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Re: Dinosaur illustrations
> Artists have full freedom to do what ever the heck they want and
> aren't required by some governing body to include only the known
> facts. As it should be.
>>I'm really not sure that this comment, true though it may be, covers the
>>case. The likeliest market for restoratoins of prehistoric animals is in
>>popular books, often children's books, and the power of an image to "fix"
>>in the public's mind what an animal looked like should not be
>>underestimated. To me this imposes something of a duty on the artist.
Yes, and if that duty directly conflicts with what the publisher asks for,
guess which you do to get paid. Further, many artists of popular media (I'm
thinking newspaper illustrators, myself) don't have time that allows them to
go out, research, and accurately depict something in the time-frame the
editor or art director might give them. These particualr illustrators just
can't specialize to the extent that someone like T Ford or G Paul does only
a daily basis. Popular periodical media doesn't allow the accuracy and
reference checks as often as book or journal publishing does. It gets
really strange in the childrens' book field just what an editor wants. Some
strive for accuracy, others for 'Hallmark Card'-style illustrations. The
artist that does either is doing THEIR JOB, and neither is duty-bound to
something that doesn't get them PAID. The onus is on the guy with the
paycheck and what he asks for.
>However, in most cases the fault, if there is one, lies not with the artist
>but with the editor (often not the book's author) who writes the picture
Yeah, and I said that in my post.
'Publishers should perhaps use descretion in what they display as
"known" verses "artist's impression". Publishers should be aware just
what it is they are recieving from the illustrator, and whether the artist
feels the illustration is truly representative, or a flight of fancy."
>And, of course, I would hope Betty would agree that artistic licence
>should be hedged, in a book designed to educate, by a need to be as
>accurate as possible and to take current knowledge into account as
>much as can be done.
I said so, didn't I? No, I said:
"Artists should TRY to display facts in a scientific journal, but
much of 'sketchy' scientific evidence is having paleontologists argue
whether the evidence means X or Y. Artists _tend_ to have opinions
about such things, just as paleontologists do. And FORTUNATELY have
the freedom to depict the view they WANT to display. And the freedom
to get nasty comments about it form their peer groups if they are
found to be wrong, or if the particular feature represented is
outdated by new discoveries on that subject."
But that's what I meant by that first sentence. The very best way to
insure accuracy is ASK for accuracy. You won't see many out-and-out
mistakes if that approach is taken. If someone is continously
mistaken, they don't get asked back for additional work.
(actually, in the entertainment industry, the emphasis is usually on
'cool' not accurate, and thus, in the entertainment fields, if you
strive for accuracy OVER 'coolness', the reverse happens. I am
fortunate that I've managed to combine them on rare occasions in what
I do-but it IS pretty dang rare)