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Bookbinding Inktober Days 1-10.

I'm working on a bookbinding version of Inktober. If you're not familiar with the Inktober challenge, it's a month-long drawing challenge where you create one ink drawing every day for the month of October. The idea is to get you drawing more, drawing outside of your comfort zone, and to get some ideas out on paper.

How did I make this about bookbinding? Well, it has to do with my recent attempt to make a collection inspired by the Life cleric from D&D. I was working on thumbnails for ideas and nothing seemed to working out. I disliked the majority of the thumbnails I came up with and started to fear I was getting into an art block. In an attempt to solve this, I sat down and started drawing out designs with no theme in mind and no rules. I wanted no pressure on what the books had to look like or what feeling they had to convey. Wouldn't you know, I came up with 5 designs I'm in love with and those are the upcoming Runic Moon collection.

So back to Inktober. As many artists do, I have quite a large backlog of ideas for books I want to make. With this recent issue of trying and failing to design a collection for a specific idea, it showed me that there's a big difference between having a list of words that you want to be a book one day vs. an actual design in your sketchbook. I came up with the idea of creating one design every day by going down my back log of ideas. It just happened to be late September when I had this idea so the timing worked perfectly to do it as an Inktober challenge.

Here are the first 10 designs I've created. I'll be writing more blog posts for the rest.

1. Good vs. Evil

For this theme, I didn't want anything that was too on the nose. I thought about things that could be used for good and evil and settled on words. The first two squares are ideas I came up with before wanting to use the same thing for both sides. I figured a Dos-a-Dos structure would be perfect for a dual theme like this and day 2.

2. Sun and Moon

I leaned more into the idea of sunrise and sunset for this one. I've been wanting to try a gradient when I dye my leather for awhile now, so maybe this will be it!

3. Greek Gods: Apollo

It's always very tempting to do a collection based on an existing group of things and you'll see that pop up repeatedly through the 30 days. Today's was Greek gods and I chose Apollo specifically because one of my dogs is named Apollo :). Here I went for the black-on-red color scheme that Greek pottery is famous for.

4. Egyptian Gods: Thoth

See! Another group already! I landed on Thoth simply because it's a fun name to say.

If I do this one, I'd likely try to give a papyrus-like texture.

5. Fully black book.

About a year ago I completed a commission that had black pages. I've always wanted to do it again I think there's something sleek about a blind tooled black book. With this one, I'll combine those two things. As I was inking this sketch, I had the idea to do a version with white leather and black pages. That one is definitely going to happen.

6. Spelljammer Captain's Log.

This started as just the Captain's Log idea but I'm playing in the Spelljammer D&D campaign currently, so it had to become that! I pulled a lot of inspiration from my existing Astrolabe design.

7. Zodiac: Scorpio.

A full zodiac series will happen one day. Having a full 12 book collection done at once would be amazing to have. I'm not too happy with this one; I think it's a bit simple. I'd revisit this when I get around to this collection.

8. Wheel of the Year: Samhain.

The intent if for this to be like my Secret Garden books where there's a painting in the cover. I'd just leave it open so it looks like a window. Yule and Beltane will be making an appearance as themes later in the month.

9. Alchemist.

I didn't color this one in because I felt the design would get lost. I'd probably do black on red or red on black. Or both! I feel I'd want to do something to the pages too. Either edge coloring or make them stained.

10. Plants!

This was such a vague idea to start with. I've been wanting to do a druid collection so I suppose this is the beginning of that. While I was halfway through coloring this, I had the idea to do a version where the vines are white.

As I went along I started being more detailed with my drawings and drawing them larger. Up until day 9 they were more sized for what you do for quick thumbnails. At day 10 I started making each sketch about 2.5" x3.5". This allowed for clearer, more detailed drawings.

That's days 1-10! This has been such a fun project so far and I've learned a lot but I'll wait until the last post to go into that.

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