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Paleoart Contest Announcement: The SummonEngh 2018


Today, Brian Engh announces his new paleoart contest and we’re happy to help spread the word. Read on for all of the details from Brian himself.


I am excited to announce that I won the Lanzendorf National Geographic Paleoart Prize for 2D illustration this year, but there really aren’t very many competitions for paleoart so I’ve decided to pay it forward and host my own!



  • Up to 3 entries per person
  • Entries must be by art made by a single (1) person (NOT a production house, museum staff, exhibit company, studio etc.)
  • Entries can be any media, 2d illustration, 3d sculpture, animation, dioramas, shadow puppets, interpretive dance etc etc etc (surprise me)
  • Entries must be submitted by email with name, contact info (ideally including social media links) to Entrants are welcome to submit a short written statement for each piece (300 words or less) explaining it. They may also include links to scientific papers or other research and/or images or videos of their process.
  • Additionally I will be creating an open facebook group page for the contest and entrants are encouraged to post art and in-progress pictures to social media with the hashtag #TheSummonEngh2018
  • Contest opens October 1, closes November 1st at 12:01 am Pacific Standard Time.

The winner will be announced on November 9th (#FossilFriday). The winner will receive a one-time cash prize of 50% of my donations on collected at the beginning of November (minus Paypal fees). The winner will be contacted shortly after Patreon donations have processed and the cash prize will be paid out via check or Paypal payment in a lump sum.

Due to Paypal taking fees the final cash prize will be a little less than half of what you see listed on my Patreon page at the end of the month of October. I will however show the winner the exact amounts as screen grabs from Patreon & Paypal once the payments are all processed so you know why the final prize amount is what it is.

Entries will be judged according to the following criteria by me (Brian Engh):

  • Creativity and originality. Entrants are encouraged to explore new hypotheses, present new aesthetics, and generally NOT continue the tradition of unoriginality and copycatting that is so common in paleoart.
  • Detail, story and mood. By detail I don’t necessarily mean photo realism or minute intricacies of texture (though that can be nice too), I’m more interested in whether or not the piece has enough going on in it that it makes the viewer want to look at in it more than once. If there’s a sense of life history, story, or mood that gets me every time!
  • Scientific plausibility. I am not interested in what the internet consensus is on the most “likely” or “conservative” view is on the science of a given organism. Very often my experience working with experts in the field is that paleoart is significantly behind the latest science on both prehistoric organisms and living ones. Artists are encouraged to seek out and illustrate new hypotheses in the world of paleontology and incorporate the most up to date research on the anatomy, behavior and ecology of living systems. I believe that if significant and broad reaching research is used to fill in the gaps missing from the fossil record it will be apparent in the art.

Miscellaneous things I feel I need to say at the outset of this contest:

  • I reserve the right to extend the contest or the payout time as necessary for whatever unforeseen logistical or technical issues, emergencies etc, or just because I want to.
  • I reserve the right to ban/block/ignore and/or physically fight trolls, blatant plagiarists or anyone being generally rude & douchey. I expect and hope that there will be some discourse about paleoart generated by this contest, but please please please keep it civil.
  • Artists, please be prepared in advance for people critiquing your work publicly once it is posted. This is part of being an artist, especially one whose work is based on science which is built on debate and independent analysis of data. Artists are definitely encouraged to show the research and sketching that went into a piece in advance of or in response to criticism. Artists are also encouraged to bear in mind that sometimes what people write in text format sounds ruder than how they would sound if they were talking to you face to face. Be chill homies, be chill.
  • I reserve the right to end the contest for any reason, including but not limited to people being jerks online, so please keep it civil and respectful.
  • Have fun!!!!

This contest is made possible by the generous support of my followers on To see more of my work visit

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