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Re: Will The Real Luis Rey Please Stand Up

Sadly, 'paleo art' has not yet made the same leaps in galleries as
wildlife art.  Illustrations do not generally make the same money as
'fine art'.   Here are some reasons......

1) In a duck stamp artist's work, you can see for yourself the subject
is a duck.  Can dinosaur-fans even come close to a dinosaur art piece
without critiquing it? (the eyes are too low-the jaw isn't right-the
tail is too flexed-I don't like the colors).  Why?  Well there's no
realtime model to compare correctness too like there is for the duck-for
the artist OR the fanboy.

2) A rabid birdwatcher or hunter can be convinced they want to shell out
big bucks for a duck painting or a large painting of a wolf.  The US
goverment has been funding duck stamps which form a fairly prized
section of wildlife art-you can't get a liscence to hunt ducks in the US
without buying a duck stamp, so hunters of ducks are ALL aware of
current art available. Do they want a picture of Caudipteryx?  "hunh?"
you hear them say.  Competition to get to be a duck stamp artist is
fierce-usually for each state's stamp you'll have over 1000 artists
competing.  Can you say the same for dinosaurs?  There was that stamp
series that Gurney did.  That was one painting.  That was commisioned.

3) It is a rare decorator magazine that will try to convinvce you that
what is needed to hang over your sofa is a painting of a fierce
Deinonychus attacking something small and fuzzy, rather than a nice oil
of a bowl of fruit.  Decorators can deal with fruit or maybe a
bunny-it's 'safe'. People that hang art generally do so because it's

4) The great unwashed do not collect illustrations to hang in the home
or office.  You can still get a real deal on some of the leading
illustrators of the last 200 years and I'm still tallking in the under
$500 range.  If you go for some of the real big names like Wyeth,
Leyendecker, Parrish, or Mucha, you'll be edging closer to the $10,000+
range.  None of which made it big with dinosaurs.  The most succesful
(meaning $$$) dino illustrators I know are succesful as they made it
'outside' of 'paleo art'.  Stout has done album covers, comics, and
art-directed a move.  Gurney has a succesful series of children's
books.  Trcic worked on a movie.  So their work sells better in a
gallery than someone who has not had exposure outside 'paleo art'.

5) dinosaur fanboys, in general, have no money.  Paleontology is a
poorly funded science.  I was appalled when I learned that the video
game I worked on just prior to going to SVP 94 had more spent on it than
the ENTIRE paleontology budget for the whole world that year.  And that
was just one game (that didn't ship).  

-Betty Cunningham

Stephen Faust wrote:
> There is a guy in Charleston that likes to paint game fish. He's very
> good. They look real and the water around them looks wet. I know he makes
> 4 and 5 figures on some of them. Is it just because he can get better
> exposure than you can?
> I'd think the Charleston Wildlife Expo would be a neat place to display
> your work. There everybody expects to see modern
> animals. I wonder how buyers at the Expo would take to a series on
> the ancestral birds everyone's been discussing?Just the thing for the
> living or drawing room. Small, beautiful birds that are not quite birds,
> attractive, delicate, novel, attracting comment, not the quail everyone's
> used to no matter how well its done.You might go all out therapod walking
> through the mists.People do buy pictures of rattlesnakes at the Expo, I
> just think the rich conservatives might go for the dinobirds, the smaller
> ones, and pay you what your worth.Primitive landscapes might go over well
> to.Ever explore such markets? There is so much beauty in the work of the
> paleolife artist. It would seem that it would be just as marketable as
> accuracy for magazine / institutional purposes.And, the private patrons
> have lots of cash. I could find out about the next Expo for you if you
> would like me to.
> Steve
> Stephen Faust                   smfaust@edisto.cofc.edu
> On Wed, 1 Jul 1998 Danvarner@aol.com wrote:
> > In a message dated 98-07-01 17:58:16 EDT, you write:
> >
> > << And, come on, you guys don't really make a pittance. I'm not an art
> >  critic, but I'd suspect you get 5 or 6 figures for a painting or life
> >  sized sculpture. >>
> > Sure we get five or six figures: $50,$!00,$150, $200, $250, $300...There's
> > six! Hell brother, one publisher of one of those new dinosaur/bird books
> > wanted me to >donate< an image. By the way, at $350 so far this year I am an
> > industry leader-and you can take that to the bank for all the good that will
> > do you. Dan Varner.
> >