need to make pieces of artwork in ink.
“Ours are just the ink needs to be in there somewhere, but it could be a collage,” she said.
Firehouse also invited writers to use the Inktober prompts to include their work in the exhibition.
Inktober aims to help artists improve their skills but is not intended to stifle creativity.
“There's no Inktober police going around looking to shut people down if they aren't using ink or the prompt list,” according to the frequently asked questions section of the Inktober webpage. “If you are tempted to call someone out for not doing Inktober the way you think they should be doing it, just keep it to yourself.”Catherine Leone has been an artist-member at Firehouse for two years. This year she followed prompts from Inktober and a similar event called Witchtober. She said her official Inktober pieces will be entered into Firehouse’s exhibit.
“I love the idea behind Inktober of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to at least doodle every day,” Leone said.” Sometimes life can get hectic and busy, so making a designated time daily to even just sketch is nice.”
Tara Swalgren, another Colorado artist, also has been making her own Inktober inspired art.
Swalgren and her husband came up with the idea for a deadly plant Inktober prompt list. She started researching and creating her prompts for this year in August 2019.
“My artwork naturally focuses around the concept of flora and fauna,” Swalgren said, so creating a list of prompts to reflect her interests and style was a no-brainer.Artists occasionally feel constrained using only ink to complete their Inktober art, but there is room for adjustment.
Joyanna Rose Gittings, watercolorist and Firehouse artist-member, participated in the event this year.
“At first, I was using pens, but eventually I got impatient and went to brushes and even some pouring techniques, and finally was using watercolor ink markers,” she said.
Firehouse artist-members were instructed to follow the Inktober prompts and could choose to create work following all the prompts or just a few of them, as long as they were producing art for the exhibition.
The Inktober event has officially ended, however, the artist-members works will be displayed in an exhibition that runs Nov. 12-22. Art will be available for purchase and will be priced between $25 and $75.