Marv Castillo’s Inktober Alternate Dictionary

Inktober Alternate Dictionary, just as every social media challenge I participate on, has a bit of a twist. Every year, Jake Parker – Inktober creator – releases a prompt list which users should follow. I wanted to do something different with the list and draw things under the insight of “if you look for ____ in the dictionary, you would find _______”, for example, for the work “weak” I released an illustration of Harvey Weinstein.

The project doesn’t always falls on that social statement, many times – and it was basically because of the short amount of time I had to finish each illustration – my Inktober used pop culture references like Halloween’s Michael Myers, the girls of The Shinning and other characters.

The project was fully digital, 150 copies were sold out in 16 hours and the project reach 300k people (including Ryan Reynolds who reposted an illustration for his brand Aviation American Gin)



I decided to work only with black and white to at least give this ink look to digital drawings. I experimented with a style drawing “strings” to create shapes and render the illustration. Using an iPad Pro was mainly to work faster.


For the first illustrations I worked on a actual sketch book to lay out the drawing and then I trace over my work on my iPad and add the final details digitally, however, this thing took a bunch of time. I have a full time job at BBDO and adding 4 extra hours of work to my day didn’t seem like a great idea, so I render every drawing digitally using apps on my iPad Pro like Adobe Sketch or Procreate.






People responded incredibly well to the project. My Inktober reached over 300k people and Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and others saw the work. Reynolds’ Aviation American Gin reposted one of my artworks and it had a great response.

During the project I learned to render my illustrations from beginning to end using tools like an iPad Pro instead of tracing over artwork I did on an actual sketchbook, which took a bunch of time. Since I see computers and tablets as a tool designed for post-production, I was close-minded about using them from the kickstart, but it saves you a bunch of time.

Marv Castillo

Marv Castillo is a illustrator, screenwriter and designer based in Costa Rica. In his career he has worked with brands which include Marvel, Netflix, World Vision, Amazon, Chevrolet, DC Comics, Sony, among many others. He was part of the Emmy Award Winning team of hitRECord season one, has won over 25 illustration contest and currently works at Garnier BBDO in San José, Costa Rica where he is part of a team that won two Effies. Castillo has been published in magazines and books, and owns Geek Broadside, co-owns MO Project, and is part of other projects.