For the Month of October…

Whether it is NaNoWriMo, PiBoIdMo, SkaDaMo, etc., November seems to be the month for commitments to creative exercise. I failed at NaNoWriMo in the past and committed to PiBoIdMo and SkaDaMo this year. But I am easily distracted. And without somebody holding my feet to the fire, by day 4 I am already behind in both. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am no good at these things. They feel like a race. And I’m too old and fat to be racing anybody – in any venue. What I really need is my own exercise in self discipline (should that be hyphenated?)

On a whim, October 1, 2011, I decided that for that month I was going to create a monster every day.


And I was going to post it on Facebook. I was not going to post something I had drawn before. I was not even going to use something I’d drawn before as a starting point. At least not consciously. I was going to start with a blank slate and a blank mind. Every day the monster was going to be considerably different from the day before. I posted my intentions with the very first monster. I knew by announcing what I intended to do, my friends would hold me accountable. I posted a new monster everyday and would get dozens of likes and comments. By day 4 or 5, people would get impatient if I had not posted a monster by early afternoon. If I missed a day, which I did once or twice, folks were rewarded with double monster days. In the end I had 31 monsters—some of them pretty good—and healthy sense of accomplishment. So I did it again in October 2012. I had more accountability, more adulation, and another 31 new monsters. Stories hovered near by some of them. In fact the monster from October 20 that year was the inspiration for BUNNIES!!!, my first sold picture book manuscript. I just completed all the illustrations and sent them off this weekend.


By the time I started October Monster-A-Day this year, I had a ready audience. I was ready for the challenge. I was ready for the adulation Each new monster was received far greater than in previous years. I got many more likes and comments, and many new friend requests or people following me. I think part of the success was I had added another element to my exercise. With each monster I wanted to provoke/evoke some feeling or emotion. Whether joy, sadness, fear, loneliness, I wanted the viewer to be moved. I think I was two-thirds successful.


By November 1 I was short ten monsters. What was different this year? Why couldn’t I create 31 monsters like the previous two years?I’m fairly certain the only thing that kept me from finishing all 31 monsters is that this year I had paying work. And deadlines. Unlike the previous two years.

I am always impressed and so proud of my friends that enter into these challenges, whether they finish or not, whether their work is brilliant or compost. But I know now, for me, that committing to these challenges when my plate is already full is asking for disappointment.

I do plan to finish monsters 22 through 31. Hopefully before Thanksgiving.

Hey, what about a turkey monster…?

You can see this year’s October Monster-A-Day here:

-Kevan Atteberry


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17 responses to “For the Month of October…

  1. Pat yourself on the back for drawing 21 monsters! Don’t despair over 22-31. Twenty-one monsters! Twenty-one monsters you probably would not have drawn had you not set yourself this challenge! You, sir, are awesome!


  2. I love the monsters! Thank you for making them exist. And a turkey monster sounds awesome.


  3. I have absolutely adored your monsters, and am so impressed you would even set out to do one a day! I’d probably fall behind if I had only committed to one a week. I’m sure I got a full month’s worth of joy out of the 21 you did!


  4. Bravo, Kevan. I love this story. You ran the race your very own way. I’m with Adi. Yes to a turkey monster. A cranberry monster. A brussell sprout monster….


  5. Joshua McCune

    I love your artwork. That is all… no, wait… I’m super impressed. One a month of these beautiful beasties would impress me.


  6. I totally enjoyed your monsters! I looked forward to each one. And, personally, I can’t wait to see the turkey monster! Gobble! Gobble!


  7. creationsbymit

    Great story, Kevan, & I love your monsters! I am embarking on my first PiBoIdMo this year, & am already slowing down, & it’s only day 5! Things don’t bode well for day 25! But I’ll keep plugging along, in hopes that 2 years from now, I won’t have time to finish the challenge – much like you!!! 🙂


  8. It was so much fun following your monsters through October, Kevan. You are so talented. Bring on the turkey monster!


  9. You were 100% successful! And as you know, your monsters inspired ME and got me out of my own creative slump, so thank you for that and for them!


  10. Kevan, you ROCK! 21 monsters AND deadlines and paying work!? That sir, is impressive. (But a pack of Thanksgiving monsters would be awesome!) 😉


  11. I think you have just spelled out one of the reasons that I love your monsters so much. It’s not just that they’re a visual delight, that they often have these interesting textural elements, that the humor of the artist is so abundantly clear in them, that they often seem to hint at a story that I would really like to continue. It’s that they deliver an emotional hit. And art (or writing) that does that kind of cuts through a lot of clutter and connects directly.


  12. Your monsters are wonderful – I’m in awe of your talent. Congratulations on sending in your illustrations!


  13. kevanjatt

    Gosh! Thanks everyone! You are all very kind and I am humbled.


  14. Pingback: The Delivery System for An Emotional Hit | EMU's Debuts

  15. Pingback: It’s the launch party for BUNNIES!!! by Kevan Atteberry! | EMU's Debuts

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