Inspiration drawn at North Tama

Art Club students draw their way through the month of October

Art Club members that completed all 31 days of the Inktober challenge posed for a photo on Oct. 30 before Halloween. Pictured are, from left, Courtney Blaufuss, LeAydn Hatcher, Madi Schults, Emma Boldy, Alexis Chizek, Molly Sell and Julianne Kemen. -- Photo by Darvin Graham

A group of North Tama students took on and completed an annual art challenge that requires participants to complete one drawing each day for the whole month of October.

The Inktober Classic challenge was created in 2009 by Arizona-based illustrator Jake Parker as a means to help improve his own drawing habits. Since its inception, the Inktober challenge has spread throughout the globe and boasts thousands of participants each year.

Each day in October artists are given a one word prompt to think up and create a drawing with. Some of this year’s drawing prompts included the words: ominous, throw and chef.

“It’s really helpful for inspiration because you have some type of input on what to draw if you don’t always know what you want to draw,” North Tama Art Club Secretary Madi Schults said. “It can also be kind of exhausting to do something like that every day.”

The North Tama Art Club has been participating in the Inktober challenge for the past three years. Participation has grown over the years and this year the students who completed the challenge were awarded a certificate and a gift bag for their efforts. Students also voted on their favorite drawings posted to the Inktober board in October.

Original drawing by Madi Schults voted as the 1st Place People’s Choice Award during the Inktober challenge at North Tama last month. The piece was in response to the Inktober word prompt "trap" and is inspired by the popular online multiplayer social deduction game Among Us.

The first place People’s Choice award went to Schults and the Most Creative award went to Grace Lidgett. Those who completed all 30 days of the challenge included Courtney Blaufuss, LeAydn Hatcher, Madi Schults, Emma Boldy, Alexis Chizek, Molly Sell and Julianne Kemen.

During the Inktober challenge in October Minard posts the students daily drawings on a bulletin board near the cafeteria line so the whole student body can see the artwork their peers are creating.

“I think Inktober just helps build a whole creative community here,” Art Teacher and Club Advisor Danica Minard said. “All of students have a goal and they get to share their skill, talent and creativity with everybody. It’s a fun outlet for all of our kids at North Tama to see that the arts are important and that we have a lot of talented artists here.”

For practiced artists like some of the students in the Art Club, Inktober provides an opportunity to learn and experiment with new drawing skills without getting caught up too much in the process.

“My art style is very simple and I have a hard time filling space,” Art Club Vice President Emma Boldy. “But with some of the Inktober prompts I was really proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and drawing bigger things.”

The top three Inktober drawings as voted by the North Tama student body. From left are Madi Schults (first), Emma Toldy (second), and Molly Sell (third). -- Photo by Darvin Graham

The Art Club students also said they enjoyed learning how to rely on their own imagination for creative inspiration rather than outside input as well as getting the chance to experiment with new ways of laying out and design a new drawing.

“It’s really cool to see how everybody takes and runs with all of the prompts,” Art Club Treasurer LeAdyn Hatcher said. “It’s definitely challenging because you want to get that detail in there and make sure the drawing looks presentable but at the same time you’re like, ‘Oh no, I only have this amount of time and still have school work to do.'” But I still enjoy it.”

One thing Schults does before Inktober begins is to look over all of the prompts and plan out some ideas ahead of time so she goes into each day with some sort of plan. She felt that made the daily practice easier and more manageable.

The North Tama Art Club is one of the many extra-curricular activities that are available to secondary students throughout the year.

The group meets regularly all year and chooses art projects like Inktober to focus on and work on together when they meet.

Grace Lidgett was awarded Most Creative for her drawing inspired by the Inktober word prompt “disgusting”. -- Photo provided

Several of the current club members agreed that they enjoy how the environment is open and welcoming as well as the variety of projects they do during the year to keep things interesting.

“I have always been the loner,” Hatcher said. But since I’ve started doing Art Club I’ve found my little group. If it wasn’t for Art Club I would probably still be a loner and keep to myself.”

The club works around other extra-curricular activities so participation doesn’t end up being a hindrance toward athletics or other fine arts programs. The group shares their work with each other throughout the school year to help inspire and encourage each other to keep going.

In the past the club has worked on poured paintings, etched glass and pottery among a number of other things.

“Come for the nice atmosphere, stay to have fun with the art,” Schults said.