Five Common Inktober/Drawlloween Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Drawlloween 2017 by Mab Graves

As an art collector I both love and hate Inktober or Drawlloween or whatever it’s being called at the moment. Basically, the premise is that artists drawn/paint/create one item each day in October. Some people host challenges (the most famous is Mab’s Drawlloween Club) and others make up their own, but at some point everyone sells their pieces in some form. Theoretically these are supposed to be affordable pieces so that someone can support your art, it encourages both new and old collectors of an artist, and it also gives artists a nice income bump, essentially starting the holiday season a month early for them.

As a collector this should have me over the moon, but it doesn’t because Drawlloween/Inktober is almost always a mess from a collector’s standpoint. I mean, it even has multiple names; the disorganization is real (I swear, if someone start using Artober I’m done). I’ve changed my art collection in the last few years, I’ve moved away from prints and toward original art, and a lot of the time that means supporting up-and-coming artists who aren’t ‘big’ yet. In any given year I can anticipate buying from a minimum of half a dozen artists, but the average number of Inktober drawings I buy is one. Why? The twin pillars of competition and disorganization.

Competition is a real issue, lots of artists are participating in October art challenges, and almost all of them sell the work. People only have limited amounts of disposable income to spend on art, and so they are forced to pick and choose what to buy. The second issue is disorganization, art and meticulous organization of a business are not going to be on the same sides of the brain. However, thanks to the internet, a lot of artists represent themselves. That means that many artistic types need to step it up when it comes to running a business, even if they are just casually selling art online.

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Handmade Halloween 2017: Dead Spider Hands aka Ally Burke

Last year I did a Handmade Halloween post and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d do it again this year. This time I’m featuring an artist whose work I’ve been collecting for a few years now and who has a wonderfully creepy vibe: Ally Burke aka Dead Spider Hands.

This spooktacular print of Haunted House ($20) features a sort of Frankenstein’s monster-inspired woman with a ghost filled house in her hair, complete with planchette hair clip. I really enjoy the minimal use of color in this piece, which was from Burke’s Inktober 2016 series. I’m also almost positive that this was inspired by Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, which I just finished reading.

If you’re in the market for original art, Burke has a number of pieces available. Above is Spookyberry Twins ($100) and it’s done in her newer style. Since I’ve collected her work for a few years it’s been really interesting to see how it’s changed, with more detail, color, and shading being added over time. I really like how the black lips are shaded on the left of the two faces.

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