Inktober Book Plagerism Accusations



  • @lpetiti Thank you so much!! It took a lot of practice (and being on the "wrong end" of an issue according to the internet mob a while back) to get here. I come from the music world, which is a similarly small community and honestly a lot of the same stuff goes on there too. Small communities get amplified by the internet and people don't look into things to form their own opinion, and I've learned that the only way to completely avoid content is to not engage at all!

    I also can't imagine being on Jake's and Alphonso's level - I don't know if it'd be for me! I'll just stick with "can feed myself with my work", thanks! My heart goes out to both of them though, this isn't easy on either side and is going to cause some upset for what's probably going to be a pretty long time.



  • I know you asked us to wait to make any judgements, but without seeing either book and not having seen the video, I must point out that I am disappointed one artist used the internet to accuse another without contacting him directly. Bad form. If you have the time to make a one hour video, you have the time to speak with a colleague. I have not changed my intention to buy Jake's book. Please let him know his reputation as a generous teacher and artist carries weight with his community. I wish him well.


  • Pro SVS OG

    @Lee-White This should have never been handled this way, esp given Jake's track record of helping artists and the fact that he has been teaching these very concepts for years.

    Trying to ruin another person's livelyhood without even talking to them and trying to work things out is unacceptable.

    Similar yes but this does not seem like an open and closed case and he had very few samples to pull from.

    He is acting like he invented drawing. Horrible situation all around.

    Mob mentality is strong and unfortunately for Jake the internet mob is coming for him.

    Praying for him and hope any misunderstandings get worked out soon.



  • @Lee-White Hi Lee - I just watched this video with a man reviewing Alphonso Dunn's books. He mentioned at least three times that what was presented in Alphonso's books is basic knowledge. After listening to his review I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see some of the same knowledge in Jake's book as well. Maybe Jake can use the information in this video to back himself up if necessary. https://youtu.be/AD1AX-yXPL8



  • I just wanted to add, given how many horrible comments Jake will be dealing with across social media at the moment, how much I learned from Jake's SVS course "How to Draw Everything" and how I value his teaching.

    I was pretty good at drawing from reference but drawings from my imagination or if I wanted to change the perspective or angle of a reference I found it difficult and my drawings felt really flat (unintentionally!).

    I found Jake's step by step approach to drawing solid looking 3D shapes and combining them and cutting into them very helpful to improving my drawings.

    So helpful that if I were ever to teach drawing, exercises with 3d shapes would probably be part of what I share with others. 😅

    It is interesting the implications of be protective of copyright of teaching methods - whilst understanding why instructors would be protective of their work. (I'm speaking more generally here than this situation with Jake who had a prior history of teaching).

    Does it mean that if you learn from a book or workshop or YouTube video that you are not allowed to teach? My knowledge is definitely a combination of the books, videos and practical experience I have. At what point does that morph from being derivative of the people I have learned from and become something I can teach myself?

    A legal demand to the publishers to prevent publication until the matter was cleared up would seem to be the route to deal with arguments about copyright. As Will had with his kick starter.

    Let's hope these things don't come in threes @Lee-White 🙈😳 There's one experience that you don't want to have in common for the podcast!



  • Let's hope no one has copyrighted the idea of explaining one point perspective with a road with fence posts and telegraph poles or lampposts because that is in basically every book on drawing.

    I understand why Dunn was upset at the similarity. The problem is once you think someone has stolen your work, it biases how you look at it, so differences, instead of counting against the theory, are interpreted as devious attempts to hide the similarities.

    I really do feel for them both, thinking you have been ripped off is awful, and being publicly accused of plagerism when you were getting ready to launch a new book is awful. I hope this can be resolved through the proper channels.



  • @deborah-Haagenson said in Inktober Book Plagerism Accusations:

    @Lee-White Hi Lee - I just watched this video with a man reviewing Alphonso Dunn's books. He mentioned at least three times that what was presented in Alphonso's books is basic knowledge. After listening to his review I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see some of the same knowledge in Jake's book as well. Maybe Jake can use the information in this video to back himself up if necessary. https://youtu.be/AD1AX-yXPL8

    Hi I watched the review, well about a 1/3, of it and the man is talking about how valuable and impressive the book is and how its not basic like the other books he has seen on drawing. So probably not the best back-up.

    Anywho like others said I am also biased, but in the other direction as I've been following Alphonso for many years but somehow have not gotten familiar with Jake Parker outside of knowing he started Inktober. So if I'm to be honest with myself, it is a sad situation for both and its too early to judge. I think Alphonso had a knee jerk reaction and should have thought through how best to navigate the situation better, and I feel for how horrifying this must be for Jake. I hope for the best.



  • @tazzyartist Places in the video where he mentions that what's presented is basic information or common knowledge. 2:43-3:00, 4:43-4:47 and 5:12 to:5:25. I don't I've seen anything in his book that was so profound that he could claim it as his own. Anytime you're learning skills that have been around as long as inking has been, the skills may be new to the person learning, but not new in and of itself.



  • not a fan of this social media blame and being judged by the people thing. when he really believe that he outright violated his copyright he should go to court, which he most likely will not do.

    only thing to do now as jake is to stay calm and walk trough it. do a statement when you really feel the need for it and move on.


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    To prove my point, check out this page by Alphonso and this page in Frank Lohan's book published in 2009. Similar? yes! But do I think Alphonso plagiarized it? Of course not. This is basic information presented in a pretty logical and basic way. Screen Shot 2020-08-28 at 10.11.40 AM.jpg Screen Shot 2020-08-27 at 3.55.24 PM.jpeg



  • @Lee-White hey Lee, if you have more examples like this can you share them? I'm going to post something later today on Twitter and this is exactly what I'm looking for (I don't own inking books)


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I do have other examples, a lot of them. but we are waiting with them to be sure we are doing it in the right way. I'll post them soon...



  • @Lee-White ok. I won't post anything then. You guys got this👍 I'll be sure to share whatever you come up with!


  • SVS OG

    @Lee-White hi Lee! Great example. I’m so invested in this issue. I’ve also been scouring inking books just now, trying to see if other books published before Dunn’s are similar to his. Are you guys currently consulting your lawyers?



  • I really feel for Jake, I can't imagine seeing all these comments popping up on the networks he's worked so hard on, he must feel very attacked. I understand how Dunn could be frustrated but I hope they can work together to resolve it and put an end to the comments. I looked at Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur Guptill that you mentioned above on Amazon, and you can see similar examples on there too, specifically the pages Dunn highlights with the dust brush and pens.



  • @korilynneillo Do you mean people are giving you flack for using the Inktober hashtag?



  • A difficult topic. The principals in Dunns book are the same general principals that have been thought in artschools and artbooks or videos for a long long time. Just have a look at Winson Guptile rendering with pen and ink. These are not new principles and Dunn did not invent them. For example rendering with 3 or 5 or 12 values is not a new thing. Neither are value scales or drawing the line around the form (they already knew how to do that in the reneissance period, just ask Glenn Vilppu). They explain all about values and scales on the New Masters Academy beginner series also as do other instructors. These are all the basics of art so it makes me kind of angry when watching the youtube video it sounds like he invented the value scales, well he did not. He arranged the information in his own way and compiled it together and that is copyright protected not the information itself. His book actually looked interesting and like something that I would like to buy but now I am just kind of mad.



  • @tazzyartist Dunn seems like such a good teacher, but here the lesson seemed to be how to damage sales of a book that made you angry.

    Dunn's work is so obviously worth protecting that it kind of kills me that instead of a lesson to actually protect his own work he would start what's a lesson in how to damage someone else's reputation by slander. Damaging someone's book sales does not protect your own work! At best, it's a really awful way to market your book instead of someone else's, something I would hope never to have to do if I would reach the level Dunn has. They aren't rivals, they are part of a community.

    Like you I have a bias. I knew about inktober well before I knew anything about Jake Parker, but since learning through svs, I've seen a little more of how he works, and he has so much skill and is so fast that even the idea of him stealing work is a little empty. Inktober really meant something to me last year, and to see that Chronicle, one of my favorite publishers, was putting out a book was perfect for me to own as a kind of marker of these years! I'm so happy about it. I will still buy it, and I'm really excited about participating in inktober, just like @korilynneillo . If people take that as a support of Jake Parker, I'm fine with it, but the way inktober works in my life is a little larger for me than social media concerns anyway.

    Sadly, this whole thing wouldn't be an issue if people were generally kind on the internet, or stopped to give each other the benefit of the doubt. It bothers me that anyone online would write comments like that to Jake Parker thinking they're solving anything for Dunn. Dunn should talk to a lawyer, and I will continue to wish that people be nicer to each other, and bring up issues in private. The only thing to do is to be sure to be as kind as I can.



  • I just flipped through my old Rendering in Pen & Ink book by Arthur L Guptill while I watched Alphonso's video. Sorry Alphonso its all in here in a similar order. And my copy was published in 1978. He did not reinvent the wheel the way he thinks he did. I understand that he wants to believe what he created stands alone but his accusation was very reckless.



  • @Lee-White And this is precisely how I would illustrate the Tools of the Trade portion of an ink drawing book as well!

    I hadn’t previously heard of Alphonso Dunn so I am not familiar with his book but when I watched his video I didn’t see anything that I haven’t already seen displayed in so many other instructional art books, magazines and textbooks in my 20+ years of education and interest.
    The fundamental sections tend to be very similar between publications and are obviously included as an entry-level introduction to the novice. I usually skip over them at first because the real selling point of these books comes from the unique artistic spin and focus the individual authors bring. Alphonso’s book looks like a good and very comprehensive manual on ink drawing and I sympathise with his offence in assuming that his work has been ripped-off but I disapprove of his defamatory response, particularly when he hasn’t yet viewed Jake’s book as a whole. It’s unfair controversy. From what I can see their books have very different objectives and Jake’s book stands alone, and handsomely at that, in the arena of instructional, growth motivating art books.
    I refuse to believe that Jake is anything but a man of integrity and I’m sure his publishers had done their homework in ensuring no copyrights were violated. Hopefully the truth comes to light and good can come out of this horrible situation 🙏


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