Category: Edito


Inktober 2018 – The End

That’s it. I’m done. I managed to finish the 31 drawings of Inktober. It took me about two months, but for me, the challenge never was drawing 31 things in 31 days. It simply was about drawing again after an interruption of several decades.

And before you read any further, I invite you to (re)read the post where I explain all of this.

I can’t draw, so I’m joining Inktober!


A few thoughts now that I’ve actually done it

First, while I don’t like to pat myself in the back (at least not publicly) I’m pretty proud that I managed to do that.

I surprised myself that I was able to make 31 drawings at all.

Sometimes it was fun, sometimes frustrating, most times exciting.

I also discovered that drawing had a serious soothing effect on me and was one of the best stress-relievers I’ve tried in recent years.

I discovered a few things, mostly that I could draw much better than I thought I could.

Also not really having a style, it was fun to experiment with different styles. And while my skills and techniques are still very low, I saw myself improving and learning new things almost every day.

I started that whole thing with the slogan “I can’t draw, so I joined Inktober!
To which some people responded that I could draw indeed.
I’m still not sure about that. I can reproduce and copy – most of my drawings are from photographs or other drawings. However, for me, being able to draw is to be able to draw from scratch, to be able to put on paper in a satisfying manner the images that are in my mind.
I’m still very far from being able to do that.


A few reflections on some particular drawings

You can see all the drawings at once there (and just click on any drawing to reach the corresponding post):

I can’t draw (Inktober 2018 edition)

1 – Poisonous: As it was the first drawing on the list, I didn’t try to be original nor imaginative. I just wanted to get started. So a snake it was going to be. Also, as a kid I always loved drawing animals better. As I wanted to draw something good (I still hadn’t completely removed the “oh my god, people are going to look at my drawings, I don’t want to embarrass myself” from my mind), I drew from a picture. It came out pretty nicely and I’m glad it did. Otherwise, I may have given up. I almost did a few times during the first days (from lack of self-confidence) and about halfway through (from lack of time to be able to keep the pace).

2 – Tranquil: First drawing from scratch (the only one?). I didn’t dare to go more detailed or more realistic, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Overall, I think it could have been a very fun drawing if I could draw from scratch.

3 – Roasted: First real challenging drawing. I’m glad I kinda succeeded. I wish I could have made it more detailed. It needs more shades, and that’s something I still struggle with as you’ll see on many drawings.

4 – Spell: Insects may be one of the things I have the easiest time drawing. Still, I find the bee a bit too “stiff” or too flat or something. I like how I managed to do the bee’s stripes, though.

5 – Chicken: Mostly from lack of time, I tried to draw a chicken in as few strokes as possible. I’m actually pretty glad how it turned out. I also like the gray strokes along with the black ones. It was a random attempt. It was one of my favorite drawings somehow.

6 – Drooling: Nothing much to say about it. I inspired myself not from one, but two Pokemon for this. Can you tell which ones?

7 – Exhausted: I wish the drawing could be better, but drawing humans is not something I’m comfortable with yet and probably never will.

8 – Star: I started with a normal star, but meh… Then, I thought of doing the Death Star, but I was afraid I wouldn’t have the time to do a decent job. Then, the homage to Bowie imposed itself. I tried to draw the geometric forms without a ruler or anything. I’m glad how it turned out.

9 – Precious: I really liked the first drawing, but was too light. It had to be dark, in a cave or something. However, the way I darkened the hand is not so great and I didn’t dare to touch the face after that, so the lighting is a bit messed up (as well as the hand).

10 – Flowing: Originally, I had no idea what to draw. A river? Hair? Something else. My first attempt was pretty shitty and half-assed (pardon my French), but then I decided to go the more abstract route and just try my different pens. It turned out better than I was expecting.

11 – Cruel: I drew that, mostly because it was easy. It turns out to be one my favorite drawings. And I’m not the only one apparently; I posted a few of my drawings on Reddit. They all got just a handful of upvotes, except for this one that got more than 200 hundred and was even on top of the Inktober subreddit for a certain number of hours. It reminded me that good drawings don’t have to be complex. Conveying emotions and telling a story matter as much (just like with any other artistic medium really).

12- Whale: This is my six-year-old self expressing himself there. I loved drawing whales as a kid, not sure why. I used to draw them like this. Why change?

13 – Guarded: Not much to say. Wasn’t sure what to draw, googled it, stumbled upon something similar.

14 – Clock: Another very simple drawing that I like, but it didn’t meet the audience that I hoped it would. It’s the Doomsday Clock by the way, but I guess people didn’t see that. Another “lesson” (nothing too revolutionary): sometimes the creations you like are not the ones people like.

15 – Weak: First I wasn’t too happy with the drawing. I hoped I could have done better and less “gross”; but actually “gross” is perfectly fitting and pretty much what I tried to attain.

16 – Angular: I’m quite attracted to landscape drawing and never really tried before. This is pretty much my first attempt at it. Most likely not my last. Kinda ironic that this prompt inspired me to do a landscape.

17 – Swollen: Told you, I can’t draw humans.

18 – Bottle: What should I draw? A St-Émilion bottle or a message in a bottle? What about both. The result is not exactly what I envisioned (an original sketch was actually better), but I basically tried drawing something from a picture while making changes to it.

19 – Scorched: I’m quite proud of this one. Another one that’s quite simple, but once again I find it powerful, it tells something. I’m not sure why and what, but I feel that the black frame plays a part in it. Originally I only drew it because I wasn’t sure how to “end” the drawing, but now I can’t imagine the drawing without it. It’s somehow part of the story it tells. What story? Let’s go full “reader’s response” on that one, shall we?

20 – Breakable: Maybe you didn’t realize, but this one is a very personal one. This is a human humerus. I broke my left humerus four times as a teenager! No, this is not normal. I had a pretty rare condition called a bone cyst – which made one part of the bone quite breakable. I had to have some surgery. It’s been 30 years, haven’t broken it since. Knocking on wood.

21 – Drain: No inspiration that day, so I drew a drain. End of story.

22 – Expensive: Do I really need to elaborate? Actually a little bit, by “expensive” I mean overpriced (and overrated) here.

23 – Muddy: Nothing to add really, just tried to draw the stink spirit (actually a polluted river spirit) from Spirited Away.

24 – Chop: Even less inspiration than on day 21, also no time to try different things (I would have gone with pork chops otherwise).

25 – Prickly: I had a drought of inspiration over those days (I was also busier than usual, there may be a link). So I took the literal route again

26 – Stretch: I wanted to draw a super hero (I grew up reading Marvel Comics), I thought that was the perfect occasion. I chose a drawing from Jack Kirby as a model, partly as a homage, partly because his inking style is so unique and recognizable.

27 – Thunder: I had just done Mr Fantastic, I couldn’t do Thor right after. So I tried an onomatopoeia, not really interesting. Then I remembered that maybe I should find inspiration from things around me, so another Japanese thing it is. It turned out better than I thought (and nobody seems to have noticed he’s missing an ear – yes, I only realized it once it was too late).

28 – Gift: There too, the Schtroumpf Farceur (apparently his English name is Jokey) came to me as the obvious choice. I tried to draw him from a model without much success. Then I found a Youtube Video explaining how to draw him. I had forgotten that drawing “unrealistic” characters, especially in Franco-Belgian comic style, is basically drawing lots of circles, ovals and a few lines. A fascinating way to draw. I’m amazed that I managed to draw him so well. (if you compare with the original drawing, you’ll see that I didn’t just trace).

29 – Double: I tried something for the first time (in my life?) drawing with a real object as a model. As you can imagine turning 3D into 2D is not that easy. Could have been better, could have been worse.

30 – Jolt: Finally, I drew a Pokémon. Not sure why, I had wanted to draw one since the beginning of this thing. Not super original, but eh…

31 – Slice: a bit disappointed that the last drawing isn’t better, but as often (and after messing up Gollum for “Precious”) I’m afraid to add more shade and darkness and to destroy the drawing in the process. I guess it’s going to be the next important step to learn.


Now What?

I don’t exactly know, but what is sure is that this whole experiment reignited my love of drawing that had been extinguished in my teenage years, and now I feel that I’m old and mature enough to be able to just draw for myself, without comparing myself to others, without looking for approval or recognition and all that (the main reason why I stopped drawing all those years ago).

However, from now on, if I just decide to just “draw”, I know what’s gonna happen. Life is gonna happen, and I’ll be too busy to actually do it regularly (especially because I kinda have too many hobbies at the moment), and I’ll stop after a few days.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a very interesting book called Kanji Starter by Daiki Kusuya that “teaches” kanji through drawings and as learning Japanese is what I should be doing right now, why not combine both and learn kanji through drawing?

I may or may not blog about it, but I’ll most likely post some of them in a portfolio, on Instagram and such.

Stay tuned.

And I’ll finish this long post with a big thank to Jake Parker (who started this whole Inktober thing) and Isabelle B. who pushed me to do it.




I can’t draw, so I’m joining Inktober!

I hate Inktober!

Every year, in October, all my social media timelines get covered with amazing drawings about all sorts of topics, and every single one of them is like a little dart piercing my heart and reminding me that I suck at drawing.

It could not be a big deal. Not being able to draw is not a big deal for many people. Also, there are many other things I can’t do, and when I see people doing them well, it doesn’t affect me one bit.
So, what is it with drawing in particular that makes me feel this particular way (let’s name the feeling, it’s jealousy, basically – sadness too)?

Well, we need to go back in time to my childhood in order to understand.

See, as a kid, I used to love drawing. I did it a lot. I was an “indoor” kid and two of my favorite hobbies were reading and drawing.
I loved drawing!
I did it a lot, and I was pretty good at it, much better than many other kids my age. Sure, I never imagined myself having some sort of artistic career. I kinda knew early on that being an artist as a job wasn’t for me. A social environment thing probably, while growing up in a lower middle-class family, my parents themselves were from a rural and a working class background respectively. In other words, culture and art weren’t too common in the household, or only the super mainstream thing. In other words, as far as culture and art are concerned, I’m pretty much an autodidact.

But, I’m starting to digress. My point is that, as a kid, I used to love drawing, without anything to push me or help me with it. It’s just something I did.

However, around age 10, something happened! My drawing skills just stopped improving.
I went from being a pretty good “artist” at age 10 to being a quite bad one at age 15, my style and my skills not having evolved nor improved a single bit. Things got worse as I moved on to high school, although, at this point I had stopped trying. I still loved drawing, but really I had given up, I was just tracing in order to reproduce drawings I liked when stumbling upon them.

I tried to draw again at age 20. I could reproduce (without tracing this time) some drawings fine, but I was totally unable to create anything from scratch.
I tried a few techniques to go around that problem (like turning pictures into drawings, using tracing and such) but little by little the frustration of not being able to create what I wanted became too strong and I pretty much gave up drawing for good, especially because around the same time, I realized that I wasn’t as bad as I thought with writing, and I forked towards practicing that artistic skill instead.

Fast forward about 20 years, and Inktober 2018 is around the corner and a friend posts the official list on her Facebook page, and for some reason, stumbling upon it, all my frustrations of being a failed drawing artist resurfaced.

I had a small conversation about that with said friend, and she told me that her story with drawing wasn’t too different from mine, but for the past few years, she has practiced and practiced. Of course, she told me that she was still bad, and I know she isn’t, although she says that she has the same issue as I have: she can reproduce, but create not so much. I don’t know if she’s being humble or not.

In any case, she told me that instead of being frustrated with Inktober, why don’t I embrace it and use it as a way to practice, and simply try.

For some reason it resonated in me and she convinced me to do it.

It’s kind of a crazy idea, throwing myself out in the world with that hashtag next to my terrible drawings. Am I going to be mocked? Ridiculed? Or most likely, my drawings will be met with uneasy silence with people thinking “What the f*** is he doing? This is embarrassing!”

Well, we’ll see, because I’m doing it!

I started to make some drawings in advance, I’m not sure if I can draw one thing a day for a month, some I don’t hate, some that are indeed embarrassing, and I’ll post them on my blog every day (or almost every day). I’m not sure if I’ll have the courage to post them on Instagram, Twitter and such, we’ll see.

When you see my drawings, please don’t lie and tell me that they’re great when they’re not. However, don’t tell me that they suck either, I know they do. I’m kinda doing this for myself. Not trying to become a professional artist, here. I4m not even trying to get likes on social media. I’m a little bit like the fat kid who one day starts running. He knows he will never make it to the Olympics and that’s not his goal. He’s doing it for himself. To feel better about himself, maybe healthier, or to – you know – just do it.

And you know what? Since I started drawing those little doodles a few days ago, I noticed something. They’re a great stress reliever, probably the most efficient one I’ve tried recently. So, if only for that, I think I’ll try to finish this Inktober thing, and who knows, maybe keep on drawing into November and beyond!

Oh and by the way, here is the list of themes/prompts for this year:




François Corbier


François Corbier, je t’aimais bien à l’époque de Récré A2. J’avais même pas 10 ans, tu étais ce grand fou chantant en salopette bleu-blanc-rouge. J’étais un poil trop vieux pour le Club Dorothée qui n’était plus ma tasse de thé.

Plus tard, je te croisais parfois dans les pages de Fluide Glacial chez mon pote Thomas, mais je t’ai vraiment redécouvert il y a une quinzaine d’années, quand l’ami Fred m’a parlé de ton blog. Je suis devenu fan et lecteur assidu. À la suite de certains posts, nous avons eu plusieurs fois de chouettes discussions par e-mail. Je me souviens encore de quand nous comparions nos notes à propos des commerçants de Rocamadour où tu te produisais de temps à autres et où tu étais passé juste avant l’une de mes visites de cette ville qui j’aime tant : “celui-là, c’est un chouette type, parle-pas à celui-ci, c’est un con, etc.”

Read more “François Corbier”