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The Entire Inktober Controversy

Inktober is a worldwide event that artists have always participated in. In October, every piece of artwork would be done in ink. However, the event that was created for artists to celebrate inked artwork has been hijacked by the creator of Inktober himself, Jake Parker.

Inktober was created during October 2009 as a “challenge to improve his [Jake Parker] inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.” Since its debut, artists everywhere have been participating in the event and contributed their artwork, which sparked a worldwide trend.

That was until last December when Inktober was copyrighted by its creator, Jake Parker. Parker gave the art community his reason to why he made his statement. He believed that since he is the creator of Inktober and felt responsible for anything that comes from it. He decided to protect his property by choosing to copyright Inktober.

This event split the art community in half. Either artists saw Parker as holding Inktober hostage or protecting his intellectual property. Despite the controversy, the majority of artists still participated in the event that same year. Less than half of the Inktober artists either refused to participate or begrudgingly joined the event.

Then last August, Alphonso Dunn accused Parker of plagiarizing his book, Pen and Ink Drawing. Dunn is a well renowned artist, author and YouTuber who shares his art advice and tutorials online.

In Dunn’s video, he said, “I needed to create this video for you to get some insight into the amount of work that goes into making a book…and for you to see the importance of protecting your work.”

Dunn shows in his video, his book and Parker’s book, Inktober all year long, side by-side to reveal jarring similarities. Dunn’s artwork and instructions have been seemingly copy and pasted with some wording altered. With his lessons being retaught in the wrong order. Dunn also shows his original notes and artwork which took over three years to create for his book.

Barely two days later, Parker tweeted his response to the accusations. He claimed that he would never plagiarize anyone’s work. He argues that since inking is a form of art that has been taught for years. It would only be natural that the book’s topics will be similar. Parker rests his case by stating that his lawyers advised him from going into detail.

In the art community, plagiarism is inexcusable. Instead of splitting the art community, the controversy united it. The majority of artists are not supporting Jake Parker by not participating in Inktober this year. Even art websites like DeviantArt are not supporting Inktober by not hosting the event. Vendors have been pulling Parker’s book off their online stores as well.

Since the majority of artists are not supporting Parker and Inktober, they have decided to create their own alternatives to replace Inktober or not participating in any event for October this year.

All artists want to bring back from Inktober was the original enjoyment from the art community. The Inktober challenge brought, personal growth and motivation to artist that participated in the event every year. Next month will reveal where artists stand in this Inktober controversy.

Image Sources

  • 43374301900_5c88ce8303_o: Palomar Telescope | All Rights Reserved
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