For some people, Jake Parker is the talented children’s book illustrator behind books like The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair, The Little Snowplow, and the just-released The 12 Sleighs of Christmas, written by Sherri Duskey Rinker. Some of us though remember Parker as one of the artists who first made a splash in the Flight anthologies and went onto write and draw the Missile Mouse series of graphic novels and The Antler Boy and Other Stories, which collected his short comics work.
He is also the man who started Inktober, which went from a personal challenge to himself that he posted online to something much bigger. This year Inktober was bigger than it’s ever been. In 2015, just under 330,000 posts on Instagram were tagged #inktober2015, and this year more than 3.2 million were tagged #inktober2017. This doesn’t mean that everything was without controversy. Parker responded to the question of whether it’s possible to participate in Inktober if one works digitally and Parker’s statement, which read in part “The spirit of Inktober is self improvement, and there’s no better way to master your craft than to draw without a safety net” was not liked by some people and so I asked him about Inktober and his new book.