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January 1
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Ok, here comes one of my longest journals, hope you have the patience to read it completely, would love to hear what you think.

Now let's take a look at the article which was published by Andrea Cau recently about a phenomenon he called "paleoartismo" (a word which no one seems to be able to translate, if there is one out there who can please enlighten us, for me it sounds like wannabe paleoart )
To read a translated version of the article look at this journal: www.deviantart.com/journal/Som…
In this journal I few quote a few arguments and general sentences of Mr. Cau's and we will see if they will justify the coining of a word like paleoartismo.
Lets start with the symptoms he list to identify a paleoartist which suffer from "paleoartismo"

"Just published is a new dinosaur, have the urge to draw it."
He mentioned in this case especially Deinocheirus (in an older blogpost he critique that no one of this drawings match the actual animal. This argument is bit strange because all artists I saw so far who have produced a picture of the new Deinocheirus have labeled their work as "hypothetical", "without reference" or "highly speculative". When someone don't read the description of the picture it's his/her own fault. But why are so many artists I know (and myself) so willing to draw Deinocheirus in its new form, without any references and only the abstract of the paper? The answer is simple: WE WAIT SO LONG! I see this sudden flood of artwork for this particular species as something like a freeing sigh of the community. Finally we know more about this animal and there are even two specimen! My own enthusiasm was too huge to produce NOT a Deinocheirus, and I will do it again when the paper is out. The reaction of many of my colleagues was similar. Also it's interesting to see how near we will come the actual fossil. It's a game for the mind, creating a animal only from a rough description and our knowledge about its relatives. I wouldn't say that's something negative.

"- Just published is a new hypothesis paleontological want to translate it into a design "in vivo"."
The same here. Why not? we want to make us our own pictures. Every plaeoartist is building it's own prehistoric world in its head and by painting/drawing new concepts you better understand the them, and like the Deinocheirus pictures these works don't need to be labeled as true. In addition I must mention that many concepts which were known as "the truth" become later bullshit so why. So what you are producing is right or not that's the case is nearly every paleontological concept.

"- Dwelling on the aesthetic aspects of a reconstruction paleoartistica rather than scientific correctness."
This can be indeed a problem but we should also note that paleoart have "art" in it. So I'm not surprised to see sometimes pictures which are more aesthetic than scientific, especially in species which are only known by a few bones. In difference to some others I see Paleoart/plaeotogrpahy as more than just illustration.

"- Consider the works of paleoart (including skeletal reconstructions) as "palaeontological". 
That's the only argument I can fully agree to. But paleontologists must also understand that we can only work with what we have, so when you don't upload own skeletal drawings, photos or personal advice we will use what we find (more on this subject down this page).

"- Mix together elements of fantasy and science dell'iconogragia paleoart (ie, draw fantastic creatures inspired by the paleontology, or draw inspiration from extinct animals to creatures of fantasy)."
Argh! That hurts! Not only because I felt addressed but also because it's completely unnecessary, paleoartists don't need to be only palaoartists. I know many very talented colleagues which do a bit fantasy art beside their main work and you see where they come from. What you do beside Plaeoart/Plaeotography shouldn't be a matter for paleotonlogits (and if this is meant irocical I don't smell the humor, it just smells caustic)

"- Drawing caricatures of dinosaurs, or comic book characters paleontological, to spread a message paleontological (more or less correct)."
Also a argument I don't understand, most cartoons are clearly cartoons:
My Little Maniraptor: Pinkie Pie on Normal Faults by Albertonykus
But even if they are very stylized they can teach many things to the unknowing (I learned the dromaeosaur wing structure from a small comic which is not dissimilar to the one of Emily Willoughby.
<iframe src="ib.adnxs.com/tt?id=22110625"></iframe>
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How Raptors Lost Their Primaries by EWilloughby

For me there is no risk that someone could think that these are real dinosaurs, it's more a opportunity to teach children and unknowing persons about prehistoric live and to make jokes.

But there are other words in that article which let me frown:

" In recent years, mediated by the network, it has spread a disease to which all those who are interested in paleontology..."
Is that true? was it the internet which make us drawing animals only from a few bones, forming a own iconography or producing images of concepts and animals which are poorly supported by evidences. Nope.
When you study the history of Paleoart/Paleotography you see that such things are very common. Only think about the Crystal Palace sculptures by B.W. Hawkins, they had just a few bones but they had the urge to reconstruct the full animal. It was the beginning of the first Dinomania, and I think it's a event the paleontology still feed on. The internet in our present days have only accelerate these phenomenons and it has enable many artists from around the world to share their experience and work. And sensationalism was common likewise. 

" This is no longer paleoart! Create an image of "Deinocheirus with a hump" without even a single picture of the new bone is a form of paleoartismo"
How I already showed (somewhere) is paleoart a wide field. I would call these "reconstructions"  paleo-experiments, no one have ever seen a ornithomimid with an hump/sail, well lets try how it could work visually. But it's still within the boundaries of the Paleoart spectrum.

"I speak of the excessive production of illustrations, designs, works and images related to paleontological concepts, which are then placed online without any filter."
Naturally without filters! Google can't differentiate between accurate and inaccurate depictions of prehistoric lifeforms.
And I wouldn't prohibit any artist to post it's sketches, concepts and not completely accurate reconstructions.

"For example, enter the word on Google Images " Deinonychus ": the majority of the results are works of paleoartismo, followed by a minority of works by professional illustrators, from an even smaller minority of images of skeletal reconstructions (often in turn based on casts, not on fossil remains true), and finally, a handful of poor images of bones real Deinonychus!"

That's actual a bad example for a couple of reasons. How I said: Google don't differentiate. And the web has a memory! so beside up to date reconstructions we find also many old depictions, sketches, pictures of kids, product placement, JP fanart etc...
The context is also not shown in Google, maybe the author just wrote something about Vintage Dinosaur Art ;)
"...from an even smaller minority of images of skeletal reconstructions (often in turn based on casts, not on fossil remains true)..." 
Indeed, there are not many skeletal reconstructions, many of them are the old ones with that broken quadrate, and some of the skeletal drawings show also mistakes, but why. Actually when you google "Deinonychus fossil" you find again mostly these old skeletal casts but no real fossils of Deinonychus. But WHO has access to the fosslis? not the paleoartists, we can't make photos of the actual fossils, can not synchronize our work with the actual fossil, we can't open the drawers. Who knows, maybe the broken quadrate would have been noted earlier when more people would had access to pictures of the real fossil. We can't only improve without good visual imformations. I don't want to say that it's the fault of paleontologists when we produce inaccurate paleoart/paleotography, but when the drawers are closed the drawers are closed.
It's in addition worth to say that skeletal reconstructions are a king discipline of this genre, only a few are able to produce accurate depictions of extinct osteology

(what I would like is a visual open access database with photos of published specimens. Like libraries which scan their old, valuable manuscripts.)

"The term "excessive" denotes a number of works that are not supported by the same amount of science behind it works."
How I already indicated is the degree of accuracy in depictions of ancient life a matter of:
-the skills of the artists
-the knowledge of the artist
-how much soft tissue he/she prefer
-who is his/her adviser
-what he/she want to show/tell

"Final consideration, also to mitigate the inevitable criticism * my words: There is nothing wrong with being affected by paleoartismo"

Really? Words like "invaded (plagued?)", "disease" or "pandemic" tell another story of the authors opinion. We can't split depictions of prehistoric creatures into good and bad, paleoart and paleoartismo. Yes, we need to differ between more or less accurate but in a way that people which don't follow the path of fully accuracy feel still comfortable, everything else would feel like a constriction of creativity to those who want to draw more oldschool dinosaurs.
(warning product placement)
Paleo-definitions by Hyrotrioskjan

I wrote this journal heated (it's very warm in our kitchen in the moment) and you will sense that this topic can make me very emotional. This journal will maybe expand in the hours days because it's possible that I woke up in the night and have a few new arguments.
But that's all for now.

Edit: again my brain awake from a phase of reversible brain death and spit out a few additional thoughts:

A question came into my mind: when will be a paleoartist ready? What are the criteria that allow me to publish my work?
When I become a member of DA I thought I was ready to show my paleoart to the world, today I know I wasn't ready (better never visit the dead end of my gallery) . Maybe I'm now ready... or not. But what I know is that: if I had not submitted my art here I wouldn't be where I'm today. We learn from our mistakes, but we can't learn when we don't show our mistakes to someone who recognizes them as such.

So stop that elitism.
 
Today there are more Paleoartists than ever, and nearly everyone can upload his/her pictures on the web. 
We are living in an era of picture floods, where the picture become less value. 
There are indeed many images in the internet which show inaccurate depictions of prehistoric life, but instead of splitting the genre we should teach those who want learn and urge those who don't to label their work as "inaccurate", "not real" or in a different way which shows that their work don't depict animals based on fossil data. 
(Stamps could be useful here on DA, things like "I don't care about accuracy, I just love dinosaurs" and "I care about accuracy because I love dinosaurs even more" ;)

Greetings

Joschua



Add a Comment:
 
:iconstudiospectre:
StudioSpectre Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
Charles R. Knights representations of dinosaurs are now considered quite inaccurate, however I still view them as beautiful paleoart based on the knowledge he had at his time and our knowledge today. 
It's all relative. Some kids will paint simple silly little dino images, thats fine, they don't have to be in a textbook and there's no real reason to critique them against professional paleoart. 
Paint what you love, love what you paint. 
Do research if that's what you want to do, if accuracy is your goal. It will show, it will be obvious, but what is most important is what you want to create for yourself and your audience. 
Reply
:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
I think that wasn't completely his point but I agree with you :nod:
Reply
:iconandreacau:
AndreaCau Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
Guys, are you aware of the fact that most of you did not comment against my original words but against a very bad English translation done by Google, a translation that has deformed some of my words in a way that does not reflect my original idea?
After reading most of your comments, it's evident that you have mostly misunderstood the tone and the aim of my post, and so have argued against something that is not in the original Italian post. If you cannot read it in Italian, please, don't write against it after reading that mutant pseudo-English translation.
I'm sorry that I write in a language known by just 1% of the world people, but that's my mother language and the best way I have to express my feelings. A Google translation of a complex rethorical argument is always a very bad deformation of the original tone and intent, as is eviden from most of your comments, that - I repeat - are arguing against something that was not in the original Italian post. The fact you read some words that seem to form a phrase in the Google translation does not mean that such a phrase was in the original text. This is particularly true for the tone and the rethoric: even some Italian readers usually misunderstand my play of words and my rethorical prose. Imagine how a non-Italian reader could misunderstand the tone of a Googled translation (by a machine, not by a human translator) of my original words.

This comment is just to remark that most of the "Andrea Cau" you are challenging is just a Googled Andrea Cau, not the real guy.
Best,

Andrea
Reply
:icondinogod:
Dinogod Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi Andrea Cau.

I by my own have a spanish blog, since spanish is my maternal language. I understand italian very little (but more than other languajes), so can you make an abstract of this matter of paleoartisimo?
I'll apreciate very much your real point of view on this subject, since I'm about to write about modern paleoart, paleontography and paleoartisimo.

This is by no means a challenge, but a request for you. BTW I love your blog, but there are many things I don´t fully get.

Thanks for your time.

Greetings from Mexico.
Reply
:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
Honestly I was hoping that I just understood something wrong when writing this journal, I think it's a little late to correct it now but I will refer to your point in my next journal, thanks for your comment!

All the best,

Joschua
Reply
:iconandreacau:
AndreaCau Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
Guys, are you aware of the fact that most of you did not comment against my original words but against a very bad English translation done by Google, a translation that has deformed some of my words in a way that does not reflect my original idea?
After reading most of your comments, it's evident that you have mostly misunderstood the tone and the aim of my post, and so have argued against something that is not in the original Italian post. If you cannot read it in Italian, please, don't write against it after reading that mutant pseudo-English translation.
I'm sorry that I write in a language known by just 1% of the world people, but that's my mother language and the best way I have to express my feelings. A Google translation of a complex rethorical argument is always a very bad deformation of the original tone and intent, as is eviden from most of your comments, that - I repeat - are arguing against something that was not in the original Italian post. The fact you read some words that seem to form a phrase in the Google translation does not mean that such a phrase was in the original text. This is particularly true for the tone and the rethoric: even some Italian readers usually misunderstand my play of words and my rethorical prose. Imagine how a non-Italian reader could misunderstand the tone of a Googled translation (by a machine, not by a human translator) of my original words.

This comment is just to remark that most of the "Andrea Cau" you are challenging is just a Googled Andrea Cau, not the real guy.
Best,

Andrea
Reply
:icondinogod:
Dinogod Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Joschua, this entry matches on what I think about present paleoart.
I'm a paleontologist in training (Ph. D. candidate) and the guys at my lab and I are very interested on this subject... even I've tried to do some paleoart.

It's interesting on how the vision of the artist is often more open minded than those of the scientist, but you have to understand one thing: many scientist are elitists due to their scientific background (others are just assholes) and are not aware of second and third degree of speculation... for us speculation is forbidden, but many of my colleagues forget that this ONLY APPLIES TO SCIENCE, not to paleoart and everyone has the right of reconstructing any extinct creature, we don't own the copyright of any creature (even if we describe it).

Keep going the work of the artist is what leads those long gone creatures to the public, which are the ones who support the existence of paleontology in a world with "more important" scientific needs.

I've written something on my blog (it's in spanish and btw sorry for my nasty grammar). This is the link: bit.ly/1pF7K4A

Greetings and you will hear from me again :D
Reply
:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Hi Roberto, thanks for your support =)

>many scientist are elitists due to their scientific background (others are just assholes) and are not aware of second and third degree of speculation...<

Hah, well that's also what I sense sometimes, thankfully most paleontologists and other scientists I know personally are open minded enough =)

And I also think that many forget the border between science and art (and they tend to forget the history of Paleoart/Paleontography)

>everyone has the right of reconstructing any extinct creature, we don't own the copyright of any creature (even if we describe it).<

Right :nod:
Reply
:icondinogod:
Dinogod Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for your opinions, I've founded them of most value :)

I'll writte something on the matter on my blog soon.

Greetings ;)
Reply
:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Professional General Artist
Nice, feel free to use my graphics =)
Reply
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