Everybody has been asking me if I am planning another Holidays in Ink challenge this year, and the answer is most definitely, "YES!" I hope you'll join me from Monday, November 22 through Sunday, January 2 to complete this challenge. Melissa Fischer is teaming up with me once again to come up with prompt lists that can inspire us and improve our art.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to complete a Holidays in Ink sketchbook from cover to cover during the dates of the challenge. That's it. You don't have to follow prompt lists or make your own sketchbook if you don't want to.
If you'd like to play along with us, here's how you can get ready:
- Look at your own hectic, topsy-turvy calendar for the six weeks beginning November 22. According to your schedule/travel plans/family gatherings, etc., and how large you plan to work, calculate how many pages you can realistically fill during that time. (I don't mean a two minute sketch on a page; I mean filled pages, even if it takes a few days to fill a page.) That will be your personal goal for the challenge. Select an appropriate sketchbook based on that information. Make sure it's paper you love, that will handle ink however you like to work. Or you can make a sketchbook, or cut paper to size and use a folder as your "book". Make sure you have a couple of extra pages in the back of your book to test out inks and materials, and a title page or two in the front.
- Compile a list of any additional supplies you'll need, or things you'd like to try that you don't have. Order those now, so you'll have them in plenty of time. Supply chain issues could leave you stranded if you wait till the last minute. Consider doing this with a friend or two or three, and sharing some new inks among you to divide the costs. (If you'd like to check out some of my favorite materials from last year's challenge, you can see them on this post.)
If you've never done bookbinding, this is a great opportunity to take on a bookbinding project before the challenge begins! (Make a small one first to test drive the process.) There are lots of great YouTube videos on bookbinding, with hundreds of options to explore. I especially like Sea Lemon and Nik the Booksmith on YouTube.
There will be a prompt list or two posted before the challenge starts, for those of you who would like to work from a list. If you want to be sure not to miss the posts related to this challenge, you can subscribe to this blog by entering your email address on the upper right. You will then receive email notifications of new posts.
I'm doing my paper and materials testing now, and will probably bind my own sketchbook for the challenge, or rebind an existing book. Melissa and I have ordered the new Diamine Inkvent 2021 Calendar, so we will be exploring the 25 brand new inks in that collection, as well as using inks we already have. We're looking forward to lots of linework with fountain pens, dip pens, and even ballpoints (great for travel!), plus wet on wet washes, calligraphy and lettering, and more compositional study. We hope you'll join us! Stay tuned for the prompt lists.