Retail Promotion Series: 31 days and 31 drawings turn October into Inktober

Every day in October, thousands of artists, illustrators and amateur drawers all around the world will make a sketch. Artist Jake Parker came up with this idea for the 2009 Pop Art Challenge. Even in shops, ink sketches can form the heart of a product display. This is how you can turn October into Inktober – a month full of creative inspiration.

Awakening your customers' creative potential

Every shop that sells beautiful pens and paper is imbued with its own magic spirit of creativity. What will be written down or drawn on the various sheets of paper? The way the goods are presented has to fire customers' imagination so that their own creative enthusiasm is aroused. This works very well if you work together with local artists or art schools. But even art events or art campaigns on social media – events such as Inktober – can kindle the spark of creativity. 

Inktober – one drawing every day

The rules of Inktober are simple: 

  1. Make a drawing in ink. 
  2. Post it on social media. 
  3. Hashtag it with #inktober.

Jake Parker tells us what prompted him to launch the social media art action: “I created Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve my inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.” Even he is amazed at how many artists around the world have joined in. Doing Inktober is pretty easy, its initiator assures us: "Everyone can turn October into Inktober. Just pick up a pen and start drawing."

Temporary exhibition with a product display

To do Inktober, a retailer needs 31 drawings that can be displayed in the shop and published on social media day after day. Retailers can either announce a drawing competition among their own customers or organise a temporary exhibition in cooperation with local artists, organisers of drawing classes or art students. In return, the shop may provide the artists or hobbyists with the material they need to make the drawings. 

If drawings from the Inktober art event are to be used, the publishing rights must first be clarified with the author. The rights must include both the right to display the printed sketches in the shop window and in the display of goods, and, if need be, also the right to publish them on social media. Drawing paper and sketchbooks can be arranged around the picture of the day – along with the necessary ink pens, ballpoint pens, black liners, permanent markers, felt tip pens, brush pens and black ink.

31 days, 31 posts in Inktober 

The charming thing about Inktober is that retailers can stage the art event in their own shop as well as create online content for their social media channels. The key thing, though, is that they should supplement their posts with photos of the drawings giving the names of the authors and hashtagged with #inktober or #inktober2019. Brief stories relating to the creative mind behind the drawings, the making of the drawings, or a list of the materials used can also be added. If the shop doesn't have any exclusive drawings for its social media channels, the people in charge of the social media channels can instead share pictures uploaded by people taking part in Inktober. This way, the artists are pleased with the knowledge that their works are reaching a larger audience and the customers can delight in getting a wealth of inspiration.

Retail tip

Combine your social media activities with events in your shop. Upload complementary content to make social media users aware of your shop and customers in the store can enjoy some extra information.

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