Celebrate Ink in October

Come join us at San Mateo County Libraries as we celebrate ink this October! 

From October 4th to October 9th, you can stop by any of our San Mateo County Libraries locations to join us for Ink in October, where we’ll have a new drawing prompt for inspiration each day and new materials to play with all throughout the week. You can turn in your art for us to display at the library or take it home to show it off to your family and friends! 

A Brief History of Ink 

There is possibly no writing tool more foundational than that of the pen and ink. Individually discovered across continents, ink has been in use for millennia, from the first Egyptian reed pens to classic feather quills to our modern-day plastic pens. Not all pens write the same, though: that reed pen is going to feel very different from our usual ballpoint pens when you put it to paper! Different pens create different experiences when using them, whether it’s how they feel on the page, what type of ink they use, or what type of tip it has. 

So, to celebrate this diverse medium, we're going to be playing with different types of pens over the course of a week to create art together! Using ink is a great way help you develop confidence in your drawings—there's no time to worry about mistakes when you can’t erase them away, after all! In fact, October in particular is a popular month that sees artists of all backgrounds take their celebration of ink a step further by taking on their own art challenges.  

Why Take on an Art Challenge? 

Art challenges kick-start creativity while building a schedule that helps keep practicing consistent. They can expand your horizons as an ever-growing artist as well as give you the chance to share your artwork and see what other people have been equally inspired to make. Ink in October is inspired by the art challenge Inktober, which sets the goal of creating one new drawing using ink every day throughout the month of October. Creating a drawing every single day may sound like a daunting task—and using something as permanent as ink at that—but it’s a challenge that’s been taken on by artists every year from all around the world!  

Inktober is just one of many community art challenges! So, if playing with Ink in October at your library leaves you ready for more: Drawtober offers six prompts over the course of the month if you’d rather take your time; Witchtober celebrates all things witchy; and Drawlloween is there to indulge you in Halloween all month long with daily spooky art prompts. And of course, there are plenty more months beyond October—Swordtember challenges you to draw a new sword design every day in September; Huevember encourages you to play with colors over the course of November; and MerMay prompts you to draw mermaids all throughout the month of May. 

No matter what challenge you decide to undertake, though, the real goal is always to discover whatever gets you inspired to draw and then have fun with it! Regardless of whether your preferred medium is dip pens, brush pens, ballpoint pens, paints, markers, or even digital art, Ink in October is open to anyone of any skill level. All you need is a pen and paper, and here at SMCL, we’ll be providing you with both! 

Interested in learning more about drawing with ink? Here are a few titles to get you started!