About the Survey of Paleoartists
Paleontology, the branch of science seeking to understand extinct life forms and their environments, relies on artists to accurately convey its findings to the broader public. That artistic pursuit is popularly known as paleoart, and it is practiced by a growing number of illustrators, animators, sculptors, and other artists worldwide.
In an effort to better understand how paleoart is practiced professionally, we conducted the first Survey of Paleoartists in 2017. Drafted with critical input from Bob Nicholls, Emily Willoughby, Glendon Mellow, Brian Engh, Mark Witton, and Matt Celeskey, the survey attracted 350 respondents, providing a wealth of new insight about a field that is not often analyzed as a professional pursuit. In the interest of improving this knowledge, the effort continues with the 2019 Survey of Paleoartists. Submissions will be accepted from March 1, 2019 until July 31, 2019.
Should You Take the Survey?
If you have ever made art depicting ancient life, with a goal of accurately portraying some aspect of the current scientific knowledge about that life, you should take the survey! This is not only for those who work in realistic sculpture or photoreal painting. Scientific understanding can be imparted in many ways, and sometimes a fanciful, abstracted portrayal can communicate aspects of behavior, anatomy, or geological context better than a very realistic piece. Likewise, artists of all skill levels are invited to participate, whether they consider themselves professionals or amateurs. The survey is totally anonymous.