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Re: Reductio Ad Absurdum. It is 1984 Dinosaur Time..!

Thanks Mike.
By the way, we employ 3 young paleoartists as often as we can.
Jeff Breeden, Laura Fields, and Erin Cobb.
There isn't enough work for us to have them on full time so they still have to work in a frame shop, on construction and at the U of P fish lab, but we have made sure each of them now has a dinosaur book credit and a couple of museum credits on their resume. Our generous intentions are obvious to them and you would have quite an argument from them about our wanting it to be "Boy's Club"
From me too.

On Mar 15, 2011, at 12:03 PM, Mike Taylor wrote:

On 15 March 2011 15:49, Bob Tess <bobtess@dinoart.com> wrote:
Actually Mike, when I first entered the field I did NOT have to work so hard
to keep a roof over my head.
I was young so could take my chances without health insurance which now
costs us $12,000 per year.
Energy costs were only a fraction of what they are now.
We have to take care of an elderly parent.
We couldn't live on burger flipper wages if we wanted to.
This work takes a certain number of hours to do the research and execute the
paintings, and it takes a certain amount of money to live in America.
The problem is that paleoart doesn't pay that well even when you are
Is Greg living in a mansion?  no.
Tess and I do the best possible work we can and we are considered by many to be at the top of our profession and we still barely get by month- to-month. Are you asking those of us who have devoted ourselves to the field to just bow out and go away so the purchasers of dinosaur art can get the work

No.  I am asking you not to try to prohibit others from working their
way into the profession, just as you did.  I am speaking of young
artists who can take their chances without health insurance, who do
not yet have to take care of an elderly parent.

It is OF COURSE perfectly reasonable that you and Tess, and Greg,
should charge whatever you think fair for your work.  In fact, it's
perfectly reasonable for you to charge MORE than you think is fair, so
long as the market will bear it.  If some Silicon Valley IPO
millionaire wants a Greg Paul original and is prepared to pay $250,000
for it, then of course Greg is within his rights to sell it at that
price, even if he believes a fairer price would have been $25,000 or
even $2,500.

All of that is reasonable.  What is not reasonable is seeking to
constrain what others may charge -- people who neither have the same
living expenses as you, nor the same advantages of experience and
brand recognition.  That's all.

I absolutely wish you the very best of luck in monetising your work in
the most advantageous way.  But I wish the same to ALL palaeoartists,
not just those whose names are already widely known.

-- Mike.

Can you wonder why we take it personally?
There is much less work to go around in paleoart than there is in computer
programming so that comparison is a bit skewed..
This has gotten mean now.
I'm in a bad mood. Maybe I should back away from the keyboard
You're fucking with people's livlihoods.

On Mar 15, 2011, at 11:12 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:

On 15 March 2011 14:56, Bob Tess <bobtess@dinoart.com> wrote:

How will they make a living by undercutting prices?
Do they think they can have a mortgage by going cheap?
No, all they can do is ruin the field and live in their parents' basement
the rest of their lives.

Really, Bob?  Really?  When you first entered the field, did you
charge then what you charge now?  Before you had a reputation and a
portfolio to lean on?  When you didn't have such heavy financial
responsibilities as you do now?  Or did you start at the bottom,
charging lower fees to get your early work, and then escalating as you
publicly earned the right to?

When I started my own professional life (as a computer programmer), I
didn't apply for jobs that pay what I am earning now; in fact, in my
first full-time professional job, I was paid less than a quarter of
what I earn now (and I couldn't afford a mortgage on that -- I had to
rent a room to live in.)  Over time, as my experience and expertise
increased, I was able to apply successfully for more prestigious and
lucrative jobs (and eventually to get that mortgage, support a family, etc.) Happily, it turns out that I didn't "ruin the field" along the

Isn't that how it works in every profession?

In insisting that people starting out in palaeoart not undercut your
prices, you and Greg are trying to effectively make it that there are
no entry-level jobs in palaeoart, and consequently no way for
newcomers to the field to get a foot on the ladder. To speak frankly,
whatever your and Greg's actual intention, this comes across as a
self-serving attempt to erect a barrier to entry into the field, and
to keep all the work for a small number of Boys' Club members. I hope
and trust that I am misreading your intentions, but that's how it
LOOKS, and if I see it that way then you can bet that lots of the
up-and-coming palaeoartists will see it the same way.

And whether you intend it or not, a mandatory minimum price would most
certainly have a chilling effect on newcomers to the field of
palaeoart. I don't think that's something that we as a community can,
in good conscience, support.

Competition for work in the field of palaeoart is by reputation,
quality and price. You, Greg and other established names have a clear advantage in the first of these (and, if we take Greg's claims at face
value, in the second, too).  You can't just legislate that the third
isn't to be a factor.  When I apply for programming work, I have to
compete on quality against less experienced candidates who charge less
than I do.  Why shouldn't it be the same in palaeoart?

-- Mike.

On Mar 15, 2011, at 10:49 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:

On 15 March 2011 14:41, Bob Tess <bobtess@dinoart.com> wrote:

I have become sickened by this thread.  I can think of no other
besides art where people feel justified in telling other people they
not be allowed to make a living.

I assume you're referring here to Greg's telling young artists that
they're not allowed to establish themselves in the profession by
charging less than him?