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RE: Reductio Ad Absurdum. It is 1984 Dinosaur Time..!
Two points and I'll make it quick
First to Heinrich Mallison - I would appreciate it if I never have to keep Greg
Paul and masturbation in the same thought stream ever again. Maybe it was this
cold I have but food just tasted less good today and I felt nauseous (Just
trying to light things up).
And can we throw away the false idea of the pure scientist or paleoartist doing
it for posterity and not considering any significant remuneration necessary.
True, we have all invested a huge amount of our own money and time in doing
paleontology - or doing paleoart - but the gentleman scientist is really a
concept of the past related to people of money who had the separate means to be
able to do their work for free. The science evolved nice and slowly back then,
even if there were some big races to describe new species. It really is
irrelevant in today's society, where the science is evolving to, and how
tremendously fast it is going. Frankly, I think paleontologists and
paleoartists should be able to actually make a comfortable living and raise a
family, send their kids to college, and not have to drive a 30 year old Buick
just to put food on the table (unless they really like 30 year old Buicks, then
it’s a hobby).
I really think there is no way to brand an illustration that is the type we
have been talking about and Greg will have to just live on the flattery of any
perceived homage's and any remuneration he can get for doing his work. After
all, he had his own influences. Artistic reconstructions of living dinosaurs
are a different cup of tea as artistic theft is easier to demonstrate, but
dinosaurs in scientific illustrations look alike because there are only a few
ways to follow the scientific basis for doing the work for scientific
illustration and journals really want things pretty tight and crisp. Just do
the standard stuff - as George suggested - and throw in hidden markers so that
you can detect those that lazily just ripped off someone else's work.
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of M
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: Reductio Ad Absurdum. It is 1984 Dinosaur Time..!
I suppose I’m naive in the extreme but what happened to science for
science’s sake? I always thought that one of science’s major purposes was to
elucidate, educate and inform. What kind of society is it where even
noteworthy causes of art and science are milked for every shilling
possible in a desperate need for ever more money; not only do we have
to pay for Mr. Paul’s books but we have to also pay him for the
influence, artistic or scientific, that they make on us. Is this the
trend of our times? If so I suppose someday I’ll be getting a letter
informing me to “cease and desist from taking unauthorized inspiration
from the collective works of Frank Frazetta.”
In as much, what happened to artists simply being happy that they
inspired and influenced other and younger artists? Perhaps this tells
of the poverty of my life-goals but my greatest hope for my art is
that someday some snot-nosed kid would look at a painting of mine and
say, “wow, I wanna paint that!” I want to know that, even if it’s in
some small way, I inspired someone as much as the great artists of my
childhood and adolescence inspired me--to pass the torch of artistic
as well as scientific inspiration to the next generation. Furthermore
is it too much to simply be happy that you influenced someone or a
group of people without wanting royalties from them for the
inspiration and influence?
I suppose, depending on the way you look at it, what Mr. Paul is
proposing is an exceptionally profound case study in the corrupting
nature of greed and money: would you, for some -possible- extra
revenue, artistically stagnate and bankrupt the artistic medium of
which you work in and uphold? I think we should honestly look at it as
a stunning articulation of how both avarice and selfishness can
overthrow and supersede filial respect and artistic fraternity. Still,
I am disappointed that a researcher and artist I so respected would
show himself to such un-virtuous nature. C’est la vi.
Also to second Mr. Rey’s comments, practically every popular dinosaur
book that I’ve seen that was illustrated by a lesser “paleoartist” had
few if any blatant rip-offs of, or direct influences by, Mr. Paul’s
work--most are flabby, disproportionate cgi clunkers that look to be
most influenced anatomically by a sack of potatoes.
- Show quoted text -
On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 6:34 AM, Luis Rey <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Let me try to articulate this:
> I'm trying to separate two kinds of "competition" concepts here. Greg Paul
> is worried that people that copy him (or merely get inspired by him) are
> taking jobs from him and thus he must get paid for the inspiration he
> 1.-At the level of ego-tripping competition, it seems that Greg Paul detests
> seen himself copied by so many and having inspired a whole school of
> dinosaur reconstructions (non remunerated recognition he has had
> aplenty...but admittedly not as much payment as he would have wished). He
> should have been careful: science is well above and beyond commercial
> interests and belongs to everybody... and everything he has done he claims
> is technically and scientifically accurate (above all his most referenced
> work: his skeletons), with open derision of any skeletal reconstructions he
> has not done himself... and not only that: a good percentage of his works he
> claims to be didactic. He has been >teaching< people how to make dinosaurs
> for many years and he has always been proud to do so (at least by the title
> of many of his publications). It is a bit like a teacher author of textbooks
> complaining that his pupils should pay him every time they use his textbooks
> or pay him for whatever they have learned(!).
> Complaining about losing the monopoly of his reconstructions (that is not
> just a matter of posing the skeleton by the way) comes now a bit late...I
> 2.- Greg Paul is wrong at the second level of competition: in later times
> when I go to the Natural History Museum here in England, I 'm almost always
> appalled by the books I'm seeing in the shop... I have to admit: I have been
> a collector of dinosaur books all my life, if only because I relish the
> variety of reconstructions (when well done or simply creative... it's just a
> matter of personal taste) and I want to keep informed as to try NOT to
> repeat what others artists do.
> But what I see these days is not Greg Paul inspiration. It is a bunch of
> professional artists (and many not that good even as professionals) that
> continue to be hired to do monstrosities and anatomy-nil dinosaurs. The main
> trends seem to be:
> a) To be very "realistic" (photoshop skin or effects over rubbish anatomical
> reconstructions is and will always be: realistic garbage... Darren Naish and
> myself know a lot about this).
> b) Over use of dramatic Jurassic Fight Club rubbish... if that in itself is
> painful to watch...just imagine that without the anatomical knowledge!
> c) Multicoloured clowns pretending to be dinosaurs (lamentably -most
> probably- inspired by yours truly... mea culpa).
> Please note: these criticisms are not based on personal taste but in a
> criteria based on factual anatomy of reconstructions (yes, Greg Paul's
> included). These criticisms apply to those dinosaurs illustrations that I
> see pretend to pass for "serious enough" or didactic and must have been
> well paid.
> I am neither criticizing comics, fantasy or idealization of dinosaurs.
> And yes, you've guessed it: not a single dinosaur I have seen for years in
> these plethora of Jurassic Park rip-offs (and worst) have been really
> inspired by Greg Paul's anatomy master classes... lots of Jurassic Park
> half-digested rubbish, but not a lot more (Or wait! It may be that some of
> the JP reconstructions were in their time also inspired by Greg Paul...!)
>>These< are the people to whom MOST if not "all" the jobs go to. And these
>> people most probably never have considered themselves "paleoartists",
>> paleontologists or anatomists either... they are just opportunists feeding
>> on a trend.
> It makes you just wish they at least had copied Greg Paul or simply have
> learned from his anatomical lessons... this thread also makes you wary of
> the concept of "tribute" or "homage"(like Ralph Chapman was saying)... or
> even parody or interpretation... a homage to your favourite inspiration
> could cost you an arm and a leg in the near future!
> So what is the use then for a "statement from paleoartists" when the jobs
> will keep going to whoever the publishing houses want (or can afford)?
> Publishing companies (with the honourable exception) most of the time want
> malleable and docile artists that will do whatever they have in mind or
> else... that means you don't get the job... I have lost jobs because i
> refused to do Deinonychus without feathers... or "John Sibbicks"!
> +Irony Interlude+: Lack of imagination is regrettable but still not a
> crime...We would need a thought police! I can imagine Greg Paul with a tape
> measure, screening all publications seeking for that particular leg
> proportion, angle or posture that could indicate that it's been "inspired"
> by him or simply copied without permission... and take the artist to court!
> Although I think it would be even more effective become the absolute leader
> and designer of a corporation of paleoartists where he would have the
> monopoly of who can do the brand "Dinosaurs"... just imagine: is either you
> belong to the corporation and its rules or you are not allowed to do
> dinosaurs for a living. Or if you do, they should not be allowed to be
> called "dinosaurs"... a bit like the case of the label of "Champagne" and
> the Catalonian "Cava"... only this time even more ad-absurdum.
> And I'm embarking in a direct remake or "update" of Zallinger (more like a
> tribute 21st Century style)... glad that Random House has it covered... just
> imagine if not!
> Luis Rey
> Visit my website
Our life is what our thoughts make it.
On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 7:58 AM, Luis Rey <email@example.com> wrote:
> On 14 Mar 2011, at 11:12, David Marjanovic wrote:
>>> and everything he has done he claims is technically and
>>> scientifically accurate (above all his most referenced work: his
>> Oh, that's not true. In this discussion and elsewhere, he has acknowledged
>> that his older reconstructions do contain errors, the twisted forearms he
>> used to give to theropods for instance; he doesn't commit those errors
>> again, and he republishes (given the opportunity) old reconstructions only
>> after correcting them.
> You know very well that every time he has published technical stuff he
> claims it as scientifically accurate (at least for the time he published
> it). That he changes his opinion based perhaps in new evidence or new
> interpretation of the evidence is one of the many risks of being a scientist
> isn't it? We all have to change art or technical drawings or simply relegate
> the art to the museum... But >at the time< of any reconstruction, Greg Paul
> normally presents everything as being top of the tops and as a model to
> follow. And I'm not criticizing precisely any of that by the way!
>>> I have lost jobs because i refused to do Deinonychus without
>> Tell us the names of those responsible. They need to be shamed in public.
> Not available anymore I'm afraid... let's call it history... although
> history tends to repeat itself!
>>> or "John Sibbicks"!
>> What do you mean? The distinctive skin texture he always paints? The
>> roundish ribcages?
> Simply the style. Most publishers around here live in a square and need a
> standard... and John Sibbick has been the standard for many years... if you
> don't follow the standard you don't get the job.. period! A bit like later
> what happened after Jurassic Park...
> Luis Rey
> Visit my website
Our life is what our thoughts make it.