Indigenous art. Indigenous perspectives.

Indigenous artists take on the Inktober challenge


October is Inktober — That time of year when artists take on a drawing challenge that is alternately stressful and fun. The rules are simple: Draw something in ink every day for the whole month of October. Post it on social media under #Inktober. Or post it on your refrigerator. Or wherever. There are prompts for each day – words like “Poisonous” and “Tranquility” this year – in case you want an extra challenge. The goal, as the Inktober website states, is to “go make something beautiful.” As Inktober artists know very well, sometimes that happens, and sometimes you end up drawing the quickest thing you can after a long day, when you just want to go to bed. But that’s the fun of it!

Several Indigenous artists take on the challenge every year, so we decided to share a few samples of the drawings they have created thus far for Inktober 2018. The challenge, of course, continues through the end of October. If you want to see more, follow the artists on social media using the links we’ve helpfully provided above each drawing.

Roy Boney Jr. (Cherokee Nation)

Colored ink drawing of a rooster wearing a leather jacket with safety pins like a punk

Inktober drawing by Roy Boney. Used with permission of the artist.

Kindra Swafford (Cherokee Nation)

C3PO the robot from Star Wars is looking into a starry night in a small drawing framed by blue tape. Pens used to draw it are next to the drawing.

Inktober drawing by Kindra Swafford. Used with permission of the artist.

Shaun Beyale (Diné)

Ayala the Monster Slayer, a strong woman with long black hair in a ponytail, charges into the frame of the picture. She is wearing jeans, a silver belt, Navajo jewelry, and a black tank top. The sun, clouds, and a bluff are visible behind her.

Inktober drawing by Shaun Beyale. Used with permission of the artist.

Shelley Patrick (Muscogee)

A set of yellow lips drips with green liquid next to deadly nightshade, purple flowers on a green stem

Inktober drawing by Shelley Patrick. Used with permission of the artist.

Britney Bacon Barnard (Cherokee Nation)

Black and white line drawing of character Totoro, a big rabbit.

Inktober drawing by Britney Bacon Barnard. Used with permission of the artist.

Chief Lady Bird (Potawatomi-Chippewa)

A woman with long black hair and moon-blue skin in profile in front of a full moon with a blue berry on a green tendril. The woman has a salmon tattoo on her cheek and a crescent moon on her shoulder.

Inktober drawing from Chief Lady Bird. Used with permission of the artist.










Arigon Starr (Kickapoo-Muscogee)

Ink drawing close-up of Bartolo Colon pitching a baseball.

Inktober art by Arigon Starr. Used with permission of the artist.

Dale Deforest (Navajo)

A dramatic ink drawing of a canyon in reds and oranges.

Inktober drawing by Dale Deforest. Used with permission of the artist.

Christie Tiger (Muscogee)

A red line drawing of a woman in a sheer dress standing on her tiptoes with her arms raised

Inktober drawing by Christie Tiger. Used with permission of the artist.











Corey Yazzie (Navajo)

A burlesque woman with black curls wearing a fur boa and small hat with a large flower on the side is about to eat a piece of chicken she is holding up to her open mouth.

Inktober drawing by Corey Yazzie. Used with permission of the artist.















1 Comment

  1. Nice article, the artists all did a great job on this challenge. So much talent, love it. my favorite is Roy Boney, kind of reminds me of the artist Adam Krueger on the new ATO Gallery website.

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