This article originally featured in the October 2020 issue of Connect.

by Julia Stasio (Tokyo alumnus)

Happy October! I am so excited to have the opportunity to write about Artober for CONNECT. My name is Julia and I am an artist currently living in Tokyo. Prior to now, I worked as an ALT for the JET Programme from 2016-2019 at a wonderful arts and performing arts high school in Shinjuku. I really enjoyed my time as a JET ALT, and I was so grateful to have the opportunity to teach so many talented young artists.

I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the USA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration. My time in college made me completely fall in love with illustration. Since graduating, I have been displaying my work in galleries in Japan and the USA, exploring the beautiful country of Japan (when it is safe to do so), and making a lot of artwork. I work primarily in watercolor, but I sometimes like to explore working in graphite and digital media. General themes that I am inspired by include nature, the circle of life, and our solar system.

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A Passion for Halloween

Something else that makes me very excited and inspired is Halloween season. This year, I am so happy to announce that I have created my own prompt list for Artober. Artober is an event where artists create one piece of artwork for each day in October. In previous years this has been better known as Inktober, but the hashtag has been changed this year for a variety of reasons, most importantly for the claim that the key person who coined the term Inktober recently plagiarized a book idea from a black artist without giving them credit. Every day there will be a different Halloween-related word that you can make an illustration based off of. My prompt list for Artober contains many Halloween-inspired words. When coming up with my prompt list, I really wanted to make a combination of classic Halloween themes such as “ghost” or “witch,” and mix in some words to encourage conceptual art as well, such as “superstition” and “crisp.”

Halloween Arttober Prompts

I will write all thirty-one prompts here so that it’s easy to read. Days 1-31 are:

01 Spooked
02 Patch
03 Stairs
04 Sweet
05 Imaginary
06 Ghost
07 Beady
08 Ring
09 Yokai
10 Charm
11 Fang
12 Tarot
13 Superstition
14 Witch
15 Sliver
17 Bad Luck
18 Bones
19 Hide and seek
20 shadow
21 ritual
22 bat
23 little door
24 spell
25 web
26 spirit
27 crisp
28 illuminate
29 Black cat
30 costume
31 trick or treat

If you wish to participate, please use the hashtag #KumorilunaArtober so that I can see your work! You can post on any social media that you would like. I will be checking the tag on Instagram and Twitter every day during October. I would be so happy if artists all around Japan and all around the world could join in. There are no strict rules or deadlines, and all art mediums are accepted. The point of this Artober is to spread Halloween cheer, not to be worried about completing the entire list, so there is no pressure to finish all thirty-one days. Even just one or two days is perfectly accepted and welcomed! Hopefully some of the words on this list inspire you to create some awesome artwork. I am looking forward to seeing your creations!

In this article, I am so happy to share a preview of my Artober works, including my pieces for Day 1—“Spooked,” Day 2—“Patch” and Day 9—“Yokai.” I will be posting more work like this in October, so please check out my social media accounts below if you are interested.

You can find me on Twitter or Instagram for my latest Artober updates. I update my personal website with new work pretty frequently and that can be viewed here.

I also have a Patreon where you can access process photos, explanations of different pieces, and even sign up to receive monthly prints. And lastly, as I am sure most people in Japan reading this use LINE, if you are looking for some cute and sort of creepy line stickers, please check out my ‘Everyday Yokai’ LINE sticker collection, available in the LINE sticker shop here.

Thank you so much for reading, and Happy Halloween!

Julia Stasio is a JET alumnus and artist living in Tokyo. She especially loves watercolor illustration and traveling throughout Japan. You can view her work on all the accounts listed above, see her in art exhibitions around Japan, and also purchase her new set of stickers on Line.