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Jake Parker

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Jake Parker
Jake Parker in 2016
Occupation(s)Illustration, animator
Known forInktober
Notable workHorton Hears a Who

Jake Parker is an American comics short-story creator, concept artist, illustrator, and animator. Parker worked as a set designer for Blue Sky Studios where he contributed to the animated films Horton Hears a Who, Rio and Epic. Parker is a children's book illustrator; his work includes the 2015 New York Times bestseller The Little Snowplow. In 2016, he wrote and illustrated his first children's book Little Bot and Sparrow which was inspired by his "Robot and Sparrow" comic. He is the creator of Inktober, a popular annual ink drawing celebration during October.

Life and career[edit]

Jake Parker grew up in Mesa, Arizona. He developed an interest in drawing at a young age, influenced by cartoonists Bill Watterson, Jim Lee, and Mike Mignola.[1] After dropping out of community college, Parker worked as an assistant to animators at Fox Animations Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and contributed to the movie Titan A.E..[1][2][3] After the animation studio closed, Parker worked in graphic design, museum exhibit design, and video game design. He moved to Connecticut to work as a set designer at Blue Sky Studios where he contributed to the animated films Horton Hears a Who, Rio and Epic.[1][4][3] Parker moved with his wife and five children to Provo, Utah to teach illustration at Brigham Young University (BYU).[5][1]

Parker is also the co-founder and contributor to the illustration education website, Society of Visual Storytelling, a series of live online classes which now offers subscriptions to recorded classes.[6][7] He contributed stories for three of the volumes of Flight. His comic "Robot and the Sparrow" was influenced by Calvin and Hobbes.[8] Parker has illustrated children's books such as the 2015 New York Times bestseller The Little Snowplow, The Tooth Fairy Wars, and The 12 Sleighs of Christmas.[5][2] He wrote and illustrated his first book, a children's book called Little Bot and Sparrow based on his "Robot and Sparrow" comic.[5]

Parker and his wife have five children and live in Arizona.[9][1] One of his sons, Tate Parker, also draws comics.[10]


In 2009, Parker started Inktober, a popular annual celebration of ink drawing (only in fountain pen) during the month of October.[11][12] The announcement was made on his blog.[13] Inktober is a challenge to create one ink drawing every day for each day of October and post them on social media; Parker originally started the challenge to motivate himself to improve his own inking skills.[14][15] Since about 2016, Parker has posted a list of "prompts" for each day's artwork. Artists are also known to plot out series of drawings on the same theme as part of the celebration. Participants have approached the challenge as an opportunity to practice and share their art, drawing in various art styles, and using a variety of media.[16] In October 2015, over 1 million Inktober drawings were posted on Instagram.[5]

Parker also started an "Art Drop Day", which occurs on the first Tuesday of September, to encourage artists to connect with others in a physical way.[17][18]

Parker registered "Inktober" as a trademark in 2019, following which some participating artists received cease and desist notices for selling work created during the challenge. Parker later clarified that using the word "Inktober" was permitted in a subtitle, but use of the logo was not. Prior to his clarification, people took to Twitter to boycott Inktober, stating that it had become popular because of the artworks of smaller artists, who were now being penalised for selling the works inspired by it. Others also expressed a concern over providing free advertising for Inktober as a brand.[19]

Just ahead of the expected 2020 release date of Parker's newest book, Inktober All Year Round: Your Indispensable Guide to Drawing With Ink, author Alphonso Dunn used his YouTube channel to provide a detailed comparison of his own work and parts of Parker's new book, alleging plagiarism by Parker.[20][21]

Published work[edit]

  • Out of Picture 2: Art from the Outside Looking In Villard (June 3, 2008)[22]
  • Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3 GRAPHIX (2011)[23]: 236 
  • Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher GRAPHIX (2010)[23]: 236 
  • The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man Balzer + Bray (September 6, 2011)[24]
  • The Antler Boy and Other Stories Jake Parker Productions (2012) [23]: 507 
  • Apples A to Z Scholastic Press (August 1, 2012)[25]
  • Nuthin' But Mech Design Studio Press (August 15, 2012)[26]
  • The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair Schwartz & Wade (September 10, 2013)[27]
  • Explorer: The Lost Islands Amulet Books (October 15, 2013)[28]
  • Nuthin' but Mech, Volume Two Design Studio Press (June 15, 2014)[26]
  • The Tooth Fairy Wars Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 15, 2014)[29]
  • Rocket Raccoon Issues 5-6 and 9–11. 2014-2015 [30]
  • The Little Snowplow Candlewick (October 13, 2015)[31]
  • Who's the Grossest of Them All? (2016)[32]
  • Little Bot and Sparrow (September 27, 2016)[5]
  • The 12 Sleighs of Christmas (October 2017)[33]
  • SkyHeart Book One: The Search for the Star Seed (2018)[34]
  • Goldilocks for Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners (July 2019)[35]
  • The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow (October 2019)[36]
  • (Pre-Order) Inktober All Year Round: Your Indispensable Guide to Drawing With Ink [37]


  • "The Robot and the Sparrow." Flight, Volume Two Villard (April 10, 2007)[38]
  • "Hugo Earhart." Flight, Volume One Villard (April 10, 2007)[39]
  • "Missile Mouse: The Guardian Prophecy." Flight Explorer Villard (March 25, 2008)[40]
  • Flight, Volume Eight Villard (June 28, 2011)[26]

Film work[edit]

  • Titan A.E. – Fox Animation Studios (2000)
  • Horton Hears a Who! – Blue Sky Studios (2008)
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – Blue Sky Studios (2009)[41]
  • Rio – Blue Sky Studios (2011)
  • Epic – Blue Sky Studios (2013)


  1. ^ a b c d e Lesue-Smithey, Rena (June 19, 2013). "Provo artist offers a peek at raw art in "Drawings"". Daily Herald. Herald Communications. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Bulsiewicz, Michelle Garrett (December 19, 2017). "5 tips for creative work from a New York Times best-selling Utah illustrator". Deseret News. Deseret News Publishing Company. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Animation and Concept Design-Discussion 40". Everything Creative. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  4. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (29 May 2011). "Jake Parker". Salt Lake City Weekly's Daily Feed. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Wilde, Whitney Butters (September 25, 2016). "Utah illustrator Jake Parker's 'Little Bot and Sparrow' tells a story of friendship and acceptance". Deseret News. Deseret News Company. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  6. ^ Taylor, Lola (January 23, 2017). "Realize Your Creative Potential with Jake Parker". SUU News. Southern Utah University. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Society of Visual Storytelling". svslearn.com. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  8. ^ McFall, Michael (4 September 2014). "Comic Con: Utah artist Jake Parker adventures into a gentler universe". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  9. ^ "I Moved to Arizona!". Mr.JakeParker.com. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  10. ^ Parker, Jake. "Jake Parker on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  11. ^ Parker, Jake. "Inktober". Jake Parker. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  12. ^ Means, Sean P. (October 5, 2018). "A Provo artist started Inktober to practice his skills. Now it's an online art phenomenon". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  13. ^ Bogle, Emily (October 30, 2019). "Inktober Challenge Pushes Artists To Flex Their Creative Muscles". NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  14. ^ Cavna, Michael (October 5, 2015). "#InkTober: Artists increasingly follow Jake Parker's lead by drawing every day this month". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  15. ^ "The man behind the Inktober viral drawing challenge". No. BBC News. BBC. October 29, 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  16. ^ Wabbington, Dallas (October 29, 2019). "Inktober incorporates various art styles". The Wichitan. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  17. ^ Leaño, Dibs (5 August 2015). "World Art Drop Day". doodleartsmagazine.com. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  18. ^ Wenzel, John (September 1, 2017). "Art Drop Day invites Denver to play art hide-and-seek on Sept. 5". The Know, Denver Post. The Denver Post. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  19. ^ Lee, Giacomo (20 December 2019). "Artists feel the heat as Inktober's future looks shady". Digital Arts.
  20. ^ Rajadurai, Pooja (24 September 2020). "Inktober in peril?". The Stute. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Jake Parker Plagiarized My Book". Youtube. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  22. ^ Out of Picture Volume Two: Art from the Outside Looking In, Villard Books, 2008, ISBN 978-0-345-49873-1
  23. ^ a b c Pawuk, Michael; Serchay, David S. (2017). Graphic Novels: A Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara, California: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 9781440851360. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  24. ^ ""Awesome Man" is Super, and Maybe You Are, Too". NPR. NPR. September 25, 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  25. ^ Dobler, Elizabeth (August 19, 2012). "These books will help young kids get back to school". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  26. ^ a b c "About - Mr Jake Parker". mrjakeparker.com. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  27. ^ Smith, Sarah Harrison (August 23, 2013). "Bookshelf: Issues". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  28. ^ Bush, Elizabeth (December 2013). "Explorer: The Lost Islands (review)". Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. 67 (4). doi:10.1353/bcc.2013.0938. S2CID 145051196. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  29. ^ Sorensen, Marilou (July 12, 2014). "Utah author, illustrator put a twist on the tooth fairy myth in "Tooth Fairy Wars"". Deseret News. Deseret News Company. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  30. ^ "Rocket Raccoon". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  31. ^ Rappleye, Christine (October 19, 2015). "Book review: "The Little Snowplow" shares lessons of hard work, not giving up". Deseret News. Deseret Publishing Company. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Who's the Grossest of them all?". National Library Board. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  33. ^ "The 12 Sleighs of Christmas". School Library Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  34. ^ Rappleye, Christine (March 10, 2019). "Association for Mormon Letters 2018 award finalists announced, conference March 29-31". Deseret News. Deseret News Publishing Company. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  35. ^ "Goldilocks for Dinner: A Funny Book About Manners". School Library Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  36. ^ "The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow". School Library Journal. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  37. ^ "The Inktober BOOK!". Mr Jake Parker. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  38. ^ Flight Volume Two, Image Comics, 2005, ISBN 978-1-58240-477-6
  39. ^ Fight Volume One, Villard Books, (reissue) 2007, ISBN 978-0-345-49636-2
  40. ^ Flight Explore Volume One, Villard Books, 2008, ISBN 978-0-345-50313-8
  41. ^ Montanari, Susan McElroy (2016). "Back Cover". Who's the Grossest of Them All?. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780553511925. Retrieved 29 January 2020.

External links[edit]