Interview with Adam Smith

It’s been a while but I now have the latest interview ready. Today it’s Adam Smith who I’ve known since I was starting my PhD at Bristol and Adam was doing the Masters course there. Adam’s art has appeared in a number of museums and books, but there’s a ton of it online in his various websites. Like me Adam is very big on his outreach and was one of the key people to help Dinobase up and running before starting Plesiosauria, the Dinosaur Toy blog and of course, Dinosaurs and their Biscuits. Oh yes, and i should add that Adam is currently based at Think Tank in Birmingham as the Natural Science Curator, home of, amongst other things, a hell of a nice Tricertaops skull.

How long have you been producing palaeoart?
I doodled dinosaurs all through my childhood. This eventually lead to a productive phase in my early 20s when I produced most of my ‘proper’ illustrations. These days other work keeps me busy so I only pick up
the pencils occasionally.

What first got you interested in dinosaurs and art?
The urge to draw dinosaurs was always a manifestation of my fascination with prehistoric life. But who knows where that came from? I’d love to indulge in fascinating anecdotes but I can’t truthfully point my finger at anything in particular – I enjoyed drawing dinosaurs so I did. Something must have lodged deep inside my brain at an early age. I do have photographic evidence of a trip to the Natural History Museum in London when I was about five years old – so maybe that’s it!

What is your favourite piece of palaeo art that you have produced?
The illustration I’m most pleased with is my Elasmosaurus (above). Some illustrations come together without a hitch, whereas others require constant tweaking or modifying. This one came together easily and I feel I captured a certain grace. It’s also the image that receives the most enquiries from people who want to use it, which I think also says a lot. Most of my artwork consists of pencil illustrations and I rarely break out the paints, so for this reason I’m also fond of my painting of a Scelidosaurus (below).

Who is your favourite palaeoartist or piece of palaeoart?

Every artist brings something different to the table so the more the merrier. Previous interviewees have already mentioned the big players in the world of palaeoart (the interviewees often are the big players!) and I enjoy them all too. But as a youngster I was also hugely inspired by the work of Graham Rosewarne whose work populated the pages of a magazine (‘Dinosaurs!’) and some popular books I read in the early 90s. His crisp, sharp style of illustration influenced mine considerably.

I’m not sure I have an absolute favourite piece of palaeoart though, so I’ll pick something a little different instead – dinosaur toys! I don’t know who sculpted the Natural History Museum’s old Invicta line of prehistoric animal replicas, but they are by far and away my favourite pieces of palaeoart.

What is your favourite dinosaur / archosaur?

As a researcher I work mainly on plesiosaurs and other fossil marine reptiles, so it will come as no surprise that my favourite prehistoric beastie is a plesiosaur – Attenborosaurus.

Is there any animal you would like to paint but have not?

I should really get around to drawing Attenborosaurus.

3 Responses to “Interview with Adam Smith”

  1. 1 cromercroxHenry Gee 19/09/2011 at 3:44 pm

    Fascinating. My favourite paleoartist is Luis Rey, but then I would say that, as we did ‘A Field Guide to Dinosaurs’ together and had a blast. But apart from that, it would have to be Zdenek Burian, whose art in the classic picture book ‘Life Before Man’ has an atmosphere that few others have matched.

    • 2 David Hone 19/09/2011 at 4:03 pm

      Have you only just found this Henry? I have a whole suite of interviews like this on here including Luis, John Sibbick, Mark Hallett and others….

  1. 1 Palaeoart roundup « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 06/10/2011 at 9:15 am
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