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Re: Paleoartist

David Krentz wrote:

> I dunno know about a lot of you, but the term Paleoartist makes me nuts.
> Isn't there a better,less pigeon-holed term out there for talented artists
> who like to draw prehistoric life?

To which Ed Summer replied:

> Paleoartist implies someone who specializes ONLY in paleontological art
> (one supposes in all historical periods and of all creatures, great and
> small in that context).
> So if might seem that if one finds the term "paleoartist" restrictive,
> then one might call oneself an "illustrator."

In these days of (often extreme) specialization, it seems that most
everyone *is* pigeon-holed. I don't know if this is a bad thing or not. If
you're a generalist, you're a generalist. If you're a specialist, you wear
a label, which is really just a handle for people to know what it is that
you do. It seems to me, though, that "illustrator" is just far too vague a
term if an artist does indeed specialize in a particular subject. And so
there are wildlife illustrators, astronomical illustrators, Civil War
illustrators, fighter plane illustrators... the list goes on and on.

I'm not sure if this is what Dave meant, but IMO it's not that the term
"paleoartist" is "restrictive", as Ed suggests, it's just that it's a
stupid word. What, exactly, does "paleoartist" mean? Translated literally,
it means "ancient artist". This is a nonsense phrase, and I can't say I
ever really cared for it. I prefer the descriptive "paleolife artist"
(meaning "ancient life artist"), a derivation of "wildlife artist", a term
long in use to describe that particular branch of illustration/sculpture.
Telling someone that I'm an illustrator (even though that statement is
true) doesn't really tell them what it is I do, which is illustrate
dinosaurs specifically. Telling them that I'm a paleolife illustrator is a
more precise description. If this "pigeon-holes" me, well, I can think of
worse pigeon-holes to be in.

Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)