Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To Reference or Not to Reference?

So the Gregory Paul emails keep stirring up controversy.

In the build up to our Hadrosaur gallery we've seen two ART Evolved members take drastically different approaches to their pieces, both consciously engaging and taking to heart one of Gregory Paul's key demands. The thing is our two members have taken diametrically opposite positions on Paul's ultimatum.

We are wondering what you think about the whole mess?

The two members in question are Zach Miller and myself Craig Dylke. For the record, this post and what we are about to discuss is NOT a fight between the two of us. Zach and I have had a laugh or two discussing it on Facebook, so there is no ill will or a grudge to be read in this post (at least between us. Towards Mr. Paul on the other hand well...)

Our two "conflicting" artworks above, are reactions to Gregory Paul's recent rants about people referencing his own work. Zach has responded to Paul's demands in a very classy fashion, whereas I have reacted in a far more vindictive and combative one (these negative emotions being against GSP mind you, not Zach!).

If you missed the whole Gregory Paul "email incident" a month ago on the Dinosaur Mailing List here are the links to the original posts here, here, and here. The specific line me and Zach both specifically fixated on is:

"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."
-Gregory Paul

How does one respond to such a demand?

If you are Zach you do the classy thing and do exactly what Mr. Paul has demanded of you. I think this speaks highly of Zach's character, and definitely proves he is a better person on this score than myself. I don't take this gracious route (as you shall see).

While constructing his Hadrosaur Zach approached it with a "No Greg Paul skeletals were referenced for the production of this illustration" policy. Zach has even wants to go the one step further and get an online movement towards this trend, and make it a meme.

In the long-term I think this is a insidiously effective and brutal attack on Mr. Paul. If Zach is successful down the road no one will purchase Mr. Paul's books, no one will reference his papers, and everyone will snuff out the GSP skeletal pose. Boiled down Mr. Paul will be eradicated from Palaeo-art and thus Palaeotology in general. Powerful stuff. Especially as this is not Zach being evil, but simply him doing what Mr. Paul has asked of him. In scientific illustration referencing is the key, and to not be referenced is death...

If you want to get back at Mr. Paul, especially for his rather bad behaviour in the emails (again you need to read them all. I am only really presenting the parts relevant to my current essay here), than please engage in Zach's online campaign, and join this meme. You, like Zach, are a long term thinker, and your patience may be the ultimate response to Mr. Paul's ultimatum.

Sadly I am not that patient a person. I don't do long term response. I'm an immediate action sort of person. More to the point I take extreme issue with what Mr. Paul has demanded of me. While Zach has been a honourable person and approached Mr. Paul's emails as though they are from a sane and rational point of view, I personally do not.

You see I do not agree with Mr. Paul's ultimatum in the quote above, and in fact find what he has said an utter lie attempting to bully other people out of palaeo-art! That is right Mr. Paul if you are reading I have called you a bully, a liar, and I'll add a hypocrite. Before I retract these accusations I require a coherent (unlike the nonsense you spouted off in your emails) response to the following:

You seriously claim ownership of a "reference" (especially for a real animal like a Dinosaur)?!?

The philosophic ramifications of Mr. Paul implying you can own a reference are staggering. I'm not sure he actually understands what the word reference actually means.

The whole point of a reference is it is something one refers too, not copies or rips off. If you use something as a reference you should be merely looking to this source for a vague inspiration or an idea to guide your own work. If your finished work at the end looks just like your reference, than you haven't actually referred to your source, you have copied it.

If not for his comment quoted above and a few others throughout his emails, I would swear Mr. Paul seems to have confused the word referencing with the word plagiarising (plagiarism being something I'm not advocating!).

When any artist tries to capture the illusion of the real world in art, they need references. Whether these be someone elses work (photographs, paintings, sculptors, etc) or just the world around them and experiences in it, being a reference does not take a tangible form. So to claim we can't reference one specific set of works is ludicrous, as whether we mean to or not, artists reference everything around them! The whole world is our reference, why not your pictures too?

Mr. Paul's counter:

But some have disagreed, and are basically saying that those who go to
tremendous effort to build up a body of technical artistic work have to allow
all others to derive much of their art from that work. This is based on the idea
that accurate restorations are the “truth” like photographs of lions and
elephants. This is errant for legal and practical reasons. Starting with no one
has to do work restoring living animals.

If you have as thoroughly researched a Dinosaurs skeleton as you claim Mr. Paul, than YES your skeletals are as much a " 'truth' " as a photograph of a real animal is! Dinosaurs were real animals, and as of such Mr. Paul you can not claim to own any part of them... Their proportions and bones won't change no matter who is looking at them.

For those bones you've filled in for missing ones, you did this as a SCIENTIFICALLY educated guess, and not an artistic expression. The instant you present this as research and science it becomes part of that " 'truth' " stuff again. You might be wrong about the reconstruction in the end, but at the time you made it, this was your scientific hypothesis as to what the animal looked like.

This is all really giving more than a tiny bit of credit to Mr. Paul's concept of being able to own a reference in the first place!

Why is it okay for you to reference someone elses work, but I can not reference yours?!?

One of the key things that bugs me about Mr. Paul's demands, is that he implies he is reference-free in his skeletals. Yet follow my logic here, if you look at a fossil (even to the point of precisely measuring it) you would still be referring to the actual fossil, yes?

I've already done a satirical post on my thinking in this regard, but I wanted to flesh it out here in more detail. Paul is claiming that because he referenced an actual fossil (in theory... in this post I am NOT taking his word for that!) he is not on the hook for this compensating the referee.
How exactly does that work?!? If he doesn't have to pay, why do I? If he was paying, than really shouldn't I be paying the institution that owns the fossil in the first place, since I'm referencing a referral of their reference (see the rather stupid chain of causality this is leading to!)?

However I'm challenging Mr. Paul's claim that he directly looks at every single fossil in the first place! I know as a matter of fact Mr. Paul has not been to an Alberta in a very long time (or if he has no one saw him come and take careful measurements of our bones, and I know a LOT of people in Alberta Palaeontology. We're pretty sure we would have seen you visit if you were properly measuring bones Greg).

So this particular half serious statement, half joke on Mr. Paul's part is frankly somewhat insulting with this in mind:

Then does that not lead to a slippery slope in which any published images including the bones published in technical paper are out of bounds, forcing anyone who wishes to illustrate dinosaurs to go to exhibits and take their own photos of the bones? Of course this is obviously true. So you all beef up your travel budgets!

-Gregory Paul

Before I rush off to compensate Mr. Paul, I want to see his proof that every single one of his skeletals is based solely off the original fossils, and than the receipts from him compensating all the owner of these fossils he referenced.

However I'm not dumb, and can easily tell that if Mr. Paul hasn't visited all the museums housing the specimens he is reconstructing, he must be getting his own references from somewhere. Sadly for Mr. Paul, he tells me exactly where in his emails harping on me for referencing his hard skeletal work...

As far as I know no scientist objects to the images of skeletal elements and mounts that appear in their academic publications being used by illustrators. If any do, they can mention it in the their papers. -Gregory Paul

Uh Greg, the scientists don't put it there because they doesn't care, but because they know they can't. Scientists are super smart people who not only know how to interprete fossils, but also that they don't own the reference to said fossil.

The kicker is one can easily picture Mr. Paul sitting there pilfering all the "objection" free skeletal references in academic papers, and thinking to himself how clever he is finding this loophole the scientists have left for him. At least I hope he is that stupid. Otherwise he really is a douche for presenting his case as anything different from these scientists.

You imply I have not compensated you for use of your work as a reference, despite the fact I bought it!?!

We now come to my final, and most enraged point. Mr. Paul presents his case as though all of us out here who have gotten our hands on his skeletals have somehow stolen them from him without his permission, and without compensating him for our possession of them.

*BEEP* that! I get all my Gregory Paul skeletal references out of the five books I BOUGHT and PAID for! Two of which were only purchased for the skeletals within them!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is not buying something a form of compensation?!?

The implication I am somehow stealing content from Mr. Paul is insulting. I would not have access to his skeletals had he not been offering them (for a price) in the first place! I have not even been getting them out of the library, borrowing them from a friend, or some other free means of accessing the book. I purchase the books and their content, and as of such I am free do to what I want with them and their contents so long as it is legal (in other words I do not directly reproduce their contents for a profit...), referencing being well within my rights.

In fact referencing is all a book is there for. I reference the ideas within it, and that is why it exists. Whether the information we are accessing is intellectual or visual in the end the book exists only for us to reference!

So Mr. Paul the simple solution to your problem is as follows. Either charge us more money for these books OR alternatively (especially if you wish us not to reference your work at all) stop selling them to us!!! While I sympathize that the cost of producing a book is high,and that there isn't a lot of profit in being an author, the point is as a 20 year running author you should know this by now! If giving us access to your skeletals is hurting your art career that much and not making up for the lose, than stop making the books we're using!


Perhaps the personal reason why I have found Mr. Paul's emails so insulting is the fact I had just purchased his Princeton Field Guide a month before he essentially yelled at me for doing so.

Despite the "wonderful" text within this book, that presents Mr. Paul's personal arbitrary reclassifications of all manner of Dinosaurs as fact with NO explanation (did you know that all Centrosaurine ceratopsians are just Centrosaurus and all Lambeosaurines are all just Hypacrosaurus? To give you two "small" examples of the written content), the only selling point I could reach for picking it up was the skeletals within the book. So $35 of my hard earned money later I was the proud owner of a work that immediately after I bought, I was no longer allowed to use for my intended purpose.

What really pisses me off about this, is that Mr. Paul knowingly released this the largest and most comprehensive collection of his skeletals to date, while having huge issues with people referencing his similar skeletals from his many other books of the past 20 years, and than have gumption to bitch about it all!!! It is as much have your cake and eat it too solution as you can get really from his point of view. Release a book that everyone Greg doesn't want having his stuff must have, let them buy it for a few months, and then once the market for it has dropped off attack those same people so they don't actually use the book.

So if I haven't fully made my case to you by now, than I shall leave with this one last illustration of Mr. Paul's dishonest claims and demands. In his email a few sentences after the initial "I am going to have to regretfully require that other artists either stop using my materials as source material" quote he stated this:

"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.
-Gregory Paul

So I hope I don't have to really explain why utilize and reference are not the same by this point. In his email Paul believes them to be the same, but of course they are not.

However I took him up on this statement in my copy of the Princeton Field Guide, and tried to find this "note" of his. My findings were quite amusing and yet disgusting at the same time.

On the publication page there is a Copyright by Gregory Paul 2010, but that is all. I read through the preface by Paul and found nothing about people using his art that alone contacting him personally. After that I could find no other sections in there by Paul that should address this topic (unless he snuck it into the body of the book somewhere else)

The only written line I could pertaining to using Paul's skeletals (overall content really) in the whole book was this from the publication page:

"Requests for permission to reproduce material from this work should be
sent to Permissions, Princeton University Press." -Princeton University

Once again am I missing something here or is this man a lying douche? In that previous quote I shared with you, Mr. Paul directly claimed this preamble should have been by him and about him, rather than Princeton University Press. This to me calls into question just how much personal ownership he has over the material in the Field Guide in the first place.

That being besides the case, notice how Princeton only demands you approach them if you "reproduce material" from the book, rather than reference material. Hmmm maybe because much like the aforementioned scientists in this essay, Paul's publishers know they can't claim rights on people referencing the book.

So what are your thoughts on this rather large, and in my opinion outrageous topic?


EmperorDinobot said...

It's too outrageous for me to say anything intelligent or something equally dumb about it. I choose not to pay attention. Though I may get sued. This all sounds like a witch hunt.

Albertonykus said...

As you pointed out, Zach's response might be more practical in the long run. But yours makes logical sense, too, and I like them both!

Me, I'm just ignoring the whole fiasco, but I don't reference Paul's works much to begin with.

Jules Ruiz said...

I had just bought his book a few weeks prior too, which really makes me angry. However, I will continue to use his skeletals for reference, because, I'm sorry, you can't own an idea of an animal that actually exists/ed. That's absurd.
Like many artists, I don't have the funds to physically go find the actual skeletons I need, so I always look up multiple skeletals (and fossils if I'm lucky) and reconstructions of other artists before starting at all. Besides, if Paul's skeletals are accurate, how is he supposed to determine whether or not someone referenced them?
Whatever. It's not like I make any money off art anyway.

Nima said...

I'm considering supporting Zach's meme. He supplies the meme, I will supply the logo (which anyone will be able to use for free). I'm confident the whole crew will be on board with this one.

Greg Paul's ideas have come out at a very sensitive time and in a way that often makes them difficult to even reconcile with each other.

Plagiarism is a totally different issue. Nobody is endorsing plagiarism here.

The problem of Greg Paul's words is he lumps different kinds of people together just like he lumps dinosaurs. So if you use any part of his work for even the smallest bit of inspiration or GENERAL reference, you are as guilty and reprehensible as someone who outright plagiarized/reproduced his work for profit. Even if you are not making any money off your art (which most artists are not).

His inconsistency hinges around three points he has made:

1. 'I am the #1 paleoartist, my skeletals are true for their time even if I have had to revise them. They are the gold standard of scientific accuracy'

2. 'My skeletals are private works of art and should not be referenced without paying royalties, they are exempt from the free exchange of scientific ideas'

3. 'You must do your own skeletals from scratch, take photos of every bone yourself and not reference me (even though I referenced and even traced the skeletal diagrams of many others such as Christman) - if you cannot do this then you must get out of paleo-art'

So we now have 3 debates going on:

1. Should we reference Paul and credit him, or not? What is our defense if he accuses one of us of secretly referencing him without disclosure? And those of us who aren't making any money, what exactly can he sue them for?

2. If his skeletals are the most accurate and true, then the real animals as we wish to draw them should look like his skeletals in shape and proportions - thus HOW can he conclude that we copied his work just because of a resemblance, rather than arrived at our conclusions independently by studying the SAME evidence his "true" skeletals are "faithfully" based on? If Paul's work is supremely accurate, then everyone's dinosaurs should look more or less like Paul's - and he has no excuse to sue anybody since we ALL should end up with similar-looking reconstructions using the exact same data and specimens he used.

3. Even for those of us who do not wish to make extensive use of Paul's skeletals, the issue of his trying to claim ownership of animal poses is a major obstacle to both art and science. Should we all give in and change our poses to something less realistic, of keep using the pose that Paul claims is his? Paul did not and can not copyright poses. Bakker didn't do so before him, and neither have the many nature artists who have illustrated modern animals for wildlife field guides - they use these same poses over and over again. Greg Paul's demand that we "document" how we got to this pose is ludicrous. I'll tell you how we got there - the same way he did, looking at live animals! The "Greg Paul pose" is copied straight from nature, because real animals walk that way. The pose represents their natural extremes of limb movement at mid-stride. It's standard practice among anatomists, nature illustrators, and the like. The only reason it's such a big deal in paleo-art is that for decades people didn't pose dinosaurs as real living breathing animals - they posed them as stationary skeletons or sprawling blobs of gray and swamp-green. But "Greg Paul poses" were in use among naturalists and zoological illustrators well before Greg Paul made the concept popular with paleo-artists. And no nature artist ever managed to copyright them.

Nima said...

And if Greg Paul was really so keen on preventing plagiarism and branding his skeletals as art instead of science, why didn't he invent a logo for himself and stamp it on every one of his works, rather than trying to copyright the pose itself as a "brand" or logo? Seriously, make a logo. That's how Escher branded his works - not by copyrighting tessellated fish or upside-down anti-gravity staircases the shoot off every which way. He didn't sue others for taking inspiration from his iconic ideas. My goodness, the number of artists who illustrated most of the better dinosaur books of the 90s that would have to be sued for using such poses and Greg Paul-like dino body forms is STAGGERING!

Whatever we draw or paint, SOME of it will look like Greg Paul's work in SOME way. I don't begrudge him for claiming to be highly accurate - in most cases (especially his work BEFORE 1995) he is. Inevitably is our work is any good, and we use the same specimens he used, a great deal of our art will end up looking similar to his, even if we burn all his books and don't ever look at his skeletals again (Not that I would ever recommend book-burning - it's just a figure of speech). Scott Hartman does 100% original skeletals and most of them look remarkably similar to Greg Paul's, and they still would even if he were to change the poses, as he has decided to do. Yeah you can tell their style apart, but then what's the point of forcing everyone to use different poses? Each artist needs a LOGO of his or her own, put on every skeletal, if they want it to be considered "hands off" art. If you use an accurate pose of maximum extremes of limb movement or mid-stride, and measure everything correctly, you WILL produce something that looks like Greg Paul's work (or Scott Hartman's work, which is by necessity similar).

It's like Greg Paul can't make up his mind as to whether his skeletals are science (and thus to be disseminated and shared freely with the field as well as enthusiasts) or artistic trade secrets like some medieval stone-mason or alchemist.

Medieval masons and alchemists obviously wanted to keep their ideas secret - there was no peer-reviewed scientific community back then, any they had a pretty profitable monopoly going for their restricted-membership professions. Masons didn't want their architecture secrets getting out in public or else the supply of skilled masons would exceed demand and kings could pay someone else a lot less to do the same work. Same with alchemists - though they failed to make gold, they DID discover hundreds of metallurgical processes that had been lost to Europe since Roman times - secrets which led to more wealth, better machines, stronger weapons and armor - this made them valuable to nobility and they weren't about to give up their exclusive control over this trade.

So where is Paul in all of this? Is that kind of medieval thinking even effective these days? Are skeletals freely available knowledge, or forbidden trade secrets? GSP claims to be for science and reason - yet he acts like he's running some cult where initiates don't get access to the real beliefs and "sacred knowledge" until they advance up many levels and pay out several grand $$$ for the privilege.

Except that he's also a published scientist. So his skeletals are available in scientific literature. DMLers can hook you up with a PDF copy - and yes, he even posts these illustrated papers up on his SITE!!! You can't get all medieval and stop the spread of scientific knowledge in this age of peer review. If it's art, and you wish to protect it to the teeth like a master mason of old times, draw your own mark on it. And don't be so hypocritical about the preface and the copyright terms in you own BOOK! The publisher knows you can't legally punish referencing.

What does Mr. Paul expect us to do, sue every ostrich and elephant for walking in "his" pose ????

Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

EmperorDinobot- I would venture at this point the witch is out, and it is Paul. I can't see how this is going to help his career.

As for the lawsuits I wouldn't worry about them. Talking to one of my lawyer buddies (yes I socialize with lawyers!) about the philosophical and legal implications of Paul's emails, he informed me this is CLEARLY a case of a desperate man with no legal leg to stand on. If he could successful sue people, he WOULD be sueing them instead of mass emailing vague and insane threats to scare people away from his industry. If he had a real case he'd have lawyers more than eager to launch the proceedings.

Alberonykus- That is the issue I have too. I think we're both right. If I hadn't bought the stupid new book I'd be onboard with Zach too. However I bought the book, and by gum I'm going to use it!

I have been finding (especially with skulls) that Paul is not as reliable a source as one might hope. I'm starting to track down supplementary references where ever possible to double check his stuff. Though for what I'm using skeletals for, I usually only need rough proportions anyways.

Jules- There is the making money angle to it all too. I'm bringing this issue up publicly, so I have nothing to hide later in the year when we'll hopefully see my first legitimate pieces of published Palaeo-art.

However you are also correct in the real animal category. In a lot of ways to me boiled down Mr. Paul's emails read like a spoiled 3 year old saying "I was drawing Dinosaurs first, so you can't!." I also suspect his legal case is built on a similar premise, which would not make it in to court (again why we're not seeing him actually sue anybody).

Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

Nima- While I love the concept of Zach's meme (and your accompanying logo) sadly I'm not behind it, and will not be joining you. I in fact am making it a matter of principal to at least partially reference a Paul every chance I get (as again I bought the Princeton Field Guide for nothing but skeletal references... you know what the rest of the book is like!).

To me the issue is one of bullying. While your guys tactic could have its intended effect down the road, in the present Paul wins. I refuse to give in to his fear tactics. As we both have pointed the idiot has no ground to actually stand on.

I'm willing to fight the battle now, as I feel your points in your first comment are more than an adequate defense.

Primarily if asked I immediate acknowledge who I reference. At the same point I don't see why I'd have to "credit" him on my piece of art either. In the end I use SO many references that the accompanying list would be ridiculus. Especially since so many of them are my own photos of fossils, extant animals, and environments. A list comprising mostly of me sounds ridiculous, and snobbish. Yet I'd have to include them all to show how marginally Paul's influnence is on me in the end.

My main use of Paul is the "accuracy" element of his skeletals, and that is simply the rough anatomical scale of the various parts of the critters. The leg is how big compared to the torso vs. the tail etc. These are the fundemental structure of the critter. Sorry I don't need to credit my references for that, as the animal itself is the ultimate reference. Mr. Paul has just been nice enough to round up a whole bunch of these for me in one book.

Further more my other main counter arguement is that in the end my reconstructions are nothing like his, apart from being Dinosaurs . If I were copying how he colours, textures, or even poses his critters fine maybe I'm guilty of something. I've never posed one of my Dinosaurs is the precise GSP posture anyways!

Anyone who has looked at how I use his skeletals knows the first thing I do is photoshop them out of his pose right away. This to me immediately is removing the Paul from my reference, and is me looking to that "truth" contained within his work of the simply scale of the animals bits and pieces. I don't even look to his black out lines.

These days when I've been doing reconstructions for scientists I let them direct the soft tissue parts of the animals, and you'd be surprised how many of them disagree with Paul, each other, and any other Palaeo-artists.

Raptor's Nest said...

Having reread GSP's statement on his website (http://gspauldino.com/products.html), I'm of the impression that he doesn't want people even utilising the scaled proportions of his skeletals.

"In addition, the scientific exertion that has to be invested in the highest quality paleoart is unlike most wildlife art in which the appearance of the subjects is well known and documented, or even fantasy creatures that are invented and do not require in-depth research. Because of the high level of skill and effort involved in restoring exotic extinct animals those conducting original restorations require a corresponding level of compensation".

So according to this, he is saying that all his scientific research that went into his art should be compensated for, and that you shouldn't piggyback on his efforts. I presume he is referring to his proportions just as much his pose.

Traumador said...

Raptor's Nest- Yeah I'm under that impression too.

However I counter with this one little biddy nit pick ;)

They are not "his" skeletal proportions, they are the animals.

Mind you I know that you know that. Just saying GSP for all his blabbering about how smart and Dino savy he is, should know that too!

Nima said...

Yeah, that's right. If his art is so bloody accurate and faithful to the real bones, then the proportions are not his, they are the animals'. And that means ANYONE can draw them and we should get the exact same proportions as Greg Paul did. No artist can have a monopoly on accuracy. That's like Marsh telling Knight he can't use the proportions of Marsh's dinosaur discoveries in his paintings!

Imagine if Da Vinci told Michaelangelo (who was many years younger) that he HAD to paint everyone on the Sistine Chapel ceiling with distorted bodies, abnormally large heads, etc. because "I got them correct FIRST so correct human proportions are MY sole property". VOMIT ye knaves, vomit!

Zach said...

Great essay. Craig, I certainly endorse your guerilla methods because, frankly we DID buy his books. And even more frankly, I buy his books specifically as reference material. Remember all those dinosaur skulls I was drawing a few years ago? "Dinosaurs of the Air" provided much of the baseline for those drawings.

My point with the statement (and ensuing meme) was to tell Paul to his face that there ARE other references available, despite what he wants to think. He claims to be the best, and nobody beats him, but hey, don't use my work. Well, okay, I'll go to the original source material at every opportunity. I have gigs of hard drive space devoted to technical literature as well as an entire filing cabinet and dozens of books.

For that Velafrons, I used (gasp) the JVP description of the skull and then slapped a generic lambeosaur body on it! I even got stuff wrong--duckbills don't have dorsal spines or scutes on the toes. I just think they look cool, and give the animal some personality.

Nick Fonseca said...

First off, let me say I love this site. A great source of inspiration.

Which brings me to the dreaded Gregory S Paul commentary.

I have to superficially agree with mister Paul. There are some works out there "NOT this site in particular" that are more than mere references of Paul's work. If it were as simple as taking proportions of bones from his illustrations and then creating one's own illustration of a skeleton in one's own unique look and pose. Mr. Paul would have no ground to stand on. However, there are a lot of illustrations out there that border on plagiarism. I.e. ripping off his style. If an individual takes an original Paul illustration copies it and puts some skin on it it is not a reference. I have to say there are times when I have to check if some illustrations are even by Paul.

That being said I have created a sculpture of a Velociraptor using proportions and dimensions from Paul, but looks nothing like a Paul.

I would wager a guess if an individuals artwork didn't appear to be knockoff of a Paul, he probably wouldn't have any problem with anyone referencing skeletal proportions from reference books illustrated by him. "Predatory Dinos of the world as one example".

Ultimately we all probably copied Paul's style at one time or another. "I know I have" However, ultimately we all need to find our own style.

Again, if all one were doing was taking proportions and measurements of a Paul skeleton, and doing their own original artwork there would be no argument.

So, in closing. Dig out your calipers and take your proportions from Paul, and work from source material "i.e. photos, museum site drawings etc" and create your "own" unique illustrations. Everyone will be much happier from the eager artist who does some of the leg work, and even Mr. Paul.

Regards, Nick Fonseca

Traumador said...

Thanks for the comment Nick! (This is Craig aka the Weapon of Mass Imagination responding... in case you didn't know I am Traumador too)

I totally agree with your take on this issue, but I don't believe Mr. Paul has the same take on this issue as we do...

If you read through all his emails (which admittedly there are way too many) you'll find Mr. Paul does not clarifying his point particularly well, and by his increasing belligerence against many of ART Evolved's friend palaeo-artists he is not being especially sane in his complaints.

However I agree, so long as your stuff doesn't look like GSP's in the end, there should be no problem.

I am very much of the opinion that before I give any sympathy to Mr. Paul there needs to be some specific names and art named with his accusations, and he also properly defines what he is on about.

Cheers again Nick. Hope to hear from you more often, and maybe see some art :P