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On April 5 artist J.L.Straw made the following statements in three announcements at different locations at DeviantArt (various content edited and combined):
“I am pleased to announce that ‘Inkers Challenge’ is now the official DeviantArt division of The Inkwell Awards!
Last year I set up Inkers Challenge, a group for inkers of all levels, to learn and hone their skills using various challenges. This year the group finally kicked off but before the first challenge was even posted I got into talks with Bob Almond from the Inkwell Awards and we started talking about the group and affiliating it with Inkwell. After approaching (them) to promote IC on their Facebook page, Bob was very interested in the group becoming part of the Inkwell family. After a few brief but in-depth discussions it was agreed that IC will become an Inkwell Awards subsidiary and presence on DeviantArt…. and I was named as Inkwell’s DA rep….and Inkwell Awards’ assistant director Michael W. Kellar will be joining the group as ‘co-founder’.
This is an awesome opportunity that will be mutually beneficial to both parties helping IC grow as a community and learning place for inkers while contributing to the Inkwell Awards mission of celebrating inkers and the craft of inking. It will provide the group with greater access to inking material, blogs, tutorials and input from professionals in the industry beyond my present capabilities.
It’s really exciting news and will benefit the group greatly; I had great ambitions for the group and Inkwell will be able to help me realise them. If you haven’t checked the group out, please do and join in the fun.”
Bob Almond made the following statement on behalf of the Inkwell Awards in response to Straw’s announcements:
“For some time now DeviantArt has established itself as a significant social and promotional venue for artists from all callings. In an effort to further expand our public presence, setting up a ‘base of operations’ at DA seems like a no-brainer. Leading that charge to raise awareness is our new Inkwell Awards contributor J.L. Straw, a U.K.-based inker who will continue to run operations at the Inkers Challenge DA group. I have utmost confidence that she is the perfect person for the job as, unlike me, she knows the DA venue and it’s policies, is connected to our various members with DA accounts, and shares our mission to promote the art form of inking through education and recognition. And with the Inkwells being the sole official 501(c)3 non-profit advocacy organization for the promotion of inking and ink artists, she has access to all of our many inking resources for her needs. I am ecstatic about this merger as the best of both worlds and I sincerely look forward to the start of a long-term and progressive relationship.”
The official link is here. J.L. Straw was made added to the website as an Inkwell Awards Contributor: DeviantArt Representative on April 5 and links to the group page were also added that week.