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Everything you need to know about Inktober52 | 2023 edition

If you’re looking for an art challenge that lasts a bit longer than the average monthly challenge, Inktober52 is for you.

Inktober52 is a year-round art challenge that was created by the same person who found Inktober. Inktober52 challenges you to draw ink-based illustrations once a week over the course of a year: 52 illustrations in total.

Keep reading to find out:

  • Which rules apply to the Inktober 52 challenge
  • What the official prompt list is
  • + everything you need to know surrounding this art challenge

What is Inktober52?

Inktober52 is a year-long art challenge that started for the first time in 2020, after the success of the original Inktober challenge. Inktober52 has the same intention as Inktober: To improve your art skills using ink-based illustrations. But this time, over the course of a year.

Inktober52 starts each year in the first week of January. Then, each week for the rest of the year you must create an ink-based illustration.

These illustrations are based on prompts. Inktober52 created an official list of prompts as they also do with Inktober.

But unlike the release of Inktober’s full prompt list each September, Inktober52 releases a single prompt each week.

You find the newly released prompts every Thursday in the stories of the official Inktober Instagram page.

The downside of this is that you can’t prepare ahead of time which is always my number 1 tip when it comes to art challenges.

But since you draw once a week instead of every single day you have a full week to come up with a new illustration.


Personally, I like to use a form of hatching to increase my illustrating speed. What’s you’re preferred style?

Inktober52 official rules

Inktober52 rules are very simple and pretty much the same as the rules of Inktober.

Here are the official rules of Inktober52:

  1. Create an ink-based drawing based on the current week’s prompt
  2. Post the drawing to social media
  3. When posting you may use the following hashtags: #Inktober52, #Inktober*current year* and #Inktober*current week’s prompt*
    • E.g. #Inktober52 #Inktober2023 #InktoberMap

One of the most asked questions about Inktober is if you are allowed to use mixed media. The answer to that is yes.

The official creators of Inktober haven’t answered the same question regarding Inktober52. But I think it’s safe to say that you are allowed to use mixed media, as long as there’s a bit of inking involved.

Who invented Inktober52?

Inktober52 is created by Jake Parker, the person who found Inktober. Jake Parker is a New York Times Best Selling illustrator.

With the popularity of Inktober Jake Parker has gotten a lot of attention from the online art community.

Especially after some controversy surrounding Inktober. If you’re curious about this you can read everything you need to know about Inktober right here.

Official Inktober52 prompt list for 2023

Since Inktober52 only releases one prompt each week, the official list is incomplete.

So far, the official Inktober52 prompt list for 2023 includes:

  1. Build
  2. Puppet
  3. Shadow
  4. Angel
  5. Mighty
  6. Skull
  7. Odd
  8. Pup
  9. Botany
  10. Frame
  1. Hawk
  2. Constellation
  3. Giant
  4. Tears
  5. Prowl
  6. Grimm
  7. Melt
  8. Doctor
  9. Beard
  10. Skate
  1. Scratch
  2. Mask
  3. Power
  4. Kettle
  5. Kaboom
  6. Cuddle
  7. Climb
  8. Mermaid
  9. Trap
  10. Teeth
  1. Box
  2. Caught
  3. Slice
  4. Vampire
  5. Camel
  6. Childhood
  7. Fear
  8. Harvest
  9. Dream
  10. (To be announced )

I’ll update the list as the new prompts are released.

If you’re interested in the previous Inktober52 prompts, here they are:

Inktober52 2021 official prompt list

Here’s the official Inktober52 prompt list for 2020:

Inktober52 official prompt list 2021

It seems like they haven’t updated the last prompt of 2021. The last prompt was ”Pop”.

Inktober52 2020 official prompt list

Here’s the official Inktober52 prompt list for 2020:

Inktober52 official prompt list 2020

The difference between Inktober and Inktober52

The difference between Inktober and Inktober52 is that Inktober takes place over the course of the 31 days of October. Each day during Inktober you must create an inked-based illustration. Inktober52 takes place over the course of a year. Instead of drawing every single year, you must draw once a week over the course of 52 weeks.

This way you end up with 52 illustrations, instead of 31.

Inktober52 compared to Inktober

Both art challenges have one big advantage: improving your art skills. But to every advantage, there’s a disadvantage.

To determine which art challenge suits you best, here are some positive and less positive things about each challenge.

Inktober52 Advantages:

  • Since you draw only once a week you’re able to create more complex drawings which result in a bigger improvement
  • A year-long art challenge encourages permanent (positive) habits
  • It encourages you to draw consistently

Inktober52 Disadvantages:

  • Keeping up with a challenge for a year is a big commitment
  • When you miss a prompt you get to deal with the pressure to finish two prompts in one week
  • Less people participate in Inktober52 which makes the support feel less

Inktober advantages:

  • It only lasts for one month making it easier to start
  • Thousands of artists participate each year which means there’s a big support group
  • It not only helps improve art skills, it also teaches you to manage your time due to the close deadlines

Inktober disadvantages:

  • Since you draw every single day your illustrations can’t be too complex
  • You need to fit it in around your schedule which sometimes results in a nightly drawing session
  • It’s very easy to run out of time which results in a lot of stress

And yes, you can totally do both challenges if you’re up to it. This just means that you’ll have to draw 2 ink-based illustrations in one single day, 4 times.

Tips on how to keep up with Inktober52

With every art challenges come the same basic tips. Since this is a year-long challenge, here are specific tips to keep up with Injtober52:

  1. Set a reminder on your phone
    • Since you’re not busy with this challenge every single day, set an alarm to remind yourself to start
  2. Turn on (story) notifications of the Inktober Instagram to know when they post a new prompt
  3. Browse throughout the week to find other participating artists
    • Follow them and connect! It’s always easier to last in this challenge when you have friends that are also participating
  4. Post throughout the week your process
    • Since you have a full week to draw each prompt you might as well record the process. Not only are you encouraged to finish the prompt this way, you’re more likely to increase your followers and engagement!
  5. Create a schedule that works for you
    1. E.g: Day 1: ideation, Day 2: thumbnails, Day 3-5: sketch, day 6: inking day 7: post

Frequently Asked Questions about Inktober52

Find your answer about Inktober52 here.

when does Inktober52 start?

Inktober 52 starts each year in the first week of January.

Where can I find the official Inktober52 prompt list?

Every Thursday, the official Inktober52 prompts are released in the stories of the official Inktober Instagram page. Unlike Inktober’s prompt list, the Inktober52 prompts are released on a week-to-week basis.

Can you start Inktober52 on any date in the year?

Though Inktober52 was designed to start within the first week of January, you can join in at any time. You may start in July 2022 and end in July 2023 using the prompts of the current year.

What is the difference between Inktober and Inktober52

The difference between Inktober and Inktober52 is that Inktober is a one-month challenge and Inktober52 is a year-long challenge. During Inktober you create ink-based illustrations every single day and during Inktober52 you create ink-based illustrations once a week.

Can you both do Inktober and inktober52?

It’s possible to participate simultaneously in Inktober and Inktober52. The downside is that Inktober52 will overlap in October, so during Inktober, you’ll have to create two illustrations instead of one on certain days.

Which art challenge is better Inktober or inktober52?

Inktober, as well as Inktober52 both, improve your art skills. However, Inktober52 takes a year to complete which might be more beneficial in the long run. On the other hand, Inktober also teaches you how to deal with stress and deadline pressure.

What happens when you fail one week of Inktober52?

When you (accidentally) miss one week of Inktober52 you can simply skip it, or catch up later. Just be careful to not catch up too often because then all prompts will pile up and you’ll feel overwhelmed. This might stop you from participating any further.

If you couldn’t find your answer in the FAQs above you may always leave a comment down below. I’ll try to answer ASAP :)

Have fun participating in Inktober52!

♡ Laura

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Helga Loewa

    Hello Laura,
    I love drawing the Inktober 52 challenges. This year 2023 I have got a problem. I received my Inktober newsletter in time, but the Inktober52 one stopped afteer # 30. Now I am late with the prompt list.
    Could you please give me the access to the newsletter subscription. On your website is only 2022 and I did already all the drawings. I want the weekly an 2023-update of Inktober 52.
    Greetings from Germany,

    1. Laura M.

      Hi Helga!

      I updated the list for 2023. I’ve found the prompts up until week 39. I will update it weekly! If you go to and scroll down you see a form to re-subscribe to the newsletter. But perhaps the older newsletters accidentally went straight to your spam box? It might be worth checking that out.

      ♡ Laura

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