Every year during October, the art community on Instagram bursts with creativity as the annual drawing challenge known as Inktober rolls around. In 2020, I decided to host a creative challenge of my own, and since October is also Mental Health Month, I wanted to put together a list of 31 prompts (below) which would not only stir up everyone's creativity, but raise awareness about mental health as well.

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For my own artworks, I decided to challenge myself with a medium I wasn't particularly familiar with - black ink. While I usually use a lot of colour, I loved the simple, clean effect ink could have when used right. Here are some of my favourites that I created for Artober:

day 1 - talk (option 3) 1.jpg
day 8 - butterflies 1.jpg
day 3 - sleep (option 1) 1.jpg
day 15 - grateful (edit).jpg

As my intention for this Artober challenge was also to create a safe space for people to share resources and stories about mental health, in the captions of my posts I shared my own personal journey with mental health. For example, below is part of my caption for Day 6: Monster.

day 6 - monster 1.jpg

"You are not a monster.
Having a mental illness doesn’t make you wrong or invalid.
Needing to take a day, week or month off to take care of your mental health doesn’t mean you are weak.

In fact, you are strong, you are worthy, you are capable, you have innate value. You are all of these things and more, even when you don’t feel like it!

If you break a bone or catch a cold, you go to the doctors or stay home and rest. Just as with your physical health, when you need support, help or rest for your mental health, that’s exactly what you deserve and should get.

You are not a monster and you are not alone.♥️

Overall, it was the most wonderful experience not only sharing my own artwork and stories, but seeing the beautiful creative works and vulnerable personal stories that so many others bravely shared during the 31 days of October. I feel beyond inspired and in awe of the talent and courage of all those who took part in #MHAMArtober20 for a day, week or the whole month. Below is just a sample of some of the amazing pieces shared:

I'm so thankful to everyone who participated or spread the word, and my hope is to host the challenge again next October to continue to raise awareness about mental health, erase the stigma, and keep the creative juices flowing!

There are still a number of my Artober ink paintings available for purchase so please check out my etsy shop here: 
Under the tree Store. I'll be donating half of my sales to Indigenous Allied Health Australia.