Once again, paleo-illustrators are being alienated from a movie they could probably love. At least a few paleo-illustrators are discovering their work has been put up on the Jurassic World "as-if-it-was-a-real-park" promotional website without their permission.
Here's a short history of pushing away what should be the movie's most ardent supporters.
First, the director Colin Trevorrow announced there would be no feathers. Ignoring the past couple of decades of pretty damn conclusive research, as well as the educational impact the first Jurassic Park film had, the movie has forged ahead with naked raptors.
The past few days since the first trailer launched, it has became clear they needed some more scientific input during production. Messing around making a new hybrid as if they have to one up the Tyrannosaurs Rex somehow, backward DNA, non-blood sucking crane flies, endangered sharks; the list goes on.
Now it appears, the production or marketing team has ripped some images from independent artists and made them into silhouettes to populate their promotional website.
First noticed by paleoartist Brian Choo, fellow illustrator and science educator Matthew Martyniuk wrote about the issue today on his blog DinoGoss, cataloguing the illustrators affected, where they could be identified. His post is titled, Is Jurassic World Stealing From Independent Illustrators? which can be met with a resounding yet, at least in regards to this particular screen:
Make sure to read Martyniuk's post for the full rundown.
I reached out one of the artists, Nobu Tamura, (@paleofan on Twitter) who I have known online for several years. Tamura creates an astonishing number of images of prehistoric species, and places many of them on his blog, DeviantArt and even shares them on Wikipedia.As Martyniuk pointed out in his post, in the center of the image above, along the bottom, you can see an image of the Pachycephalosaurus, right.
Here is Nobu Tamura's illustration of Pachycephalosaurs, found on Wikipedia (used in this post with permission):
It was pointed out that the Ankylosaur is also likely Tamura's, an image which is listed as CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 which forbids commercial use.
It is nearly impossible to make even a part-time career out of illustration, and scientific illustration, moreso. Funding for illustrations of the animals that capture our imaginations in the Jurassic Park films is typically low, and paleo illustrators (with their insanely complicated education in anatomy, taxonomy and experience interpreting crushed-up fossils) fit into that framework, sometimes as little more than an afterthought.
So even a little recognition and respect toward the illustrators Jurassic World is taking advantage of would be in order. They are not difficult to find or communicate with: this is the futuristic age Jurassic World is reflecting, after all. When I saw Martyniuk's article, I contacted Tamura within minutes via Twitter and email and had permission to use the images in this post.
Makers of Jurassic World, stop butting heads with the paleo illustrators you rely on as fans and workers. Extend an olive branch.
The days of using feathers on dinosaurs are here; the days of writing by quill to distant artisans is long gone.