Inktober begins!

Inktober is an October challenge that Jake Parker started in 2009 as a way to challenge himself and become better as an artist. Little did he know that it would become a sensation across the internet. It is now a way for artists to share their talents with ink, rise to the challenge and of course, become better artists.

I chose to follow Jake’s challenge list posted on his site for my list this year.  The first one was ‘fast’. I instantly though of the Starship Enterprise, but as I scrolled through I started thinking of space ships and remembered one of the most exciting days of my life.

Begin flashback

I hadn’t been feeling well all day.  My head hurt, my back ached and I just wanted to read, sleep and eat all day.  These feelings were all associated with me being pregnant with our third child.  And not the first or second trimester.  That’s right, in the third trimester and less than two months to my due date.

My other two, ages 16 months and about to turn four, had been strategically taking everything out of their rooms to put into my living room all day.  Clearly if mommy couldn’t go to the fun, the fun would come to her.  They had been surviving on cereal, orange juice and goldfish crackers throughout the day and  I told them that once daddy got home, he would make a yummy dinner (something my husband enjoys doing, thankfully).

Well apparently, I lied.  At the time I didn’t know I was lying to them but as soon as husband came home, and I certainly do mean AS SOON AS HE CAME HOME, I was informed that we had to leave. He burst through the door and explained quickly that he was able to get out of work to drive to Florida to see that last shuttle launch ever. At the time, we lived on the Georgia/Florida line so it wasn’t a crazy notion.

Being as how I was moody, hungry and tired, I responded with no. I told him how I had been feeling all day and I wasn’t prepared to take on the kids for another few hours just so he could see the launch. He said he would take the kids and go so I could rest. Sounds good right? Well, it didn’t to me. Irrationally, I responded with another no and I gave him some garbage reasons but he knew why I was acting that way and didn’t really say anything. He walked away and got in the shower, got dressed and started getting the kids ready without saying another word.

I knew what he was doing and I knew what this meant to him. I got off the couch and slammed some doors, grabbed some diapers and wipes and got my shoes on. That was the end of the quiet time because when we got into the car, I complained. A LOT. And again, he didn’t really test me. He just sat there and endured my whining while trying to figure out how we would get to this launch. In between my rants, his dad called to help him with where he should go. At this time in our lives we didn’t have trusty GPS so my father in law had a map and was on the other line guiding us to the closest and best place for us to see this event.

It was getting close to 3 and he was started to get stressed. Now I wish I could tell you that back then I had patience and kindness in this moment and just gracefully said ‘honey, I’m sorry. I’m am putting you through a lot and you are just trying to do something special with us. We will get there, don’t worry.’ But I didn’t. Instead I threw it in his face and tried to make matters worse. He finally got angry and long story short, we stopped talking to each other.

He turned on an exit for Smyrna Beach, Fl and said “we are going for it.” Those aren’t words you want to hear at a time like this, but I was the queen of the cold shoulder so I responded with nothing. We drove until traffic wouldn’t let us anymore and he pulled into a bank, took our son out of the car and ran towards the bridge that had a large blinking traffic sign that read ‘do not stop on bridge’. Well that meant nothing for all the rebel drivers out there with the same thought as my husband. Once I unbuckled my daughter, I shut the door and went to open my door back up to get my shoes back on. But it was locked. Yes, I was 7 1/2 months pregnant, holding a sweet 18 month girl who smiled at everything, by my locked car and trying to figure out how I could slingshot my husband on that rocket so his astronaut dreams could come true. I did what I had to do. I took off running, barefoot, towards my husband. The thought that ran through my mind was this:

I didn’t go through all this to miss this with him.

That’s all I kept saying to myself. I was running, or wobbling quickly, to him. People were asking if I wanted a ride as I was passing them, but I kept my eyes forward. When I reached him, he grabbed our daughter and while holding both kids he said “honey, look.”

And there is was. The STS-135 launched for the final space shuttle program from Kennedy Space Station in Florida. From where we were, it was small. But the bridge went a little bit quieter. People stopped. There were sighs of amazement and wonder all around. There was my husband. Quiet and happy. Our kids just looking at the sky and not fully knowing what was going on. It was beautiful and peaceful. And when it was over, we walked back to the car and hugged each other. Apologies were said, smiles were exchanged and good conversation commenced as we headed back home.

Back to the present

So that’s what made me want to draw this. I used my Sakura Micron pens and made an ink wash with the Speedball ink I had and attempted Day 1. I think for the challenge, it came out pretty good. I would probably like to redraw it with more color for another time, so be on the look out for that. Next Sketchbook Saturday, I will have a recap of all my ‘Inktober’ drawings that I have done and most likely posted on Instagram.

Bye for now!


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Illustrator and comic artist sharing art travels and story updates!

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