Ready your pens! It's InkTober

Story highlights

  • October is ink drawing month
  • Artists get creative with inking: Sketches, inspiring prompts, spots of color

(CNN)Do you scribble absentmindedly with a pen on the edges of a scrap of paper?

In the art world, that's called inking and there's an entire month dedicated to it online. Social media users transform October into Inktober as they share an ink drawing per day.

    A video posted by Dani Diez (@mrdanidiez) on

    The challenge was developed by US cartoonist and illustrator Jake Parker in 2009 to improve his cartoon inking skills.
    "It was October when I challenged myself to draw in ink for every day of the month. The word ink just ended up fitting with it,"Parker told CNN.
    As he shared his mission online, other artists decided to join in and make it an annual event. But it was only in 2012 that Inktober became a worldwide art celebration as hashtags -- labels used on social media websites to join messages on a specific topic -- helped people spread the word and encourage others to join.
    There are more than 1,000,000 Inktober posts on Instagram. "Hashtags have been a tremendous help. The challenge's popularity definitely opened my mind to the possibilities of challenges that help creative communities," said Parker.
    Inktober has helped him discover new artists and inking techniques.
    This year a list of daily prompts can be found on Parker's website to keep the challenge interesting.
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    "It's been a lot of fun seeing how different artists interpret the daily prompts," he said.

    Turning it up a notch

    Spanish digital artist and InkTober fan, Dani Diez, has been trying to finish the challenge for years. He hasn't given up.
    This year he vowed to complete the task with 31 connected drawings. He shares his progress through time-lapse Instagram videos as his social media followers keep him motivated.

    Today's timelapse! Enjoy it! 🙃🙃🙃

    A video posted by Dani Diez (@mrdanidiez) on

    "I am joining for fun and to meet other artists. Inktober is a massive collaborative event and it is the first time I am attempting to work with ink in such an intensive way," Diez told CNN.
    The artist hopes that by the end of the month, the pages of his accordion art journal reveal a singular massive ink drawing.
    Being unable to edit his ink work has been one of the biggest challenges, he said.
    "You cannot undo anything when working with ink on paper. But most of all it is hard to keep inspired. I want to tell beautiful stories, but good ideas don't always come daily so an endless drawing can be hard," Diez told CNN.

    A splash of color

    Many artists add their own creative twist to Inktober.
    Welsh artist Kat Cardy likes to add a splash of color to all of her designs.
    Welsh artist Kat Cardy created her own set of prompts for Inktober. Words like 'Protect' are used to inspire herself and others.
    "I have used the challenge to practice inking, but I also wanted to make it my own. I'm a very moved by color, and my inked pieces always feel unfinished until they're colored, " Cardy told CNN.
    Adding the color has been her favorite part of the process.
    "The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy the process, so don't stress too much about what others are doing," she said.

    Parker: Constraints lead to creativity

    But Inktober is for everyone, says creator Jake Parker who uses Twitter to motivate artists of all skills to join.
    Everything is welcome -- from simple sketches on paper to detailed ink pieces. The objective is to keep creating and defying limits through the hashtag #InkTober.

    A photo posted by INKtober (@inktober) on