The Lansing and Detroit based artists are taking advantage of creative freedom this month🔥
LANSING - Whether or not it takes a cold October night of conversation to understand an artists angle of approach, is wholly debatable. Some can identify the inspirations and motives of a creative from simply viewing their work through a glass exhibit, or by researching a creative's life. However Mila Lynn and Torrey Gray, of Lansing and Detroit respectively, both granted Next Up News the former - an October night of conversation upstairs in Reach Art Studio, a base of creative production in Lansing. The topic? A month-long sprint of artistical freedom known as Inktober. Inktober is the brainchild of Jake Parker, a celebrated illustrator who challenged himself to a month of daily drawing prompts that pushed his ink drawing skills to new limits. Fast forward nine years and creatives across the globe have taken this month of challenges and applied it to their own crafts.
Mila Lynn is a renowned painter in the state, having produced amazing and consistent work for public exhibits and private clients. However during Inktober, she sheds any labels and creative restrictions. She picks up her pen and takes on the prompts put forth by the Inktober team and pushes her own foundational ink skills to new heights. This year she teamed up with Torrey Gray, a Detroit-based musician with a passion for the art community. So much of a passion that he heads Define Detroit; a organization that aids the development and growth of the 313's art community through events and networking opportunities. Not to be lost in such a great effort is Gray's own challenges for Inktober. For him, this month is about taking on the prompts and producing a sonic collaboration for Mila's ink drawings. Essentially freestyling for a month over beats, but with a focus on that day's prompt. Speaking of those prompts:
With Day 7 being the most recent at the time of this article, there's still lots of time to tap in and see just what Mila and Gray are going to do next. The "Fan" prompt for Day 7 featured Gray's neosoul approach to music smoothly slide a freestyle on a beat that, as he rapped, was "weird but I like it alot" - and well, we loved it. The freestyle dubbed a video of Mila hand-drawing a stunning fan concept that doubled as an amusement park style ride:
So it's easy to see why Next Up, and many following Mila & Gray, are eager to see what they produce for Day 8.. and 9... and 25.. and 30!
How do you get hip? You can start by following Mila (@mindofmila) and Gray (@iamgray__) on Instagram to stay current on their Inktober collaborations. Next you can buy, buy, buy! Mila's drawings are available for viewing when she puts them up at Midtown Brewing in Lansing. To buy, you have to hop on Instagram and be the first to comment "SOLD" when she posts the completed and hung artpiece. Last, you can listen below to raw conversation between Mila, Gray, and Next Up's own Sid - which will tell it all! From their start as an Inktober collaborative to their individual associations with the month, and even turning the tables to ask Sid a question or two! It's all here in full length audio: