Seasonal Alternatives to the Inktober Challenge
If you are a person with any serious interest in drawing — whether or not you are an artist by trade — and have spent any amount of time on the internet, it’s likely that you have at least a passing awareness of Inktober.
Started back in 2009 by illustrator Jake Parker, Inktober is an annual drawing challenge taking place in October. The goal is to produce one inked drawing (with the allowance of a pencil underdrawing) each day from the 1st through the 31st. There is an official prompt list, but its use is not mandatory.
In 2019, Inktober became a source of some controversy when Parker–after a decade of Inktober functioning as a community-based public art challenge–registered for a trademark for the Inktober brand. Suddenly many artists who had been publishing and selling their own art under the Inktober designation (such as their own Inktober sketchbooks, completed through participation in the challenge) began receiving legal threats and cease-and-desist letters from Parker’s lawyers.
In 2020, another controversy arose, involving accusations by micron artist Alphonso Dunn that massive portions of Parker’s soon-to-be-released book, Inktober All Year Long, were plagarized from Dunn’s Pen and Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide.
For those looking for more in-depth information regarding both controversies, this article does a good job summing up–unfortunately, Alphonso Dunn’s own video outline his accusations has since been made Private, but you can still find examples of the alleged plagiarism online if you are interested:
More Than Sketchy: Inktober Creator Accused of Plagiarism - F Newsmagazine
Artist Alphonso Dunn accuses Jake Parker of plagiarizing parts of his upcoming workbook, "Inktober All Year Long." Jake…
All this to say, both of these instances left a bitter taste is some people’s mouths. While Inktober is still a popular participatory challenge, numerous artists nonetheless have decided in the intervening years that they no longer wanted to participate in Inktober proper, and began seeking–and creating–alternatives.