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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Inktober (Illustrations)

Thomas Buchanan was inspired by several of the month’s prompts
The prompt from Oct. 4 was “Dodge.”

Inktober is a way for artists to sharpen their skills and challenge themselves to come up with a drawing based on a daily one-word prompt list for the month of October. Many art students find it hard to find time to create outside of course assignments and other responsibilities, or can get a bad case of artist’s block, unable to think of what to draw. Inktober is a chance to join the art community in a fun way and to get technical practice.

The rules of Inktober are more like guidelines, but generally those participating draw from the prompts in pen and ink, and stick to black-and-white. Then they post their drawings on social media throughout the month or as a compilation at the end. It’s also popular for artists to post a short video of the drawing process. It’s not required but often people put a “spooky” spin on them.

There is an “official” Inktober prompt list released each year by the original creator, Jake Parker. In 2019, Parker trademarked Inktober, causing many artists to create their own prompt lists. The trademark means that artists can’t sell art using the Inktober logo that Parker created, and caused some other artists to create their own prompt lists free from potential negative consequences.

Most artists, however, simply use the opportunity to come together as a community and see how creative people get with simple one-word prompts. Some don’t even use a prompt list at all, and come up with their own ideas. The point is to have fun and come together as a community, sharing your creativity with others.

This month was busy for me, so I chose to only do some of the prompts from the official list on days I had the time, as I still wanted to participate and had missed last year. I’ve included five of my favorites, including “dodge,” “toad,” “wander,” celestial,” and “fire.” I tried with each to draw something based on the prompt but not an obvious subject, or what you’d think of immediately when seeing the word. I also like to include with some a Halloween theme in the spirit of the season.

I personally find it difficult to find the time to sit down and draw without a specific idea in mind, so it’s always a great exercise to take a prompt and just see where it takes me. It helps expand the subject matter I draw, as well as makes me feel more connected to other artists when I see what they came up with.

If you missed Inktober this year, don’t worry! You can find different prompt lists online for every month, and opportunities to be apart of the art community throughout the year, such as shows, contests, and other events.


Thomas Buchanan is a second-year art major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Thomas Buchanan
Thomas Buchanan, Contributing Artist & Writer
Thomas is a second-year art major  from Harrah. He is a euphonium player in the band. Thomas is an illustrator, comic strip artist, and member of the Art Club, UMA, and Ultimate Frisbee Club. His hobbies include working on his '79 Fiat X1/9 and trying to make time to actually draw.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Mar. 2023 - present Contributing Artist: Aug. 2022 - present