Following on from the successful interview with Luis Rey, I’ve managed to get Julia Molnar to chime in with a few answers. Julia is rather new to the palaeoart scene but has been an illustrator for a number of years. She burst onto the scene with her Lazendorf award at the Bristol SVP for this outstanding illustration of pterosaur take-off with more in the works. Enjoy (and the art of course, which is incidentally, Julia’s intellectual property). Hopefully a few more of these interviews to to come:
- How long have you been an artist?
Depends on how you count. It’s been 10 years since I started my undergraduate degree in fine arts. I’ve never managed to support myself as an artist, although I have occasionally been paid for it. Since 2009 I’ve been a partner in Genus Studios, a freelance illustration business which I started with 3 colleagues from Johns Hopkins Art as Applied to Medicine.
- How long have you been producing palaeoart?
My first piece of palaeoart was the Anhanguera forelimb musculature illustration I submitted for the Lazendorf in 2009. I was trained as a medical illustrator, so most of my portfolio is human stuff. However, since coming to work at RVC, I’ve started to work more on biological and paleontological subject matter – in fact, I’m currently working on the cover for the new edition of Dr. Jennifer Clack’s “Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods”.
- What first got you interested in dinosaurs and art?
I like the fact that there’s no “right” way to do it. If I’m illustrating a kidney, everyone has a very specific idea of what it’s supposed to look like and get really annoyed if it looks any different. Palaeoart leaves more room for imagination and experimentation because no one can say definitively what the animals looked like.
- What is your favourite piece of dinosaur art that you have produced?
I’ve only produced a few, but the forelimb musculature drawing is my favourite. I spent a lot more time on the animation, but I generally find 2D work to be more satisfying.
- Who is your favourite palaeoartist or piece of palaeoart?
Simply in terms of style, I especially enjoy Doug Henderson’s work. His paintings have atmosphere and mood, and you’d never confuse his work with someone else’s.
- What is your favourite dinosaur / archosaur?
Quetzalcoatlus. I want a pet one so I can ride on its back.
- Is there any animal you would like to paint but have not?
- Oh yes, last question: What do you think is the most important part of good palaeoart?
I think that the really good artists get the viewer emotionally involved in their paintings. Working in or studying palaeontology we sometimes take it for granted, but these fossils were once living, breathing creatures. The best palaeoart is so convincing, not just technically but stylistically, that you believe it in more than an intellectual way.