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Re: Clarification of scope of paleoart market and other items
What Greg says about the market is essentially true. I appraised the
Lanzendorf collection. The average price for a large painting was
$1000 - $5000.
Without collectors there is no chance of moving that average up.
Maybe the "bottom line" about paleoart is that, as a full time job,
as a field, it does not support a lower middleclass existence.
Artists are notoriously capable of living on little - we don't
require new cars, fancy homes, plasma screens - but paleoart is
still a precarious way to make a living.
Is there any way to change this? I don't know.
The field gets better than it pays for.
On Mar 15, 2011, at 3:58 PM, GSP1954@aol.com wrote:
An unfortunate problem with these discussions is that persons who
not know about the issue seem to be obsessed with making arguments
so disconnected from reality that they are from a galaxy far, far
has been happening with some really silly notions on what and how
paleoartists can earn. This is bad because then those in
paleontology may have a major
misimpression of what is going on with the paleoartists they often
Some fellow actually suggested that a certain noted artist might
a quarter million on a single painting. Let me be clear about this.
absolutely no significant adult market for original paleo paintings in
existence. There was one briefly after the first JP came out in
Japan and some
artists earned modest amounts, but then their economy went belly up.
Lazendorf, a famed hair dresser with top level clientele packed his
apartment to the gills for a few years, and then sold it off for a
lot of money
and switched I hear to Asian art.
There are a number of fellow paleo nerds who would love to have
Gurchie or Paul on their walls. And they can only afford posters.
the time etc involved it does not make sense to sell an original
say 3x4 ft for less than some thousands of dollars. I have a
website and I am
easy to contact and have not sold an original to a private
years. As far as I know much the same applies to other
paleoartists. Many a
time I have been asked if I sell originals and when I tell them how
are unable to proceed (also, because I modify old work a lot
selling it off
is not the best).
A quarter million for a dinosaur painting, come on. And I wish.
Now, maybe setting up a paleoartist site that includes a venue for
promoting original art will improve matters. One can doubt that it
will, but it it
might work and is worth a try. Even if it does it will take years
to build up
clientele and no one will get rich that way.
Books. Back when I did PDW, repped by top NY agent Brockman to a
publisher, it was the last few years that that was possible. The
dino books a major publisher will even come close to considering
these days is
a narrative tradebook, and the publishers actually require that it
minimal illustrations to keep down production costs and because
they turn off readers. If you do not believe this then you contact the
tradebook agents and see what they tell you. I know the business.
In general only
university presses pick up those kinds of books these days and they
useful advances and sales are so limited that they are in effect
But what about kidsbooks? I and others have approached a number of
book publishers and agents and no takers. (Maybe you noticed I have
done kidsbooks, that's why). Am not entirely sure why this is,
probably has to
do with publishers keeping costs down by using derivative art that
rips some of us off. I was once on the verge of a big deal but the
publisher at that moment decided to concentrate on fiction works do
Kids products and other licensing. A couple of agents repped my
got nowhere. Again producers prefer to keep their costs down rather
significant up front fees or royalties.
I have been told by product representatives that art derivative of
seriously impairs my ability to get work, and that I need to do
it. Which I am doing.
Exhibits. This remains an important source of income. But musuem and
science center exhibits managers chronically plead poverty (because
overdesign their exhibits relative to their budgets) and drive down
payments to below
acceptable levels. Because there are so many paleoartists willing
for peanuts many are taking advantage of this situation. Also,
there just are
not that many paleoexhibits in production at a given time.
Dino docs. Because cable programming is marginally funded the
always plead poverty. Because of under cost competition -- some
my work, some not -- I don't get that sort of work these days.
How about selling stuff on the web? Ha, ha, ha, ha. That's one of
jokes of the digital era.
Someone was going on about how some paleoartists can charge lower
because they are "more efficient." What a disconnect from reality
common sense. Doing dinosaur art is not following Moore's Law.
to quickly resize elements does help a little. But doing ORIGINAL
restorations is ALWAYS a long, tedious process that takes lots and
research including digging through often old and hard to get
travel. Using computers for rendering basic skeletons does not seem
time (and I seem to catch more errors when using old analog
methods, and the
computer produced skeletons out there seem prone to low levesl of
I am as efficient as anyone when it comes to doing real paleoart.
way to seem to become more efficient in this specialty is to be
rather than original, and basically use the published work of
others to gain
an edge on those very artists.
And someone was giving us paleoartists wise and sage advice about how
perhaps we should understand that because there is so much
competition (much of
which is derivative) that we should accept it being mere part time
we do on the side. Aside from making us into mere amateurs, if I
then I could not have produced all those nice skeletal restorations
seem to really like (and in some cases use for their paleoart that
competes with mines).
Think about. Really, think it through.
To be blunt about it, if you are considering getting into paleoart,
about it twice, three, times and then four. The paleomarket will
too small to sustain a large number of artists. Even so, I do think
situation can be significantly improved if certain steps are taken.
These discussions on these lists, although far more extensive than I
thought they would be and perhaps tedious to those not involved in
(rather tedious to me for that matter), are very important to the
field of vert
paleo, and should have occurred long ago -- I have perhaps been
waiting to bring up these issues. But one reason the discussion is
longer -- and
more vehment -- than it perhaps needs to be is because some who are
familiar with the paleoart facts continue to feel obliged to
paleoartists, sometimes harshly -- about what we should to. Don't
do that. And if
you are going to debate me remember that I have long had contacts
agents, attorneys etc, and of course I have little patience for
arguments from those who lack sufficient knowledge to dispute the
facts that I
lay out. Treat me and others who have been in the bizz awhile with
And never tell me, "but Greg, your work is so good, surely there is
demand for it if you just get the right agent" or so forth. Have
heard that one