On episode 61 of the So Free Art Podcast, while talking about the Cats of June Art Challenge, I said how a Messy Desk Frees You Up. I Was Wrong. I shouldn’t have used the word messy, I dunno what the actual word is, but it’s more like a Desk that is allowed to be itself while not Misbehaving is Freeing, a Messy Desk is just a Naughty Desk that leads to a Messy Mind.

That’s just one of the things I learnt as the Cats of June 2019 Art Challenge got underway last week. Before we jump into some of the other things I’ve learnt, like:

  • how Distracting Social Media is,
  • how will improve your Inking Skills
  • and how being ill during an Art Challenge is not fun lol

Here’s a lil video of days 1 to 8, followed by the 8 video game fan art drawings I did using traditional inks.

YouTube player



It’s been 8 months since I last did an art challenge with Inktober 2018, and I had forgotten just How Chaotic Things Get. Things can very quickly get out of control, before you know it your Room looks like a Bombs Gone Off and you can’t do anything about it because you’ve got more drawings that need doing lol

I’m writing this having just finished day 8, and everything is back to being a bit more tidy, but I imagine by day 16 my desk will once again need excavating lol

It’s just part of the fun I guess, and while it makes me uneasy having a messy desk, there is a slight Freeing Feeling from being able to just throw stuff all over the place saying, I’ll sort it out later lol


On day one I woke feeling a bit poopy, and soon realised I was going to be out of action for a few days with an illness. Dun dun duuuu!!!

Luckily … or skilfully having learnt from previous challenges, I had a lil buffer of three drawings built up. So for the first 3 days I could post a drawing without having to actually do any drawing, which meant I could sleep and focus on coughing and stuff instead lol

While it wasn’t fun, I was super thankful to past self for having been prepared; she does look after me :)

It’s a Good Technique, Building a Buffer, and I would say maybe even a Necessity. Basically, before the Art challenge has even started you create a few drawings, just in case anything out of your control happens … like falling ill :)


I said I was going to draw some Thundercats characters, and I did, using my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen … but I decided to do 8 video game characters instead, so I may post the Thundercats in th… actually. I’m going to post them here :)


Cats of June 2019 Art Challenge - Thundercats Ink Drawings by Artist Sophie Lawson


Doing them Thundercats drawings made me realise how much I’ve improved with the Pental Pocket Brush Pen. When I purchased it a few months ago it scared me to bits. So much so, I hid it in my pencil case and pretended it didn’t exist. It was a real struggle to use it, but after starting the How To Ink 2.0 course at, I found the confidence to pull it back out and give it another go.

Why? Because Jake Parker, who runs that course, said when he first started using that pen it took him 30 drawings at least to get comfortable with it. I was like, oh my god, it didn’t come naturally to him either … maybe I can get good with it too :)

I’m so glad I gave it a second chance. I can safely say, that course will improve your inking skills. If you follow the exercises that Jake walks you through, you’ll get so much better. I still mess up, I still feel the pressure of inking, but I have so much more confidence with my lines it’s actually really exciting.

I enjoy inking now, whereas before it terrified me.

This is why I started the Cats of June art challenge with ink drawings, I wanted to practice what I’ve been learning. All these video game characters, done with fineliners, I’ve also noticed an improvement in the quality of my strokes.


I had a bit of an ah-ha this week too. I need to take a time out and meditate on it, but I think I’m done with Social Media. I just find it Distracting, Depressing and Disorienting. I’ll talk more about it in a future blog post, but right now I feel like I should be spending my time focusing on creating content that is so incredible, everyone else will share it for me lol

I always say, if you’re Not having Fun, Stop doing it, so after Cats of June I’m pretty convinced I’ll be hanging my social media boots, well heels, up :)


The next 8 days will be pencil sketching. The plan is to sketch other Artists cats from Character Design Quarterly magazines. Why? Because I want to create my own cat character by the end of this challenge, so sketching other artists cats should help me get some inspiration, and it will be fun.

…and we like fun round here :)

You can find my lil cats on YouTube via MY ART PLAYLIST but check out Joen’s Cats of June 2019 SVSLearn Forum Post for more information, and if you draw any Cats this June, tag them with #CatsOfJune to play along :)


– Ushiwaka, Ōkami