Q & A - Andy Cruz
Please tell us about how your interest in paleontology was sparked and how you went on to pursue that subject further.
It all started when I saw Jurassic Park on VHS as a child. I played that film, as well as The Lost World: Jurassic Park until the cassette tapes broke. I started reading plenty of books and have kept up with Paleontological discoveries since then.
What inspired you to start Dinosaurcomics? Please also tell us a little about the creation process. Do you use pen on paper or is it all digital media?
Comic books have been a big part of my life growing up. I loved reading Archie, Spider-Man and various Japanese Manga. The major inspiration for beginning my dinosaurcomics page was “Age of Reptiles” (a series of comics published by Dark Horse Comics) by Ricardo Delgado.
My process for my educational comics always begins with research. I’ll often go through various sources on google and reach out to actual paleontologists that have worked on and investigated the animal. Previously, I used to storyboard my work traditionally but have shifted completely to digital.
Shown to the right is the Albertosaurus comic, which I did with help and feedback from paleontologists Hillary McLean and Dr. Thomas Holtz Jr., (copyright Andy Cruz 2020.)
“The process for my educational comics always begins with research.. I’ll often reach out to actual paleontologists..”
Which dinosaurs have you particularly enjoyed working on and why?
I enjoyed working on the designs for the Hell Creek Pin Set! For those that don’t know, the Hell Creek formation is a famous geological site that stretches from Montana to Wyoming. The rocks there date from 67-66 million years ago, at the very end of the age of the dinosaurs, before they became extinct.
Famous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops are found there.
This particular set was fun for me, mainly because I was working on the same animals that were my introduction to dinosaurs as a child. My personal favorite among the bunch is the Triceratops. I started a Kickstarter to get them manufactured and the paleontology community rallied to support it; I feel very fortunate to have made many wonderful friends in the process of making my art and these pins.
For a beginner or amateur artist, how can somebody start to make paleoart?
The first step is to do research and search for referential material. Learn as much as you can about your subject before even picking up the pencil.
Think about what physical characteristics make the animal unique and look at how other Paleoartists portray it. And of course, you also need to practice your art fundamentals such as perspective, gesture, composition, value etc.