Published November 2016

It’s no surprise that Quango employees are creative people. In fact, some are bursting with so much inspiration that after work hours, they can’t turn the creativity off. Just one example is designer Steven Barker, who took part in a drawing challenge called “Inktober.”

The 31-day challenge tasks artists with completing a drawing a day for the entire month of October, posting each one online with the hashtag #Inktober. While the official site calls for ink drawings on paper, many artists—Steven included—choose to work with a tablet.

Steven says he started Inktober for fun and to stay on top of his practice. It helped that he decided to pull subjects from his favorite video games: Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and more. And he wasn’t the only one who enjoyed these beloved characters—halfway through the month, a follower ordered a print! In addition to the daily challenge, Steven was inspired to make some fan art for a video game reviewer across the globe. The reviewer noticed, reposted the work, and encouraged his followers to check Steven out. It was a busy month for this Quango designer.

This daily practice helped me better understand different artistic methods. And it’s helped with the creative side of coming up with my own concepts.

Steven Barker, Designer

What was the hardest part of drawing purposefully every day? Finding the time for it. Steven drew whenever he had a moment to spare: at home, during lunch, and on the bus. He even chose longer transit routes so he would have more time to draw. And he needed it—in all, each drawing took an hour or more.

But it was well worth it. “This daily practice helped me better understand different artistic methods. And it’s helped with the creative side of coming up with my own concepts,” said Steven.

While Inktober is one of the most popular drawing challenges, there are numerous drawing exercises to be found on social media channels year-round. However, for anyone who might participate in the future, Steven has a word of advice: An hour for every drawing is a bit much—it might be worthwhile to institute a time limit!

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