A Saudi artist has signed a deal to bring the world-renowned Inktober art challenge to the Kingdom.
Fatima Al-Awad, a certified trainer in art and professional writing, penned the agreement with Inktober’s founder Jake Parker to run the skills project in the Red Sea coast city of Yanbu.
“I contacted Jake Parker and told him about the idea of holding a nonprofit social event in a cafe, and he welcomed that very much, and the agreement was signed,” Al-Awad told Arab News.
Parker created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits and it has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking part every October.
Al-Awad said that Parker’s goals in setting up the challenge were to strengthen people’s drawing skills, help them to enjoy competition, unleash ideas and broaden their imagination, and provide artists with a platform to grow an audience for their work.
“(Parker’s) idea was to set up a challenge for himself by drawing daily for a month in ink to strengthen his skills in this particular material. He decided to write a list of random words for each day, 31 words of 31 drawings,” Al-Awad said. “I am proud that we are preparing the first official Inktober event to be held in the Kingdom.”
Al-Awad is holding the event as a two-day workshop each week in cooperation with the Oros Cafe in Yanbu, having organized similar successful virtual challenges for the past three years.
“This year, I decided to transfer this experience to do it on the ground by teaching the methods of using ink — marker pens — through various inking techniques, so that artists can benefit from interacting with each other.
“I pay attention to detail through my supervision and follow-up, and of course enjoy sitting outside and drinking coffee with our participants,” she added.
Al-Awad has introduced appropriate precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Artists can participate by registering via the event’s app.
“I saw the great interest of artists during their interaction on social networks over the past years, and I thought since I have been accustomed to holding various artistic events for many years, it would be good to hold an event dedicated to Inktober so that I would be able to directly influence the participants, develop their skills, and get to know them,” she said.
As well artists, university students, teachers, and members of the public have been taking part producing some “amazing art ideas and sketches.”
Al-Awad has been using ink-drawing techniques in her manga works and comics for years.
“What many people often do not know about the art of inking, is that it is not new, but rather a reformulation of the very old art of sketching, which began using the only materials available to artists, which was ink, paper, and quill. And for this, it is considered fine art and has a global and historical stature.
“I am glad that it has returned with this strength as it is the basis of arts, the ideal way to develop your art, whatever its type, and is the basis on which the rest of the arts in all its forms depend,” she added.