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Inktober offers art students a fun way to get creative

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GALENA–When Owen Wells heard about Inktober, a month-long, day-by-day drawing prompt during the month of October, the Galena High School senior took the idea to Irene Thraen-Borowski, the new art teacher.

Wells isn’t an art student, but art club is open to all students, regardless of whether or not they participate in a formal art class.

Thraen-Borowski was 100 percent behind the concept, having participated in years past in Inktober.

A few art club members joined in, doing the drawings each week and the meeting virtually once a week to showcase their work in a small group setting.

“I decided to try it myself to improve my ability to draw what came to mind when given a prompt,” said Wells. “. . .I realized this would be a good thing for everyone to try in art club. By making it competitive, more people might be willing to get into it.”

During their virtual meeting, the participants all took turns showing off the drawing they each came up with to represent all sorts of different prompts from chef to hide to float, shoes, music, ominous and more. There was a prompt assigned to each day of the month. The students and Thraen-Borowksi all shared why they chose to draw what they did, how they struggled and which was their personal favorite of the week.

After the meeting, students upload pictures of their drawings to the art club page and then “vote” via a digital ballot with the names that participated that week. Artists can’t vote for themselves and there has to be a different winner each week, Thraen-Borowski explained. The winner is awarded a new art supply and all participants for the week receive a new art supply as a prize as well.

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At the end of the month, a grand prize winner, selected by the students, received a variety of art supplies–a sketch book, watercolor pencils, pastels, markers and more.

Sophomore Chase Dittmar saw the post about Inktober in Google classroom and was immediately interested. He felt like he hadn’t drawn enough over the summer and saw Inktober as a great way to practice without having to come up with ideas on his own.

“I enjoyed showing my finished drawings to everyone else in the meets, especially when they turned out much better than what I had expected,” said Dittmar. “I learned my limitations while drawing, and I am glad to say I can do much more than I thought I could.”

Wells said Inktober might seem like a “cheesy” trend to some, but he chooses to see it as an opportunity to see how a person’s brain interprets vague prompts into visual creations.

“I really like how there is a set theme I have to follow, but I am free to interpret the theme however I see fit,” said Wells. “. . .I have learned that some great ideas can come out of even the strangest of constraints put on your abilities.”

Freshman Emma Furlong was looking for a way to incorporate more art into her life as well as a way to get more involved in art club. She found just what she was looking for in Inktober.

“I loved the idea,” said Furlong. “It gave me a chance to challenge myself and be creative every day. I liked being able to incorporate art more into my everyday life and getting to see how other people interpreted the daily prompts. Inktober has not

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