How local creative Coy.Ink is making Inktober uniquely Longmont!
In Longmont, the start of October signifies changing leaves, pumpkin patches, all things spooky, and for many creatives in our community, Inktober. Inktober is a monthly celebration of creativity, with creatives embracing a new prompt each day of the month to guide inspiration for drawings, original creations, and more. Although many creatives follow a set of prompts different for each day of the month, for local graphic designer and illustrator Coy.Ink, aka Amanda Maldonado, Inktober 2020 found herself looking to the local Longmont community she calls home for inspiration.
Q- Have you participated in Inktober before?
Amanda - Yes! I've participated for the past four years (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). I realized in 2018 that I was getting stuck and feeling uninspired by the original prompt list and that prevented me from completing inktober. So I decided to make a list based on things I'd already wanted to draw instead. The point of inktober is to inspire creativity, and if you're feeling stifled by the prompt list, then trying to stick to that isn't actually making your art better or happier. The point is to enjoy what you're doing, not feel forced to do it.
Q- Why were you inspired to create the Longmont map for your Inktober project this year?
Amanda - I feel so connected to my community and the downtown area, especially this year. I wanted to celebrate my community and some of the places that I love most in Longmont. I was inspired by Where's Waldo maps and eye spy books and I'd wanted to do a map or cityscape for a really long time. Inktober gave me that opportunity, and by doing a small section everyday, the map seems less overwhelming, and my inktober "prompts" take less time. I was inspired by a piece a friend did (@StoneBurnerArt) which was to do a drawing a day on a large piece of paper instead of 31 larger individual drawings. It made Inktober less exhausting, but also didn't compromise the effort that went into making it.
Q- The map is centered on the 300 Block in Downtown Longmont, why did you choose this block?
Amanda - I choose the 300 block because it has the majority (but not all) of my favorite places in Longmont in that area. I'd planned on doing the whole downtown area (300-800, Kimbark to Collyer) but I quickly realized that a "map" was going to be far too limiting to show the buildings and fun where's waldo-esk map I was going for. So I decided to think more cityscape-map-waldo-eyespy hybrid. Taking several artistic liberties to add in businesses that have long passed, ones that are little out of the view point, and inverting the buildings on the east side so you can see the store fronts and business names rather than the back door/alleyways. I would love to continue working on a series of cityscapes around Longmont so it's not limited to just one area. It's so fun to finally try my hand at making a "map" which has always been something that excited & fascinated me.
Q- How much do you find yourself working on the map day by day?
Amanda - I'm working on it for 1-4 hours per day, excluding weekends because I'm traveling the last 3 weekends of October. Sometimes I'll spend two hours doing research and looking for reference images and an hour drawing.
Q- How has the Longmont community reacted to your map's progress?
Amanda - The businesses and other local artists have been so excited to see the map come to life! Every time I fill in another building and tag a business I get so excited to share and celebrate them. I've gotten a few suggestions on hidden details to add in the streets on windows or on rooftops, but I'm always looking for more ideas. When one of the businesses comments or reshares my work it's such a great feeling. I want them to feel seen and appreciated, especially in this time of COVID when we all feel so isolated.
Q - What have been your favorite details to draw so far?
Amanda - I love the ornate details on the buildings and writing down a business name or adding an artist I know to the page. Finding a few references from history like Pumpkin Pie Day has been really cool, but I do want this map to be a reflection of what inspires me about downtown. I like to think of it as a love note to my favorite places and people so we can celebrate & uplift our community together.
You can follow along with Amanda’s Inktober progress and her other creative endeavors on her Instagram or Facebook pages at @Coy.Ink. In addition to her map, Amanda’s original illustrations can be found on cards, tote bags, and more, available for purchase in Downtown Longmont at Java Stop, or on her Etsy.