Artist Larry Dempsey is not a name the general public may remember. But for many ink artists in our community and those fledgling artists who sought out info about the art form of inking, Larry’s Inking Survey site was around for a few years long before the Inkwell Awards existed in 2008.
His site consisted on links to almost 400! artists who had completed a survey on several questions like on the tools they use and their approach to inking. It also incorporated inking tutorials and other inker-centric resources, elements that our own website utilizes today.
In a time when there wasn’t many venues to bring attention and education about Inking and the artists who ink, Larry Dempsey was an appreciated and respected advocate and, along with P.J. Magalhaes’ Inkers.org forum site, his presence was a bridge to what became my non-profit advocacy on promoting and education about inking.
In later times he grew frustrated with outside parties using his material without his consent or credit. Combine that with some personal life traumas and this is why the website no longer remains on the internet. Many have asked Larry to return it and I had offered to post his work efforts on our own website, especially dedicated to him. Larry declined and I truly respect his wishes and won’t ask him again and hope others will accept this reality.
I posted this blog entry because some have recently brought his name up on our Facebook group page and an individual suggested naming an award after him. I’ve been contemplating the idea of having The Larry Dempsey Award awarded to those individuals or organization (non-Inkwell Awards members) who have made or have been making an effort to bring more attention to the art form of inking. Those eligible could be artists, promoters, retailers, publishers, etc. including fans who love inking like Larry. (Of course, this would only occur with Larry’s consent.)
So let us know what you think. And please let me know if I have any details incorrect above or if you can elaborate as I have built quite a rep for my short term memory. Should this new category be added to the next ballot for public voting? Or do we have enough categories already. Or maybe it can be awarded like our special recognition awards with a silver inkwell trophy solely at the live ceremony when someone is deserving, not annually mandatory? I’m anxious to hear what you all think.