Saturday, October 31, 2020

Inktober 2020

 With all the extra time at home I thought it was a good year to try participating in Inktober, where you create and share an ink drawing based on a list of prompts for each day during the month of October.

I successfully completed all the prompts, although there were a few days where I got behind and had to do multiple drawing to catch up, especially once we started raising a new dog. This was a great experience to force me to just push stuff out. Any artist goes through the mental games of not wanting to release something to the world unless they're extremely happy with it it, especially when there are so many better artists in one's social network.

 With this challenge I tried to embrace the idea that it doesn't matter if a single drawing didn't turn out great because there's a new one tomorrow. It was nice to get back to sketching and not obsessing over details and erasing and redrawing every line over and over again (which is easy to get stuck doing when working digitally). I tried my best to embrace the medium - smudges, imperfections, and all.

 I also didn't want to spend too much time on any individual drawing, and was forcing myself to commit to ideas. I didn't do any pencil under-drawings... so you can see all my mistakes on the page. For some drawings I thumbnailed a bit to plan compositions or character designs, and for a few drawings I screwed up at the end in a way that I couldn't let go and completely redrew them. There are plenty of issues I've noticed after the fact and if I was working digitally would more easily be able to refine things like cluttered compositions, messy silhouettes, or bad perspective, but I was trying to let go of all that and just enjoy the process of drawing. Some definitely turned out better than others. Also of note, there's no fancy techniques or tools here. Just a normal ballpoint pen on a sketchpad.

Anyway, I wanted to post them all in one spot for ease of access, so here you are. It was a good experience and I think I'll try to do it again next year. (Click any image to enlarge it)

Prompt 1: Fish

Prompt 2: Wisp

Prompt 3: Bulky

Prompt 4: Radio

Prompt 5: Blade

Prompt 6: Rodent

Prompt 7: Fancy

Prompt 8: Teeth

Prompt 9: Throw

Prompt 10: Hope

Prompt 11: Disgusting

Prompt 12: Slippery

Prompt 13: Dune

Prompt 14: Armor

Prompt 15: Outpost

Prompt 16: Rocket

Prompt 17: Storm

Prompt 18: Trap

Prompt 19: Dizzy

Prompt 20: Coral

Prompt 21: Sleep

Prompt 22: Chef

Prompt 23: Rip

Prompt 24: Dig

Prompt 25: Buddy

Prompt 26: Hide

Prompt 27: Music

Prompt 28: Float

Prompt 29: Shoes

Prompt 30: Ominous

Prompt 31: Crawl

Jack-O-Lanterns: IRL 2020

 Happy Halloween Everyone! That means it's time for a "Jack-O-Lanterns In Real Life" post! This year COVID didn't stop people from carving Jack-O-Lanterns - in fact, we had more people submit carvings of my designs than ever before this year!

First up my friend and Giraffe-Keeper Extraordinaire, Mike Bona decided to go with my rhino design from 2018:

I think he absolutely nailed it. Fantastic job! Here's the original for your convenience:

Then we had Nicole DiGiambattista's carving from a design from 2015:

Another incredible job! Here's the original design:

And last but not least, we have Bonnie Garcia's carving of a design from the first ever lineup from 2010:

Aaaaaand here's the original:

Thanks for playing everyone! It makes me happy to see more and more people put these doodles to good use every year! Happy Halloween everyone!!! Looking forward to what everyone comes up with next year!

For Previous Jack-O-Lanterns IRL, see:
2017 - (I forgot to post them that year but they are at the bottom of the 2018 design post) 


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Jack-O-Lantern Designs: Moods of 2020

 Yep. I'm still doing these. Seems to be all that makes it onto this old blog these days. Here are this year's designs...I know they may not be as fun as years past, but neither has this year been, and with Halloween being about celebrating spooky things and leaning into our fears of the unknown, it felt appropriate. Enjoy.

Click to Enlarge

 And, as always, the same deal goes as every year: if anybody actually decides to attempt to carve any of these (like StephanieNicole, Josh, Megan, and ILaura, or Nikki did) please send me photos at and I'll post them up here. You are not limited to this year's contact sheet - I'm happy to see carvings of any designs from the last eleven years. You have until the end of the month. I will post all physical Jack-O-Lantern carvings together on Halloween.

Previous Designs can be found here: