Inktober Book Plagerism Accusations



  • @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.



  • @Julia a similar thing happened to Dina Rodriguez of Women of Illustration recently, although she did admit fault and definitely crossed a line. It was constant attacks even when she shared other artist's work who had nothing to do with it.



  • @Coreyartus
    i would call it a loss for deviantart. should have gone with artstation anyway when possible.



  • It’s been so sad seeing the ugliness surrounding this topic. People have no desire to offer forgiveness anymore. People judge people on their worst mistakes rather than the sum of their character. All of it seems like cyber bullying to me. And the irony is that so many people being the most vocal about this are probably people who profit off fan art (other peoples property!)

    I completely agree with @Lee-White that so much hate could have been avoided with a simple conversation. Alphonso has only seen a couple pages of the book and made a judgement about the whole thing.

    I would love to see people come to jakes support over on social media, it’s been awful seeing what’s happening there



  • Cancelled my Deviant Art account. Their response in cancelling Inktober events without a public statement from Jake amounts to kowtowing to an internet cancel culture mob. Jake has done a lot to support the art community & deserves a reasoned hearing vs cancellation.

    Watched Alphonso's video a couple times. I dunno what to say. It's about as far from plagiarism as you can get. There are a couple of page layouts that are similar but virtually all the information has been in books before (Guptil in the 70s for sure) and more modern ones. Not to mention every internet/youtube video that preceded Dunn's book.

    If anything I think Dunn may have opened himself up to some form of litigation due to accusations he made in front of 600k followers, effectively creating a mob, and causing harm, maybe financial, to Jake. Will see if Chronicle delays the book or demands page changes. Will see what other sponsors drop Jake simply from an accusation.

    You can dismiss a great deal of Dunn's video as a non-factor. What remains are a couple of page layouts that really, imho, fall into "inspired by" vs plagiarism.

    You would think given Jake's contributions to the art community that this could have been handled behind the scenes vs unleashing a mob.

    Very messy and mostly very unnecessary.



  • book is affected too. i guess thats one way to keep your no1 bestseller status in the inking book section....
    https://twitter.com/ChronicleBooks/status/1299394332374437890
    @ChronicleBooks

    Thank you for everyone’s notes on the upcoming book, Inktober All Year Long. Our team is taking this matter very seriously and investigating the situation. We have held the release of this book while we look into this matter. We will share more when we can.


  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @carrieannebrown said in Inktober Book Plagerism Accusations:

    Dina Rodriguez of Women of Illustration

    Wasn't aware of Dina Rodriguez's situation. It was interesting to research. (I'm always interested in copyright issues like this)
    Sounds like it was a hard slog to get Ms. Rodriguez to fully comprehend why her actions were both an infringement and fundamentally harmful, but she definitely got there in the end. Now Ms. Rodriguez seems to be working hard to learn and rebuild.



  • @carrieannebrown that's crazy! And sad and very much uncivilised to my opinion 😞
    whatever the faults of the person.

    Edit : now I learnt what happened, I can't call it similar. In Dina's case, she has been approached privately several times before the call out of the victim; Dina's wrongdoing was obvious and the victim's claim could not be put in doubt because of the evidence (photo). the fact that Dina's business claimed to empower women and especially coloured women made it worse. Finally the victim, when she saw the crowd out of control, clearly stated that she didn't call for the cancellation of Dina's business but for acknowledgement and appologies to her and all the people whose image has been used without consent. At the end of the day, Dina did made a public statement and admitted her wrongdoing.

    I think there is a fine line between call out actions and the cancellation culture, which seems to be the extreme version of the first one.



  • @davidhohn where can I read about it?



  • @George-Broussard My impression from watching the mob is that a lot of the angriest/most vocal are unfamiliar with Jake's work beyond the "guy who tried to take Inktober from us by trademarking it" impression from last year. If they had been following his work and contributions, I think there'd be a little more willingness to wait and see what the official word is, and a little more benefit of the doubt. As such, they've decided Jake Bad >: ( without even having the full story behind last year's Inktober incident, much less any information on his overall character and contributions, or more concrete proof of these specific accusations.



  • I watched Alphonso's video and I was quite shocked when he almost claimed to invent art teaching methods and art concepts like value numbering and using 3 values to show cube form in space (which I used to teach to teenagers in basic art course whithout even knowing of Alphono's existence ) and many more exercises like creating gradients, applying textures. His video became an absurd at that point.


  • Pro

    @George-Broussard A lot of his points are not strong at all... When you take a cursory glance, yes it looks similar for example the page for the additional tools. But if you think about it just a minute longer you realize: Okay but these ARE the tools of the trade. What is Jake going to do, recommend people use bleach instead of an eraser, because Dunn already lists eraser in his book? The graded palettes like light to light, dark to light, medium to light, it LOOKS really damning when he presents it like that because it's word for word, but those are the actual terms! I've had these terms taught to me in college and I've seen them in many art books in many different media, like watercolor and pastel. The cubes of different textures is also very common, if you Google "texture cube" you literally have dozens and dozens of pages of them. But to anyone who doesn't know that, Dunn's page and Jake's side by side DO look ripped off! Many people in his comments are saying while the techniques he teaches are common knowledge, it's the layout that's too similar. But even then, these are layouts common to art books in general. I remember getting a watercolor book from the library that was laid out just like this. A lot of white, spot illustrations, titles with short explanation paragraph. It's a common art tutorial type book layout because it's simply an effective format for the information being taught. It's been used for many different art books for decades.



  • Wow, this is unfortunate. It's hard to be objective without having both books in hand, but after looking at Alphonso's video, yes if you cherry pick pages and compare them side by side with Jake's book, they do look very similar. I feel like I could also take Alphonso's book and compare them side by side with a couple of Andrew Loomis books which were first printed in the 1940/50s and get similar results, especially in his lighting/shade and value portions. Both books use similar theories, tropes, and drawing examples I've seen over many art books, classes, and tutorials.

    I always hope to find a selection of art instruction books that are similar enough to reinforce the same concepts, but presented with the author's unique voice and art style.
    If you look at quick flip-throughs of each book, they both look very well done, and different enough that they could reach different audiences with some cross over. Alphonso's looks very well articulated and gives a more traditional, serious vibe to it. Jake's seems a little more trendy and formatted to be possibly more easily digestible with how the information looks like it's broken up. It's what I might expect of any two books covering similar subject matter. The value of that is that you get similar concepts explained by two different artists, with different art style examples, and variety in the exercises offered- something I've always found to be very helpful.

    That's my initial gut reaction to the situation. I do have a bias toward Jake as I wasn't familiar with Alphonso before this- though he looks like a great instructor and his book looks very good.


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