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Every year artist all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge, by attempting to do one ink drawing per day.
This year I would join their ranks. It has been some time since I worked on my inking skills. The starting point to my creative journey was through comic books well over three decades ago. Most of these were black and white, with shades and textures achieved through inking. Whether it’s nervous lines of Jeremiah by Hereman, cross-hatches in hyper-real Bluberry by Mobeus, Kirbys bold hero inks, Buscemis’ energetic, flowing lines on Conan or the subtlety of line in Alan Ford by Magnus these works have seeded themselves in my imagination from early days. Since going digital, as most artist have, there has been a nostalgic renaissance of real materials exemplified in inktober.

animation of skeleton spinning in a 3d space inktober gifHaving done NanoWrimo before and found some real growth in my narrative skill set through it I wanted this to be a project which will achieve more than just a path on the nostalgia lane for me. I wanted it to spark real skill growth. At the heart of it I am an animator so the project will be composed into an animation. It would be supercool to create a motion piece with multiple interactions thrown throughout it. Further on I wanted to really work my Instagram with regular posts, exploring the compositions for todays mobile market, moving away from the widescreen 16:9 ratio.

As parameters and restricted palettes animation of dragstore driven by three dogs in a gas mask gifencourage creativity I set out a few ground rules:
The characters would have an overall dark theme as October has both Halloween and Dìa de Muertos.
I would create enough assets to populate a cohesive world.
I would only use black ink - this will concentrate on shapes, negative spaces and lines.
All the assets would be created ready for assembly, so they would appear like cut-outs and could work in real life.
I would only use a rigger brush for line composition and a heavy dose of cross-hatching with pen nibs. - this would keep the hand made feel once digitised.
They would be digitised in Photoshop, vectorised in Illustrator and rigged and composed into an animation in After Effects.animation of temple growing in a game of thrones style gif
I would keep a production diary through my Instagram account.
I would respect the platform keeping the produce at 1:1 ratio.
I would err on the side of playfulness exploring new ideas of awesome.
With the end of Inktober month I had 13 characters which I was very happy with and a #inktober font.

animation of dream strider playing air guitar and jumping gifThe arduous, but satisfying task of assembly and rigging up the characters has been completed over the past months in evenings and weekends. Through this I had a chance to work with Duik on two rigs as well as creating what are essentially flat 3d models in a 3d space for interaction. I’m especially happy with my skeleton and raven rigs.
For more in-depth details on this project follow me on Instagram to see individual breakdowns and production diaries. Just click on the link bellow.
First teaser is coming very soon.