My Thoughts after the InkTober drawing challenge

At the end of this text, I have included all 31 drawings that I completed for the InkTober challenge. I drew those! 31 drawings of 30 X 40 cm size papers in 31 days and I’m super proud of my accomplishment.

I had to push myself to complete a drawing every day for the past month to successfully complete the InkTober drawing challenge.

When I decided to accept this challenge, my expectations were low as I had never tried drawing with ink or painting with watercolors. Despite this, I was determined to do my best and enjoy the creative process. By the end of drawing challenge, both my confidence and my technical ability had increased.

I won’t lie, it was tough, VERY TOUGH. It was not easy to complete one picture in a day and then start a new one after a few hours sleep.

Day 1 of the challenge (theme: fish) was the toughest. I started very early in the morning, was drawing whole day and finished the drawing at eleven o’clock in the evening! By that time, I was exhausted but still had to find the mental energy to post the drawing on numerous social networks.

Shorena Ratiani Art

The next few days were a little easier as I began to develop a rhythmic cycle of drawing and posting.

I have to admit there were times during the month of the challenge where I felt like giving up. Sometimes I felt I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt inhibited by the theme. I normally draw what I choose to draw and not something that is chosen for me. It was challenging and tiring. On such days only one thing was perfect – I was sleeping like a baby and never had any problems sleeping.

The pace was relentless. Every day required new ideas and energy to do it all again. What surprised me the most was that I began to enjoy the seemingly endless daily process of creation, completion and renewal. 

The first challenge was to sift through ideas inspired by the daily theme and choose one. This sounds easy but the problem was too many ideas and the difficulty in choosing one. But there was not enough time to make slow decisions. So, I used my tried and tested approach whereby I looked at the blank paper to see invisible things and then I “recreated” them.

I had several goals when I decided to take part in the challenge:

  • Don’t miss a day – create 31 finished drawings in 31 days, in a medium I have never worked with until today – DONE
  • Become super organized and share my artworks on my website and social media channels –PARTIALLY DONE. I also wanted to write an InkTober dairy on my website, but I just couldn’t find the energy and time for that.
  • Don’t get Covid-19 – DONE – still healthy 🙂
  • Stop watching and reading distracting political news and fully concentrate on my drawing – PARTIALLY DONE. InkTober coincided with the pre-election period for Georgia’s parliamentary elections. I decided that I would only check the news in the evenings. This saved my time and especially my nerves.
  • Remember to reassure my diva cat that she still comes first! – DONE. Perfectly done. My cat is a diva princess and all of her frequent demands for food and attention have to be met in seconds.
  • Become super-fast and don’t waste too much time on unnecessary things, especially cooking and eating. However, my family didn’t suffer from #Starvtober. For most of my InkTober days I made several meals a day and even managed to marinate a bottle 12 kilos of super-hot peppers. You can get a recipe here, on my food blog about Georgian cuisine.
  • Survive #InkTober and stay happy and sane – DONE.
  • Vote for Freedom in the parliamentary election – DONE.
  • Maintain a crazy working speed but still have time to sleep – DONE. I did manage to get sufficient sleep to remain energized.

Now it is time for new heroic projects )))

A final word. Many artists, who participate in the InkTober drawing challenge, write a pros and cons list. I did think of doing that but I honestly can’t think of any significant cons. I have benefited hugely from this challenge, especially in terms of organizing and speeding up my work process and developing my mental and creative discipline. It has created a foundation for what I will do in future. And, at the end I have 31 finished artworks! 

I’m Back and ready to challenge myself

I’m back after a 7 month break from my art, during which I concentrated on helping my son to prepare for his university entrance exams. I am delighted to tell you that he was successful and is now studying psychology at the Georgian National University. I’m so happy for him but also for myself because I’m now free to return to my old lifestyle and start painting and drawing again! 

I painted so infrequently during the last seven months that I feel I have a lot of pent-up artistic energy to release! It feels great to have a paint brush in my hand again. This is one of the first watercolors I completed following my self-imposed exile from the art world.

One of the things that I have been looking forward to is participating in the well known drawing challenge InkTober. I will be making one drawing a day for the whole of October and will post my drawings on social media channels.

Inktober is a month long art challenge created by talented artist Jake Parker in 2009. The challenge is to improve personal drawing skills and develop positive drawing habits. InkTober starts on October 1, and finishes on October 31.

Thousands of artists, even people who never ever tried to draw, take part in the challenge every year. In fact, Parker turned October into a month of continuous art celebration.

There are several rules to follow if you decide to take part in this wonderful challenge:

Participants have to create ink drawings and post them on social media – for example, on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr., Twitter, etc. The hashtags #inktober and #inktober2020 make it easier for your art to be seen by a wide audience.

You should produce a drawing every day but you can decide when to post your creations – for example, every single day (1 drawing), once in three days (3 drawings) or once in a week (7 drawings). It’s up to you.

By clicking on the above mentioned tags you can see and enjoy what others are creating.

Before the challenge starts, an official prompt (topic) list is posted on the InkTober website and social media.

Here are the prompts for InkTober 2020.

The challenge is called InkTober so creating ink drawings is the norm but you can also make pencil underdrawings. A lot of artists add a splash of color to their artworks and I’ll do this too 🙂

What do I expect from this challenge? I’ll write about that later. Today I’m busy setting strict targets for myself to make sure that I complete the challenge 🙂 But one thing is clear – InkTober is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to challenging myself!

I honestly don’t know how my InkTober will pan out, especially as it will be my first “inking experience”. Wish me luck!

I wish you a fun experience if you decide to take part in this art challenge!

The Beginning of my Art Adventure, Woohoo!!!

Hello Everyone! This is my first post so the probability of it being read by anyone is pretty low.

Hmmm, not good on one hand but on the other hand… I’m free to write whatever comes to my mind 😊

As this blog is intended to describe my art journey, it would be logical to start by introducing of myself. 

{‘must be’ paragraph how clever, awesome and outstanding I am is missing} 👀

I’m a self-taught visual artist currently living and working in Tbilisi, Georgia who has jumped down from her high heels and dramatically changed her career by returning to her life-long passion – art.

As my parents say, I was drawing from the time I could hold a pencil in my hands. However, I didn’t become a painter until much later.

When the time came for me to choose a profession everything in my country turned upside down – after 70 years of Communist dictatorship, the USSR collapsed and the whole post-Soviet space, including my country, was literally drowned in permanent political, economic and social crises, armed massacres and complete chaos. Everything that people knew became useless.

Violence became a next-door neighbor. There were multiple wars, armed conflicts, and bloody massacres in the streets. There was no power or heating. My city was frozen and full of refugees and widows dressed in black. The smell of kerosene and burnt tires choked the air. There was no work, no transport, no gas or electricity, water, no food, no perspectives and no hope. THERE WERE ALSO NO PAINTS!

It was not the time to chase dreams. Instead, it was a time of survival.

And I survived. 

I discovered how remarkable it is to examine yourself whilst in the midst of different difficulties and realize you still have the resolve and motivation to move forward.

I don’t complain about those difficult years – freedom is the most important treasure in the world and I know it always has a price.    

A consequence for me was a need to re-define my goals and make them more realistic and achievable in my country’s unstable context. So, instead of entering an arts academy, I graduated with a master’s degree in an absolutely different field.

I chose a career using one of my hundred useless talents – writing and curiosity and became a journalist. In a corrupted system, rotten to core, you can always find things to investigate.

During my years as a journalist, I felt like a character of action movie. I was working as a reporter, editor, journalism trainer, and head of a regional hub of an international media organization. It was life in the fast lane of a highway without knowing how to get off.

For a time, deep in my heart, I hoped something would go wrong and I could change my career but everything went extremely well. I realized it is difficult to turn your back on success 🤔

So, for many years I was doing everything but painting. I avoided any contact with the art world and did not attend (or report on) any art exhibitions as I didn’t want to torment myself.

I never found time to draw and the chalk pastels I had bought with my first student stipend had smashed and turned into colorful powder. I didn’t think I would ever draw or paint again.

…and then one day something inside me changed. I was decorating the garden wall with a mural and I realised that I couldn’t put the brush down again. Not anymore…

I started spending more time in art shops marveling at wonderful (for me) things – papers, pencils, paints, pastels… there were plenty of them!

So I left the past behind and began a different journey – again! (OMG) Accepting such a dramatic change was scary and uncertain but I’ve decided to be brave and go for it 💪😁

Well… it took long tough times to re-discover my ‘inner artist’ J Is it too late? I don’t know. Let’s see. A Chinese proverb says, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is today.  

I’m opening my blog today and hope it will become the second best time.

What you’ll find here:  

Most importantly, it is a place to display my artwork and my greatest passions – photography, digital art, sculpting and doll making.   

There will also be space where I can accumulate and share my new personal or professional achievements and struggles, any knowledge I acquire, and tips and tricks that help me in working process and, which maybe, will be useful for you too.

This blog will be my digital home and the place where I share inspirations. My art adventure makes me happy and I want to share this happiness with others 🖤

All photos are mine unless another author is credited.

That is all for now. I hope you will enjoy your time on this blog. I’ll feel privileged and honored if you spend your time here, with me.

Move forward and have a lovely day! That’s what I’m doing right now 😉




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