Inktober Book Plagerism Accusations



  • 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 🙏


  • SVS OG

    @hakepe i agree. He does not own these principles. He has no rights to it. I also must admit, his book does look really interesting and if I discovered them at a different circumstance, I think I’d like a copy too but given his actions, I’m kinda put off.


  • Pro

    I tend to side with Jake - I think he is honest and these are basic drawing principles presented in a logical order and method. What's interesting to me is that all the people here seem to side with Jake, and on Dunn's video all the comments side with Dunn. Maybe we all have inherent bias... All the people on his video say that the copyright infringement is incredibly blatant and shameless. Honestly was hard to read through, I feel so bad for Jake.


  • SVS OG

    @NessIllustration i was kinda 50-50 when Lee shared the news but after watching Dunn’s video ( and having to go on a bike ride to calm myself down), researching more about Dunn’s book as well as Jake’s, and hearing Lee’s evidences, I think the SVS team has a stronger argument



  • @NessIllustration It's an impossible situation for Dunn to pull his students into this, because they'll naturally be familiar with his work and Parker's students will be familiar with his. This means that I see the familiar lessons offered on SVS in the Inktober book, and if no one had a problem with those, why would they have a problem with the book? Someone familiar with Dunn's lessons would instantly see the reverse, especially if they want to take out their anger. So it's not just a bias, it's what has been taught and learned by each set of students.

    We weren't meant to decide this. 😞



  • @carolinebautista that's exactly it. It wasn't for us to decide. It was presented in an inappropriate and public forum .

    And seeing a few comments on Jake's Instagram( I read about 10 and it was too vile to continue reading), he's done massive damage to Jake's reputation.



  • @Lee-White this example was very logical and simple. Thanks for posting and I look forward to more examples.



  • @Coley Exactly. It was hard to read even a few comments. We are not Intellectual Property Lawyers with specialized knowledge and experience in the field of art, but we can see how people behave and treat each other based on the kind of power they think they have.


  • Pro

    @carolinebautista I completely agree. I'm sad to see Jake publicly slandered like this, especially because I do believe he did nothing wrong. Dunn went about this the wrong way, and all his followers are jumping in to rip apart Jake which is heartbreaking to see.



  • @NessIllustration
    when you count the amount of people who are doing this to the people who follow him/buy his products etc. its just a small currently loud minority. when they come for you on twitter just report em and dont feed them any bits. these people already made up theire mind and its a waste of time to try to change it. i think you even can delete such messages and i would do exactly that, especially when its unrelated to the original tweet.

    neither of us has to settle the disput between mr parker and alphonso but you dont have to watch people do a witchhunt on twitter and co. without you doing anything. report em when its offtopic and let the platform distrtibuter handle these people.



  • @carolinebautista Exactly exactly exactly; the general public doesn't have enough information or evidence or full understanding of copyright either way to decide this. Even a lot of the small-time artists who just sell on Etsy typically go the route of privately contacting violators of their copyright to give them a chance to respond or make right before smearing them across platforms. To go straight to riling up the internet mobs does permanent damage, even if it is proven that the similarities are not close enough to violate copyright. I mean, there are still people who resent him for the DMCA mess of last year, even after the explanations and apologies were made.

    To do this to an artist with as much community influence as Jake also does damage beyond his own reputation. Inktober has had a big impact on small creators for years, not only by creating an opportunity for learning and habit building but also by creating the opportunity for visibility on social media. If this had been handled more professionally, even if Jake did actually plagiarize there could have been a settlement made, an agreement come to, something to make it right without tearing down everything else he's built on his own.



  • @Coley I also read some of those, and on twitter as well.
    Much like the last time there was inktober drama (over not being able to call your sketchbook that you sell an official Inktober book), it is largely a certain sect of the art world that is keen to jump on this and demand Jake's comeuppance. People that love art, are young, do commissions, and are very quick to judgement on social issues (cancelling various ppl/companies without giving much thought).
    These same folks are making this about race, and by changing the conversation from 'did Jake steal Alphonso's ideas and imagery' to one about white artists stealing from black artists, I fear no amount of proof or reasoning will appease them.



  • @carrieannebrown

    Unfortunately yeah ahaha. I floated through circles of a lot of the younger artists that @kylebeaudette is talking about when I was getting started (I started out doing Comic and Anime Cons, and that crowd is about 50/50 that crowd and working professionals that do cons on the side like Jake and Will) and have historically made a comment every time Inktober "controversies" pop up along the lines of "whoa wait a second guys, let's stop, actually take a look at everything, and not immediately grab torches and pitchforks" which has never gone over well with that crowd. Kyle's right in that no amount of proof or reasoning will appease them - they've made up their minds.

    I've been seeing a lot of those folks cancelling their planned projects this year (a big wave when the trademark thing happened, and a much BIGGER wave now, it's been unavoidable on my feed) and unfortunately to a lot of the people in that portion of the art world, if you're not explicitly with them and hopping on the "cancel" train, you're against them and doing just as much "harm" as they perceive that the "cancelled" person did. It bothers me less now if I get comments giving me flack (I just block and move on), but it breaks my heart to see the community going after one another about this. The art community is supposed to support one another, not tear one another down.

    I absolutely agree with @carolinebautista. We absolutely were not meant to decide this, even if we were comparing a book to a book and not a book to a quick flip-through. I think it's horrible that this was brought straight to the court of public opinion instead of being handled through the proper channels, and can already see this having a lasting effect on the art community. The nastier parts of Art Twitter have always been nasty, and I would hope that anyone with a following as large as Alphonso's would know that and not send those people after someone. I've followed both artists for a while and I don't know - nor do I really have any business knowing - if the book was plagiarized or not, it's CERTAINLY soured my opinion of Alphonso. He's certainly taken this and turned it into a no-win situation for everyone.



  • I really really feel for Jake. I think Dunn's way of handling the situation is really harmful to the art community as a whole. I do not know what would be crossing the line regarding infrigement matters -but Jake is one of the easiest person to reach on internet, and there is a lot of alternatives to handle the conversation instead of creating internet dramas. I understand he must been frustrated, my probelm is how he expresses his frustration.

    Right now, the world needs building bridges, not tearing community apart.

    I hope the storm will pass soon, and we will all go back to talk about contour, texture, form, value, and the quality of lines, as we always do every year around this time of the year.



  • deleted!



  • @xin-li I completely agree, this was harmful to the art community not just jake. To call him out so publicly was very irresponsible. He created a mob he can't control.


  • Moderator

    @K-Flagg Very true. DeviantArt cancelled their hosting of the Inktober awards. The link has been retweeted by Kidlit 411's twitter account. The ripples are going to be felt for a long time. I'm so sorry for both artists. And it's horrifying to see cancel culture in action.



  • @Coreyartus I just saw that and it's so frustrating. They're not even going to wait for a response from Chronicle? Just "oop people are mad so let's destroy this thing that's related to it before we find out for sure if the accusations are true."



  • @xin-li I share your view. This is pushing every one down incl. the art community as a whole.

    Call me naïve but I have never witnessed this before on the internet and this is so violent! It is disheartening to see and I don't understand it.

    People have formed an opinion so quickly without the material nor the competencies to judge, plus they voice it so loudly! Bashing someone on right or wrong grounds doesn't seem to me an educated way to share point of views.

    I am also disappointed by other youtuber artists whom I respect and follow : some also made public comments on the matter. As public figures and given the situation, I thought they would keep some reserve or call for senses.

    I find the world we are living in very scary on many aspects and art is my quiet place. Even virtual, the art community felt very friendly and preserved. It feels otherwise now.

    I am glad that here, on the forum, people have remained respectful with each other and, for those expressing their opinion on the accusation, most have done so without being adamant.

    I have now been a follower of Jake and Alphonso for a few years. To this point, I have been very grateful to both of them for sharing their knowledge, for their products with educational content and for creating an environment supporting art. It has opened me to a brand new world.

    Therefore this whole story sadden me deeply. But beyond the argument, it is the excessive reaction of people on Youtube, Twitter and Instagram that shock me most.

    I feel for Alphonso, who I think is genuine in his accusation, but also and mostly now for Jake.
    Would there be, or not, foundations for the accusation, the violence of the masses is such, that one cannot not have empathy for the one ostracised. Chin up Jake, this shall pass.


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