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david's really interesting pages | palaeoart, animation and stuff
david's really interesting pages | palaeoart, animation and stuff

art/artist + science/scientist

I am and have been convinced that art + science can form productive cooperations and have been pursuing this in graphics research for 5 years now, in paleontology for about a year (with a fairly long entry curve as I typically underestimated the volume of my ignorance).

I’m particularly interested in how animation and interactive illustration can function in this axis, and have always felt that art can form a positive feedback to science – by which I mean not just outreach and media but science, ie. the scientific process and accumulation of knowledge. This conviction has been challenged numerous times, and I have to admit that many of the preconceptions that paleontologists have about us artists are correct. We’re not as useful as I’d like to believe. BUT…

We are useful though. Some recent evidence:

Mike Traynor condenses Mark Witton’s voluminous critique of Attenborough’s Flying Monsters into one word, cleverly using the established hype blurb method of reviews. Is this illustration? You bet! Clever, concise abstraction of information. Beautiful.

Over at artEvolved, myself and other members have been warming up with speed paints inspired from the many, inspirational science blogs out there. The response from science bloggers such as Darren Naish and Dave Hone has taken me by surprise. There’s an element of community that I haven’t had my sights on.
Personal note: maybe it’s worth focusing on the artist and scientist (and the general public) and not just on the art and the science.

I’m finding more and more speed-painters out there, most from the world of concept art (who else does speed paints, after all). Have I overlooked them in the past? Is this a development? Who cares, cool stuff. Check out dino-art, a blog collective of 6 highly talented guys; Mfrank, plietz, A.j. Trahan, Greg Broadmore, sammy & Jason.

Other good examples? Interesting sites? Please let me know.
Also – I welcome suggestions for speed paint sessions… what blogs would you like to see as focus for homage in future speed paints?

There are 3 Comments to this article

Glendon Mellow says:

A lot of food for thought, David. In the past I too have always focused on the art–>science interface, and not on the interactions between artists and scientists. Interesting.

d maas says:

The greatest food for thought I’ve had the last few months is a very productive series of exchanges with Heinrich Mallison. Aside from the imagery, there’s a lot of motivational support and design input flowing back and forth.
Some cool stuff coming up. Promise.

schwungsau says:


New Dinosaur Discovered Named ‘Thunder Thighs’

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