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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 
illustrations. 

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 
compensation if 
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 
me. 
    
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 
talent 
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. 

Gregory Paul
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