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GSP statement on use of my dinosaur restorations
I am unfortunately going to have to issue a firm requirement regarding the
use of my artistic restorations for commercial purposes by other artists.
Since the late 1970s I have, of course, become known for being a leading
contributor to forming the “New Look” of dinosaurs. Most importantly,
starting around 1980, I began to build a uniquely extensive library of detailed
skeletal restorations that are exceptionally proportionally accurate in most
cases (exceptions including those that are composites within species whose
proportions are not well understood). Because I regularly contribute to the
peer reviewed literature, the accuracy of the restorations is unusually high.
Also of exceptional quality are the black muscle profiles (to be frank, most
solid black muscle profiles on others skeletal drawing indicate a rather low
knowledge of animal musculature: note that I did not invent the basic idea
of muscle profiles around skeletons). These skeletal restorations have
helped me develop what can be called the “Greg Paul look” of dinosaur
No other paleoartist has developed a skeletal library as extensive as mine.
This is one reason many other artists have utilized my widely published
skeletal restorations to help develop their own restorations. Often but not
always the result is that other’s work possesses the “Greg Paul look.”
Unfortunately, this is becoming an increasing problem.
There is intense pressure by producers of commercial projects and products,
including documentaries, to minimize their costs by compensating those who
design and illustrate dinosaurs as little as possible, to the degree that
the fees are below professional expert levels. My specific problem is that
some other artists who utilize my work as the basis to generate their art to a
significant degree are underbidding yours truly on a regular basis. I know
that my work is being used because I have received requests to access my
material by others to use on their projects. Making it worse is that it seems
that some product producers knowingly or unknowingly wish to utilize the GP
look, and are turning to lower priced artists to obtain it. This is entirely
inappropriate, so cease the practice. If you want the Greg Paul look for your
project send me an email or leave a phone message.
If not for these issues I would not mind others using my work on a regular
basis. But the competition from others using my work has gotten so out of
hand that I am going to have to regretfully require that other artists either
stop using my materials as source material and do entirely original
restorations from beginning to end, or make arrangements to provide
they do so when engaging in commercial projects. (Such an arrangement is
similar to song writers receiving compensation when their creative products are
covered by other artists). For example, the restorations in The Princeton
Field Guide to Dinosaurs are copyrighted, and I note in the text that anyone
who wishes to utilize them for commercial purposes needs to first contact
On more general terms there is a basic problem that many artists are
accepting unacceptably low payment levels just to get some work. This needs to
stop in that those who do restorations need to refuse to work for low rates.
Set a price at the high level that your work justifies and stick to it.
But the real reason for the problem has to with those of you out there who
are producers of projects. You have gotten into the very bad habit of
exploiting the talent. The way this works is that every person in charge of a
project whether it be a documentary or an exhibit of course naturally wants it
to be as ambitious and spectacular as possible. Too many of you therefore
design the exhibit so that it includes more in the way of items than you can
pay for with the budget on hand at the proper level appropriate for the
skilled professionals who produce the items. You then pressure the creative
to reduce their fees until it is at a level that does not allow them to
meet financial needs over the long term. I know of highly talented people who
have gotten out of the business because they could not make a profit do to
this never ending problem. This practice is unethical. So knock it off. In the
future design your projects so that the items are sufficiently limited that
each one can be acquired while compensating the creator at the generous
rate these skilled workers deserve.