Starting back on October 1st, just as I was plugging in my phone and crawling into bed, I would see a notification pop up on my phone that our daughter Valerie had posted another illustration on Tumblr.
The illustrations that she is posting are part of “Drawlloween” which is a month-long, online gallery for Halloween-inspired art. I’m not sure which rabbit hole of the internet you would have to dive down to find out how Drawlloween started, but every day of October is assigned a subject such as ghost, pumpkin, raven, amulet, skull, werewolf…you get the idea.
Creating an illustration every day or almost every day – Valerie combined alien, eyeball, and zombie in one illustration – is a lot of work. So why is she doing it? Drawlloween isn’t a competition and there really aren’t even bragging rights unless you count the “notes” (the equivalent of “Likes” on Tumblr) that each drawing receives.
For Valerie, it’s another opportunity to explore and refine her illustration style. And because the goal is to post one illustration a day, she can’t agonize over her work. She knows that if she wants to be a professional animator or illustrator, speed – in addition to skill and style – is going to be a required.
But participating in Drawlloween is more than that – Valerie just can’t help but do art. Until I had her and watched how she was compelled to draw at every stage of her life, I didn’t understand what it meant to have creative drive. Starting with when she was a toddler and would sit at her Little Tikes table imitating the drawings in “Angelina Ballerina” books right up to today as a 23 year-old woman, she is always creating. Sometimes it takes the form of doing an original embroidery design, or a mobile or a gif, but usually, it’s an illustration. So Drawlloween is just the current creative outlet for Valerie.
It makes me appreciate what a true artist is and how different they are from most of us – whether their art form is music, writing, visual arts, or even cooking – constantly expressing themselves through their art form is as necessary as breathing.
So with a little more than half of October behind us, I hope that you enjoy Valerie’s Drawlloween drawings to date.