NatureVolve

Q & A - Andy Cruz

- Andy would like to thank Kathryn Abbott from Dino Lab inc. for providing skeletal references for the Albertosau­rus comic.

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.

 ??  ?? Above: Albertosau­rus comic. © Andy Cruz 2020. All rights reserved.
Above: Albertosau­rus comic. © Andy Cruz 2020. All rights reserved.
 ??  ?? All graphics above: Selection of Hell Creek pins. © Andy Cruz (2020).
All Rights Reserved.
All graphics above: Selection of Hell Creek pins. © Andy Cruz (2020). All Rights Reserved.

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