Wednesday, August 17, 2011

State of the Blog Address: Year Two

I start grad school in five days! That's crazy. At this time last year, I think I had just started getting an inkling of an urge to start applying. As this roughly coincides with the second birthday of Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, I figured I may as well blog about blogging. I'll try not to be too tiresome.

When I start studying, I'll have to scale back bloggin' time, naturally. I'm grateful for the support and cyber-friendships I've gained from doing LITC, and I definitely do not plan on letting it wither. Bringing Marc on board was one way that I knew I could help keep the ChasmoTrain chugging along. I've always loved digging into to new research and writing essay-style posts about dinosaur paleontology, but as I've rearranged my life to prepare for school, those sorts of posts have been harder to do. But that's cool; since last summer I've also become more aware of good blogging practices, and I think LITC has become less "Push" and more "Pull." I enjoy putting together my weekly Mesozoic Miscellany roundups, and though I've streamlined them a bit recently, they'll keep coming.

Vintage Dinosaur Art posts will too, of course. I hope you've enjoyed Marc's posts in that series as much as I have. It's really good to have another voice here, as well as a transatlantic correspondent. We'll try to keep up with the Monday/ Friday schedule of VDA and MM posts, but there may be some occasional straying from it when time is tight.

One thing that's become clear is that the quality of this blog has little to do with my writing and everything to do with the incredible bounty of enthusiastic paleo-fandom and killer paleoart on the web. Seriously, paleoart (sorry, I still haven't made the switch to "paleontography" yet) may be going through some growing pains, but it's hard to argue that there has ever been this many talented, dedicated artists bringing their skills to bear on resurrecting dinosaurs and other extinct beasts. What used to be the domain of only a few has opened up to thousands, and though the "orgy" is a bit sloppy, it has brought a huge volume of work that puts my jaw in contact with the linoleum nearly every day.

To that end, I may not have the illustrative talent of an Andrey Atuchin or Matt Martyniuk (to pick two names from an enormous hat), but as a designer and graphic artist, one reason I have chosen to pursue my Master's is to contribute to the visual communication of science. Therefore, you'll probably be seeing more of my own work popping up here. I've shared a bit - like my valentines this year - and I've rededicated myself to sketching, both on dead trees and in pixels, and sharing it online. I've always been an obsessive doodler of dinosaurs, and when I have paleo-inspired work, I'll share it here. I'll be launching an online shop to earn a few pennies to keep the lights on, and I'm working on some nifty dinosaur stuff for that. I'll let you know when that's up!

To wit, here's some Tithonian toonage I did today.

Allosaurus and Anurognathus
By me, via Flickr.

Thanks again for sticking around, sharing your comments and critiques, and sharing links with your friends. Thanks to the paleoartists for having the heart and will to bring prehistoric worlds to life again. Thanks to the paleontologists, preparators, museum staff, and legions of other professional and amateur researchers who feed our paleo-cravings. And thanks to my fellow paleo-bloggers for their insight and humor. Here's to the future of the past.


  1. "you'll probably be seeing more of my own work popping up here"

    Hooray! Because the illustration you have posted here is adorable. OMG, that Anurognathus! :D

  2. This all sounds perfect and amazing, and I know that all the cool people that read your blog will understand that life comes first. Congrats on grad school!! Work hard, young man.

  3. Aw, chucks. I'm welling up (seriously; you'll be surprised (or not) to learn how lame I am).

    I'm looking forward to more artwork from you. This one is beautiful. Perhaps you'll share some of your MA experiences too. I've often thought about pursuing it myself.

  4. Yay, more Orr art!

    I agree the orgy may be messy but that speaks to success. Palaeontology is an attractive subject for artists of so may different backgrounds, it's a glorious raucous ecosystem online, and LITC delivers the cherries and the raspberries.

    Don't mess up school, and keep blogging when you can. I need my fix. Marc's a great complement to what you've built on the blog, David.

  5. Going back to school will be wonderful and crazy...enjoy every minute of it! Looking forward to seeing more of your artwork. Good luck!

  6. I hope everything goes well, David. Evidently not everyone enjoyed my VDA posts. Especially the people who thought we were the same person.

    (It's true you know. I'm actually an extremely elaborate David Orr suckpuppet.)

  7. I love the 'toon! Good luck with your studies, and I hope you can keep blogging . . .


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