Tag Archives: inktober


Happy Halloween!  And with it, sadly, comes the end of the Mockinktober challenge Myla and I did, where we completed a spooky drawing each day, for the month of October.  But we can call it a success!

I won’t post them all–you can see them on my instagram page @busymockingbird, in the hashtag #mockinktober, or on our facebook page.

Our goal was to complete all 31 days, and we did it!  Myla’s goal was to try to make all of hers be original characters, and–whenever possible–make them female.  She’s only 8 years old, but the expression she gets in her drawings and the unique ideas she has are already so amazing to see!

We jumped around a bit from our initial list, and bounced around (as I predicted) with our friend Mab’s Drawlloween list.  Near the end, though, we chose a few categories of our own.

We had goofy ones…pumpkin



We had a bunch of spooky teenagers…

creepy witch

teenage vampire

goth girl

And even some creepy kids…

its a good life

We had “the Ghost with the Most…”


As well as a few gremlins…


And we even did a few extra ones, just for fun!

ace ventura


The Kid blew me away with this drawing of The Bride (not Frankenstein’s Bride–the Bride from Kill Bill).  She’s never seen it–it’s WAY too violent–but she knows the story of the Bride as a ninja mama bear, fighting to avenge her daughter.  One day while I was drawing Jules from Pulp Fiction, she asked to draw the Bride, and it was too good a category to pass up (and she couldn’t help but add some goofiness to it…hence the chicken and the tiny head-person in the Crazy 88 gang..).

bad mamajamma

As for Frankenstein brides, we covered those, too…

bride of frankenstein

And we had such a great time doing it!  Here’s hope you all have a safe and spooky Halloween!

(If you’re interested, most of my versions from this set are available in my Etsy shop online as small prints–you can go have a look here! )


A couple of years ago, the kid and I did the Inktober challenge on our Instagram page, and called it “Mockinktober.”  There are many versions out there, but the basic idea is to post a drawing or art project each day, with a spooky sort of theme.

inktober 5(Our Blythe dolls, Mavis and Sweetie dressed up for the occasion…)

I like this challenge, because it always gets me started with other ideas of things I’d like to draw.

For example, I just finished listening to the audiobook for the Handmaid’s Tale (talk about a horror story!), and wanted to draw this one from the series…

inktober 1

As for WHAT to draw, there are so many options…

The originator of the “Inktober” idea puts out a general list of broad word prompts that are fairly open-ended (meaning each word could mean something different for each person):


Our dear friend Mab Graves put out this list for her event, she calls “Drawlloween…”   and always encourages open mediums (not just ink) and friendly fun…


And Myla and I sort of do a little of everything.  This year, we just wrote a list of all the spooky ideas we had.  Then when Mab’s list came out, we sort of aligned the days that matched with her event so we could play along with hers too.   And because Myla sometimes likes to do her own thing,  we chose some other random things to fill out our list.  And we might repeat some of them, if the category is good.  And some days, we might do something else entirely not on this list, and it’s okay, because it’s just for fun, and we do what we want.

inktobersssSo basically, you just pick something, create it, and post it!  If you want other art-people to see it, put the hashtag for each group on there in Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter–it sort of “files” it with other people who have used that hashtag.  Click on a hashtag and see what other people are posting!  There aren’t any prizes, it’s just a fun practice.  And if you can’t do all of them, try to do a few!

It’s only been a few days, so here are ours so far:

Day 1: Werewolf.  I drew MJ from Thriller (because I always loved watching the “making of” of that video), and Myla drew her own version of Professor Lupin (because she always thought he should have a tail)…

inktober day1

Day 2: Goblin.  I drew Bob, head of the Department of Small Coins at Gringott’s, and Myla drew a goblin warrior girl.

inktober day2

Day 3: Vampire.  I drew a sad little Claudia from Interview with a vampire, and Myla drew a quick teenage vampire boy before heading to school…

inktober day3

Day 4: Evil queen.  I drew Queen of the Damned, and Myla drew a Goblin Queen…

inktober day4

And that’s where we are so far!  I love browsing the hashtags to see what other people have done–there’s so much good out there!  One thing I like is that as I’m looking for references to draw from, I come across so many others I want to draw, and sometimes I draw them too.  So I end up getting extra draw-y during Inktober.

Here’s a cranky Elle Driver from Kill Bill…

inktober 3

And Myla won’t look at this next one, because it has blood.  But blood splatters are  spooky and also (I’m sorry) fun to paint. I don’t always draw guts or things that are too gory (that’s not my thing), but ink / red splatters always seem to brighten up a spooky doodle.  So if you’re squeamish, maybe scroll past.  I just use it as background decor, actually.  It’s GoGo Yubari, another Kill Bill alum, who really knows how to wreck junk up.

inktober 4

I’ve been really trying to fill out the whole page, and be pretty sparce with my colors sometimes.  It’s a fun challenge.

Myla got all excited a few weeks back when we made our list, and did the first few prompts early, just for fun.

inktober 2

We’re only a few days in, but here are a few pointer ideas:

  • Have a sketchbook dedicated JUST to your Inktober/Drawlloween/Mockinktober drawings.
  • Make a list of your own, maybe on the first page of the book, not only with prompts, but with what you might have in mind for each prompt.
  • Gather any references ahead of time.  I use a lot of pop culture references, and I can’t tell you how many printouts I have of references, and how many folders of references I have on my phone.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself!  It’s not a job application or anything.  If you don’t make it, no big deal.  It’s just a fun challenge, so you’re the boss.
  • POST IT!  Share your artwork, show people what you’ve done, and see what other people have done!   Communicate, comment on their work–it’s just a fun way to be supportive.

We.., there you go.  Happy Mockinktober!  And if you join in–happy creating!  Aaaaaand if you want to share your creations, feel free to post them on my facebook page!


Inktober 2015

Last month, as if I didn’t have a million other things going on, I decided to join in on Inktober.  Have you heard of it?  I had seen artists do this last year: a drawing a day for the month of October, usually spooky-themed, and usually done in ink or pen.  And just because I wanted to make it a little more fun, I asked Myla (the 6-year-old) if she’d like to join me.  This was a challenge because 1) I wasn’t sure if she’d be able to keep with the theme for the whole month, and 2) it sort of limited what I drew, as I had to sort of keep it within something that fit both of us, and wasn’t TOO creepy for her.

I made my own rules, so it didn’t feel like pressure:  if I wanted to add color, that was fine, and if I didn’t get to it one day, I wouldn’t stress it too much.  But Myla was already full of enthusiasm, so we got started.

Day 1: VILLAIN.  Elle Driver from Kill Bill, and Megamind (who’s she said is special because he’s a villain who turns nice).

1-bad guyDay 2: BEETLEJUICE.  This is one of those characters that she didn’t really know, because she’s not so into creepy things…but with things like that, I tell her about them, and she gets the jist.  My Beetlejuice is wearing a shirt of a guy named Beetlejuice from the Howard Stern show, and hers is the cartoon version, holding beetles in his hands.

2-beetlejuiceDay 3: WITCH.  Bellatrix LeStrange from Harry Potter, and the Playmobil witch from a show Myla likes called Super4.

3-witchDay 4: SKELETON.  A “real-ish” LaMuerte from Book of Life (with Myla finishing the body) and Turbo fighting Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph.

4-skeleton(And since LaMuerte looked a smidge too boring in black & white, I added a little color later to spice her up…)

4-diaDay 5: WEREWOLF.  Old school Teen Wolf and Aisling, the little wolf-girl from Secret of the Kells, who’s sniffing another girl…like ya do when you’re like a dog.

5-werewolfDay 6: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.  Another character she doesn’t personally know, but she’s always been fascinated by.  I told her the story, and she loved it.  (Hers is crying because he has no friends, poor guy…)

6-edward scissorhandsDay 7: WEDNESDAY ADDAMS.  It was a Wednesday.  It was another character she didn’t know.  I used to LOVE the old Charles Addams drawings as a kid, and devoured his books and drawings.  I told her about the movie characters, which cracked her up (especially Thing).

7-wednesdayDay 8: HELLBOY. Again, I did NOT let my 6-year old watch Hellboy, but she’s seen him around (especially at conventions), and always liked the fact that he’s a good guy who was supposed to be bad but CHOOSES to be good…and she really digs that he loves cats.

8-hellboyDay 9: VAMPIRE.  I drew Vampira–and here’s a little trivia break:  I learned that she created the character and hosted a show of horror films in the 50s and added campy comments to them.  In the 80s, studios wanted to recreate her show, but cast the actress who now plays Elvira in her part, pulling her look and the style of the show directly from hers.  Since she created the Vampira character (based loosely on Charles Addam’s Morticia drawings!), she tried to settle in court but lost. Strange, the things you learn, when looking up references.  Aaanyway, for Myla’s piece, she drew Drac, Mavis, and the curly-baby from Hotel Transylvania.

9-vampireDay 10: SWAMP CREATURE.  Old-school (and quite dapper) creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Missing Link from Monsters vs. Aliens.

10-swamp creatureDay 11: ALIENS.  My very favorite Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man,” and a tiny Gallaxhar from Monsters vs. Aliens.

11-aliensDay 12: ROBOTS.  (Can you tell I love Twilight Zone?)  Uncle Simon from a creepy episode of the ‘Zone, and a sweet little C3PO (even including his silver leg!  Aww.).

12-robotsDay 13:  MAD SCIENTIST.  Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, and Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phinneas and Ferb, having some trouble with one of his “innators.”

13-mad scientistDay 14: ZOMBIE.  This one was tricky, since they’re one of Myla’s absolute creep-outs.  So I tried to keep it harmless with Michael Jackson from Thriller (she even liked the video, although I didn’t show her the full beginning skit).  She drew the zombie “Bad Guy” from Wreck-it Ralph.

14-zombieDay 15: MUMMY.  Myla has a thing for mummies–they fascinate her!  She even has a bedtime book on the whole ancient Egyptian embalming/mummification rituals (yeah, for some reason, THAT doesn’t freak her out at all!  Haha!).  Old school Karloff and Akhmenrah from Night at the Museum (she has a little crush on him), both catching some Zs.

15-mummyDay 16: Another WEREWOLF.  Eddie Munster, and the wolf-dad from Hotel Transylvania, covered in his wolf-pup kids.  (Side note: I can’t see Eddie Munster without thinking of Ben Stiller playing a grownup Eddie in a skit on SNL…)

16-werewolfDay 17: GHOSTBUSTERS.  Apparently, she already knew Slimer from a “Just Dance” song they did at school.  “Who ya gonna call?”

17-ghostbustersDay 18: CREEPY SMILE.  Really just an excuse for me to draw a goofy Nacho Libre smile, and for Myla to draw the Animaniacs.

18-creepysmileDay 19:  WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.  I had initially planned on drawing the kid from the movie, but then remembered I had once made her a Max Halloween costume when she was 2 or 3, and decided to draw her now, as a wild thing, roaring her terrible roars.  She drew the goat-one…plus a flying wild thing she made up.

19-wild thingsDay 20: FLYING MONKEY.  Easily my very most favorite characters in the Wizard of Oz.  I went for a realish-version, and she drew the cutest, most adorable BABY flying monkey that I’ve ever seen.  (Seriously, I LOVE that little guy!  Can he be my pet?)

20-flying monkeyDay 21: QUEEN OF HEARTS.  We’d just been reading “Through the Looking Glass” at bedtime, so we thought the Red Queen would make a fun topic.  From the movie, and from the Disney cartoon.

21 red queen of heartsDay 22:  BAT.  An old-school Bat…man, and Stellaluna.

22-bat23: NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.  A handsome Jack, and a real-ish Sally.

23-nightmare beforeDay 24: GREMLINS.  Myla once fell in love with a Gizmo doll she got in a gift shop, so I drew Spike, and she drew the cutest little Mogwai.

24-gremlinsDay 25: Another SKELETON.  She wanted to draw a skeleton again, so I chose a soggy little skeleton kid based on a character created by the talented Matthew Gordon.  She drew a little guy from a book they’d read at school called “Skeleton for Dinner.”

25-skeletonDay 16: Another FRANKENSTEIN.  Bride of Frankenstein, and Johnny Stein from Hotel Transylvania, pulling down a disco ball.

26-frankensteinDay 27: GIANT.  The ship-giant from Time Bandits (one of my all-time favorites), and the lady giant from Into the Woods, tearing down trees.

27-giantDay 28:  CAT.  Old-school Cat…woman, and the Cheshire Cat.

28-catDay 29: GOBLIN KING.  We both love the Labyrinth.  I drew Jareth and his goblins.  Myla drew an “inappropriate” Jareth on the toilet (because bodily functions crack kids up)…then added another, drawing him when he transforms into an owl (so I couldn’t help but post them both).

29-goblin kingDay 30: CREEPY OCTOPUS.  A category she completely created, because she wanted to draw a vampire octopus from Octonauts.  This one stumped me for a bit, until I remembered the COOLEST “creepy octopus” of all: Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean, with his heart chest.

30-creepy octopusDay 31: DRAGON.  Admittedly, we were at the convention in Austin and couldn’t really go out with a bang, but hey–we tried!  Myla drew a “rain dragon” (which is how she describes drizzly days), and I drew the sad little Gringott’s dragon from Harry Potter.

So  there we are!  A drawing a day for October.  And honestly, Myla was the motivator the whole time, asking me excitedly every morning, “what’s our drawing of the day today?”  We both picked the topics–she was so good at coming up with themes that we both could do.

Anyway, I hope you all had as fun an October as we did with Inktober!

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