Thursday, March 17, 2011

Essential Links in the Paleoart-pocalypse

Okay, so "paleoart-pocalypse" doesn't exactly skip lightly off the tongue. Forgive me. I'm tired.

I'm going to be on the road for the next few days, so I won't be able to write much more about the paleoart debate. It's hot on my mind. Probably a bit too hot, to be honest. It will be nice to get away from the computer for a little while. Especially since a hefty chunk of that time will be spent in the geology collections of the Field Museum. Posts to follow, rest assured.

There are serious issues to be hashed out in paleoart (and as Matt Van Rooijen has pointed out in a few venues, the problems are hardly limited to paleoart). Artists deserve fair compensation. They deserve a realistic expectation of how well paleoart can sustain them. But these issues get lost in the generation gap, and the discussion on the Dinosaur Mailing List, which I wrote about on Tuesday, frequently devolves into misunderstanding and (sometimes hilariously hyperbolic) name-calling. Science lovers fret over the poor funding science often receives, and of all genres of illustration, paleoart is uniquely affected by this. We can't hope to fix the problem, but we can fight for paleoartists to be treated fairly.

In following the ups and downs of this discussion, I'm reminded of a Kurt Vonnegut quote. I may be a paleo-n00b, but I absolutely believe that this applies to the grizzliest of the grizzled veterans as much as it does to me: "There's only one rule I know of, babies - God damn it, you've got to be kind." Act like a bully and watch your credibility waft away on the slightest breeze.

Here, I'll provide a handy set of links to writings on this topic. Cross-posts are included to ensure that important comment threads aren't missed. I'll add to this list in the future as the discussion progresses in what I hope will be a fruitful way - with more than just artists participating. I apologize if any important posts were missed; additions gratefully accepted in the comments.

Last Updated 3/26/2011

SciAm Guest Blog: Kalliopi Monoyios' Art in the service of Science: You get what you pay for
David Maas: Epic GSP (x-posted at ART Evolved)
ART Evolved: Pandora's Pencil Box, I Own Greg Paul's Albertoceratops! Taking essay submissions for more GSP-themed Philofossilizing posts.
LITC: The Great Debate in Paleoart
The new "Bone Wars": Greg Paul, science, and the art of paleontology. (x-posted at ART Evolved)
The Faster Times: Gregory S. Paul and the Future of Paleoart
Skeletal Drawing:
The History of Skeletal Drawings parts one, two, and three
Gregory S. Paul's website:
He's issued a refined statement addressed to fellow paleoartists as well as project managers.

Dinosaur Mailing List:
For each of these, I'm providing only the first email in important threads. Follow at your own risk.
GSP statement on use of my dinosaur restorations
RE: GSP statement on use of my dinosaur restorations (follow up)
RE: GSP statement on use of my dinosaur restorations (more follow up)
Another important point
Actually Doing Something About the Great Paleoart Ripoff
dino branding
Use of paleoart in scientific publications.
Still more on paleoart in technical and other publications
Technical paper copyrights
Reductio Ad Absurdum. It is 1984 Dinosaur Time..!
Clarification of scope of paleoart market and other items
A short outline program for improving paleoart

1 comment:

  1. Yeh, I've been going on a bit.

    It's good the community is thrashing this out. Hopefully something positive will come of it.


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