Each year, October brings pumpkins, witches and candy. But for artists, it also brings the annual tradition of Inktober. Illustrator and writer Jake Parker created the drawing challenge 10 years ago as a way to strengthen his ink-drawing skills.
In 2009, he announced on his blog that he was going to create and post an ink drawing every day in October, and he invited other artists to join him. Now, millions of drawings are posted to #inktober on Instagram.
"It's a lot to absorb and follow," Parker says.
A few years ago, Parker introduced daily prompts: a daily word that could serve as inspiration for a drawing during Inktober. Some artists work on a consistent theme or project throughout the month; others prefer a less rigid approach.
"Every year, it's a chance to spend that time focused on a project that can be finished in a month or get a good chunk of it done in a month," Parker says. Some Inktober projects have turned into published books.