Kudos to two unsung inker heroes (I apologize in advance for any lapses of correct memory details):
When I first started discussing the idea of the Inkwell Awards in late 2007 on the Yahoo mailing list group The Inkwell, I was calling it the Inkblot Awards. It made perfect sense to me as it was my concept and my column in Sketch Magazine#35 where I wrote an article on it was called ‘Inkblots’. No one voiced any criticism with it as I recall, until Canadian-based inker Serge Lapointe spoke up and asked “Why not the InkWELL Awards?” He said it sounded better. I hated it. Until some time passed and reason caught up with me and I realized that he was right, it was perfect (well, now more perfect that Inkblots anyway– Inkwell=classy, Inkblots=uh, messy?). My personal website was ‘The Bob Almond Inkwell’ so that was a nice reference to me as originator and, more noticeably, the online venue where the concept began to mold and transform was on, in fact, The Inkwell! So the name stuck from there. I would subsequently add the Yahoo group’s owner and moderator Jim Tournas and my Sketch editor Bill Nichols to the founding Inkwell core committee in January of 2008.
Our Inkwell Awards proboards forum was established on September 16, 2008, thanks to the initial efforts of Bob Shaw (later maintained by me and moderated longterm by Damon Owens). But the venue didn’t start whole cloth from a vacuum. Before this there was a site called Inkers.org (not to be confused with this great site;-)), owned and moderated by Australia-based inker P.J. Magalhaes. But in correspondence with him he had expressed how his schedule had regrettably kept him from taking an active part with activity there and thus membership had stalled (they had a considerable count of like 75-80 members, I believe). I requested his approval for us at The Inkwell Awards to merge and take over the venue so that we could kick off with instant members who were already interested in the topic and hopefully, if all went well, expand it and turn it into an active community stop for ink artists. He agreed and directed the inkers.org members to sign up with us at a new forum link (although the only remaining remnants of the old site are the inkwell logos (below) on the homepage on the left of each forum room).
This was the PR announcement. But not all of the members transferred over, not that we expected that they all would….in cases like this many ‘members’ don’t keep up with a site so their accounts lapse….others probably couldn’t be bothered. But still, having like 40-50 members was still better than zero. Besides Damon and short-term mod Michael Rankins, we made sure that P.J. had moderator status, as he was owed. Time passed and we recently broke over 100 members. But P.J.’s schedule was a harsh mistress and he wasn’t active at the forum and I rarely heard from him after that (except for concern over a dilemma with DeviantArt). If he’d like to contact me and take part in our organization again, we’d be happy to welcome him back. Thanks a lot, P.J.!