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Taina Litwak <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 6 Sep 2019 10:29:32 -0400
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Hi All,  

I got a pretty detailed proposal today in an email and wonder if I am the only one who finds it insulting.  I can only imagine he will be reaching out to many of us, as I am certainly not a tetropod specialist.  This is how I answered him, and what he proposed:

Dear Dave,

I am pleased you like my work, but really?  Its an interesting project, but you are basically me to do A LOT for you, essentially for nothing, and then give my illustration away in perpetuity through Creative Commons licensing.  I would never "volunteer" to do this sort of work, and I seriously doubt any other real professional would either.  I am a scientific illustrator, and I have made a living doing this for 35 years.  This is not a hobby, though it is a passion. 

I would think you will get few takers, though you may attract some younger inexperienced students.  The products they produce, with only your vague suggestion that they find (on their own) and show their work in progress to "scientists" is an almost certain recipe for inaccuracy or outright copying of scientifically established work.


Taina Litwak

Taina Litwak, CMI 
Litwak Illustration Studio 
13029 Chestnut Oak Drive 
Darnestown, MD 20878 

office: 202-633-4561 
mobile: 240-750-9245 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Jarvis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Taina Litwak, CMI" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2019 1:59:42 AM
Subject: Impacts Project: Tetrapod Illustration

Hi Taina,

I'm a software developer who wants to increase public awareness about 
Earth's natural history and the impacts of burning fossil fuels. I found 
your portfolio while searching for scientific illustrators. I am looking 
for volunteers (see below) to help finish illustrating a photobook of 
events from astronomy to present day. If you can make time between now 
and late October to help, or know someone who may, please read on.


The first draft of the text is finished, including most illustrations:



To reimburse artists for their work, I created a crowdfunding campaign, 
which raised insufficient capital. I plan to do more market research 
(niches of dentists, environmental lawyers, museums, and scientists) in 
advance of the second crowdfunding campaign (probably Kickstarter). 
Reimbursement is contingent on the campaign's success, as such I cannot 
guarantee payment.

If you have other fundraising ideas (such as posters), do let me know.


If you would like to help:

 1. Put your *Name* in the spreadsheet
    < >
    beside Tetrapods.
 2. Set the *Date* for when you estimate the artwork will be finished.
 3. Set the *Reimburse* amount (typically between $200 and $500 USD).
 4. Review interpretations of the event you've selected (some artists
    share their work with scientists to ensure accuracy).
 5. Illustrate the event as time allows.
 6. Send me a copy of the work (as AI or SVG).


Illustrations are to meet the following specifications:

  * Shaded vector graphic
      o SVG- or AI-only (using vector brushes), neither raster graphics
        nor conversion from raster to vector
      o See pages 1, 8, 12, 15, 17, 19, 20, and 21 for stylistic examples
  * Dimensions of 4:1 (e.g., 4000 x 1000)
  * Palette provides overall cohesion, gradients are fine (see attached)
      o Note that blue is reserved for space-based illustrations (teal
        is okay)
  * RGB colour space

*Illustration Details**

*Some thoughts on the depiction:*

  * *Sketch.* Providing an early draft (B&W) may prove helpful.
  * *Context.* Have the tetrapod picture /transition/ (pun, sorry),
    stylistically, between its neighbouring illustrations: Vertebrates
    (p.15) and Amniotes (p.17).
  * *Shaded vector graphic.* Illustrations 15, 17, 18, 19, and 20 are
    great examples of the shaded vector graphics that provide further
    cohesion between the drawings.
  * *Engaging story.* Related pictures and aspects of them that are
          + The /open jaws/, showing the /teeth/, evokes a little
            /primordial fear/ and sparks the imagination
          + Being /partially out of water/ is wonderful symbolism
          + Environmental interaction
          + Capturing an invertebrate is a symbolic gesture (e.g.,
            foreshadowing humans destroying bee colonies); though
            Tiktaalik was probably a fish-eater
          + Epoch-appropriate flora
          + Although it isn't Tiktaalik, it has /palpable action/
          + Easy to imagine the outcome of the event
          + Eye closed while "striking" is a great little detail
          + /Lifting itself/ out of the water
  * *Three.* Theme of three: three vertebrates, mammals, amniotes,
    dinosaurs, and tetrapods
  * *Addendum.* Additional resources:
      o Aquatic–terrestrial transitions of feeding systems in
        vertebrates: a mechanical perspective
        < >
      o  - background and
        imagery of Tiktaalik


See attached a 3D render of what the photobook may look like.


Artists own the copyright and agree that anyone may use the art for 
commercial purposes by licensing the artwork under a Creative Commons 
Commercial License (where attribution is required).

Thank you Taina, I appreciate you taking time to read this note.


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