Inktober 2019 marked ten years since American illustrator Jake Parker first kicked off this art challenge, an endeavour he unassumingly began to “improve [his] inking skills and develop positive drawing habits”. A solid decade on, the impact this movement, which has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, has had is evident as artists across the globe dazzle us with their skills. A particular point of pride is amazing creations by local talents from the Maldives that courageously put their visions on display.
While Inktober drawings are traditionally produced in ink, as apparent from the name, over the years artists everywhere have adopted their preferred mediums to the art fest, saturating the art sphere with a variety of talents, styles and artistic expressions.
Following in the footsteps of last year’s lucrative Inktober, The Edition team nominated some of our favourite artists for another listing this year. It is never easy to limit the number to a measly 10, but after much deliberation, here is our selection for a throwback to Inktober 2019!
Browsing through Fazu’s impressive Inktober creations, the word that immediately pops to mind is ‘eclectic’. Often fusing the mediums of ink and watercolour, no two pieces appear to share a similar theme or inspiration, with the exception of Fazu’s soothing style. The artworks jump from realism to softer cartoon styles, each one striking and distinct in its own right.
It’s hard not to get swept up in Azmeen’s Instagram page, which feels akin to flipping through this self-taught artist’s personal sketchbook. Azmeen ramped up his game for Inktober, shining up his ink pieces with a flair of metallic gold. His portraits are suffused with an atmosphere of fantasy and magic, with a touch of the macabre further enhanced by the use of black backgrounds. Those with a discerning eye will also note the sprinkles of mythology, history and pop culture, presenting something to enjoy for everyone. Good news for fans - prints of Azmeen’s work are available for preorder.
Iman’s feed sets wonderfully dark premises as befitting the spooky month of October, presenting an array of gorgeously drawn beasts and monsters, and an overall moody air set in monochrome. Drawing inspiration from across a varied range encompassing nature, folklore and sheer imagination, this graphic designer’s work is sure to equally enchant and send a shiver down your spine.
Usually an outlet for her poetry and other creative artwork, Maii’s Instagram made a switch to the traditional monochromatic form for Inktober this year. Thematically abstract and concept focussed, Maii shows off her styles, switching from simple line art to more detailed shading, with morbidly creative pieces.
A force to be reckoned with, this brilliant artist is as adept at traditional art as he is at digital forms. This Inktober, not only did Mamdhuh stick with pen and paper to dazzle his followers with his elaborate drawings, but he opted to use the prompts of local environmental NGO ‘Save The Beach Maldives’, sending informative, awareness-raising messages with artwork that depicts the rich but fragile biodiversity of Maldives. Often combining a few prompts together, Mamdhuh’s cleverly-composed creations are as haunting as they are powerful.
Maalika livened up her feed with adorable sketches and doodles in October. Sticking with pen and ink, her pieces are strongly rooted in nature, with a variety of flora used to cleverly bring across the prompts. Maalika also showcases her typography skills in her doodles; a talent she did not hold back during last year’s Inktober as well, and it is well worth a scroll through her feed to her earlier works, where gorgeous ink art occasionally meets watercolour.
A quick scroll through Shaman’s feed is enough to slacken a few jaws at the mind-boggling details of his artworks, with intricate cross-hatched gradients woven only with a pen or pencil. While his earlier works also indicate his mastery of capturing natural landscapes and abstract art, his most prominent pieces are his portraits, especially this past Inktober. With a collection of original personas and popular fictional characters, the aptness with which Shaman portrayed the daily prompts, especially as an expression of a character’s defining trait, leaves one pondering.
Switching black ink for coloured markers, and the standard Inktober prompt list for a refreshing one in Dhivehi Language by @vvarubali, Naura spread good vibes and a distinct sense of Maldivian-ness with her colourful creations. Adopting a doodling-style for Inktober, infused with just the right amount of cuteness, Naura’s Inktober artworks are sure to leave any Maldivian sighing with delight and perhaps a tinge of nostalgia.
A self-taught traditional artist, Rooya rolled out a beautiful portrait-style series for Inktober 2019. Shaking things up by combining multiple prompts from various sources, Rooya’s imaginatively crafted drawings of diverse women send out subtle messages of positivity, while showing off her aptness for abstract art with painstakingly detailed backgrounds. They create a distinctive colouring-book feel, sure to evoke the old childhood itch to grab your Faber-Castell pencils - and you can! Rooya has released her first colouring book ‘Colour Always’, now available for purchase.
Popular for her digital illustrations and exceptional colouring style, Zeina kept to her preferred medium and wowed her followers with stunning pieces that mainly fused the themes of sea creatures and botany, interjected here and there with a few draw-this-in-your-style pieces paying tribute to some of her own favourite artists. The combination of pastels and fluid lines bring across the signature softness of her artworks, achieving the exquisite effect of being both calming and striking. Zeina plans to sell enamel pins, magnets and stickers of her creations, so be sure to keep an eye on her page!
It is heartening to see the pool of Maldivian artists continuing to grow and flourish, as one can glean scrolling through the tags #InktoberMV and #InktoberMV2019 adopted by Maldivians for this year’s online art fest. Once in, the tags were near impossible to escape from indeed, drowning in a tidal wave of local talent and inspiring creativity; and even greater was the difficulty to put a cap on the number of artist selections.
The talents featured on our Inktober listing for this year are but the tip of the iceberg, if one could be forgiven the cliche, and we wish we could have included numerous others that amazed us with their outstanding talent and imagination. Kudos to all the artists putting themselves out there, creating and inspiring and making the world a better place, one piece at a time.
We look forward to what next October holds, and the new heights that will, no doubt, be achieved! Until then, always remember the words of French artist Henri Matisse: “Creativity takes courage”.