Longtime readers may be wondering why I haven't been posting any Inktober drawings since I've been doing it faithfully since 2016. For those unfamiliar with Inktober, it is a worldwide challenge to get out pen and paper and sketch something - anything - each day of October and post it, even if it is only on your refrigerator. When I decided to join in, I decided it would be more interesting for me and keep me on track better if I chose a theme for my drawings. The first year it was cups, the next my shoes, then a year when I focused on Zentangles. Maybe the most interesting and educational for me was the month of Medieval Bestiary. Last year I focused on TV quick draw Portraits as I'd just finished watching a part of a Sketchbook Skool Class that covered that and I not only needed the practice but felt it was something I could do that wouldn't suck up too much time each day. Boy did those other themes absorb my attention and time! But every year I have done this, I've been quite surprised at how good most of the sketches are and how much I learned and how much better I got by the end of the month. I remember being a little disappointed in the Zentangle year and my quick draw portraits often made me laugh or cringe at how bad they were, but I never felt like it was a wasted effort.
This year though, I simply could not rally enthusiasm for the practice. I tossed around ideas for a theme, unable to settle on anything that I didn't think would be too time consuming, and I've felt so bogged down lately that I didn't want to add anything else to the list of must dos. But paging through those past successful beautiful pages made me not want to break the cycle. I finally decided to go back to a practice I learned in one of the Sketchbook Revival classes, the one where you draw for no more than 10 minutes on a sticky note using two random words as inspiration. That practice was one suggested to do for at least 30 days and while at first it might seem nothing special was happening, eventually one would see usable ideas being sparked.
Well, I tried. I really did. But it was a slog, something I could feel I didn't want to do and wasn't getting into and not pleased at all with results. I fessed up to myself and quit after 6 days. This just wasn't the year.
Oddly enough, this whole thing got me thinking about things that are free, like free You Tube tutorials and free lectures and free e-newsletters. I spend so much time on these free things which is part of the reason I fall behind on other things. It finally dawned on me that much that is "free" out there in the world really isn't free. It may not cost money but it does cost time. And who among us does not usually feel short on time.
So I am now looking more closely at the free things I am spending my time on/with and really analyzing which actually benefit me and my creative journey and which need to be jettisoned. It's hard to pass up those freebies, but if I'm going to break away from too much computer time in order to have quality studio time as well as time for my other interests, then the freebies that aren't all free will have to go.