For creatives all over the world, October doesn't just mean pumpkins and ghosts; the main event of the month involves ink splotches and daily uploads - of course I'm talking about Inktober! I took part last year and gave myself the theme of 'the macabre', which was a lot of fun, but I wanted to do something a little different this year. There are prompts you can follow, but I wanted to centre my drawings around different mythological creatures from around the world, ideally from 31 different cultures, and so far it's been so interesting.

I will be aiming to post weekly round-ups on here, but I do upload a different entry every day on my Instagram so make sure you're following me!

1: A Phoenix

I went with a phoenix to start with because they are famous for rising from their own ashes, and I liked the idea of opening with that kind of a sentiment.

2: A Flying Head

In a strand of Native American mythology, Flying Heads were thought to be the result of what happened to cannibals once they died. Cursed to spend their immortal lives as dismembered heads with wings, eating any human in their path with no chance of becoming full due to their lack of bodies. 

3: The Black Tortoise

One of the symbols of the Chinese constellation, the Black Tortoise is usually depicted as a tortoise with a snake elaborately wrapped around its body. In Japanese culture, this symbol is thought to protect the northern regions of the country.

4: A Cockatrice

A Cockatrice is a 14th century European mythological creature said to be born from a chicken's egg that was incubated - or, at least, sat on - by a toad. It was thought to have the head of a rooster, the body of a two-legged dragon and the ability to kill victims by looking them in the eye.

5: The Aswang

The Aswang originate in the Philippines, and are said to be a cross between witches, warlocks and vampires. These creatures are supposed to be shape shifters, and the only way to tell if you're interacting with one is to see if your reflection in their eyes is upside down.

6: Jikininki

In Japanese-Buddhism, the Jikininki are thought to be human-eating ghosts that are the cursed souls of people who were too greedy when they were alive. With rotting bodies and glowing eyes, they seek out corpses at night, but have the magical ability to disguise themselves as normal living beings.   

7: Baba Yaga

In Slavic folklore, many tales feature Baba Yaga, a terrifying, quirky, and mysterious old woman/witch. Her house is said to stand on the leg (or legs) of a chicken, and she flies around in a mortar wielding a pestle. She is renowned for hindering, as well as helping, those who seek out her magical services.  

8: A Manticore

The Manticore is a Persian mythological creature. They have the body of a lion, the head of a human and three rows of shark-like teeth. They sometimes have bat wings, and on other occasions they can be depicted with horns.

9: Cheval Mallet

In French folklore, the Cheval Mallet appears as a beautiful black or white horse at night, often in a graveyard. They use their charm to lure weary travellers away from their paths. Most accounts of stories end with the travellers never being seen or heard from again.

And so concludes the first of my 3 Inktober round-ups! Let me know your thoughts and if you can think of any other mythological creatures I could draw for the remainder of the month!

Published by Avni Bhagwan