Thank you for stopping by my site; I hope that you enjoy your visit.
I became interested in drawing dinosaurs as a kid, as do many kids. I never grew out of my ‘dinophile’ phase. I collected a
small library of books on dinosaurs, which is still growing by leaps
and bounds. My most treasured volumes featured the captivating work
of paleo art masters such as John Sibbick, Gregory Paul, Doug Henderson and Mark
Hallett. Magnificent restorations by these individuals were
instrumental in my artistic development, and their influence on my
style is evident.
I began to draw and paint dinosaurs more seriously in 1998, when I became involved with a local Edmonton, Alberta business-sponsored event called the "Whyte Avenue Art Walk", in which artists display their wares along a stretch of sidewalk during hot July weekends. Shortly thereafter, I began submitting images to Prehistoric Times magazine, then launched my first website and also submitted work to other online galleries such as The Dinosauricon and Prehistorics Illustrated. After I began my PhD in 2002, artwork initially ground to a halt due to the rigors of study and research. However, starting in 2005, I was approached by various book publishing companies (including National Geographic and Scholastic Inc.) and museums (such as the Royal Tyrrell Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural Science) to restore dinosaurs for a number of projects. So far I have contributed to over 25 books and museum exhibits, encompassing both dinosaurs and extant animals. Whereas illustration had begun as a side dish to my research career, it is quickly becoming the entree itself.
As for my personal history, I’m a native Hungarian, but my family made Canada our home in 1978. Since then I've lived mostly in rural and urban Alberta before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba. I've been drawing dinosaurs all my life. I rolled out my first 'dinosaur' (a rooster) at the age of three. Now, dinosaurs make up the majority of my portfolio. Dinosaurs are members of a world that is alien to us, and my fascination with the unexplored and unknown led me to both my interest in illustrating dinosaurs and my current career path in science.
As for my academic background, after a short stint in undergraduate physics, I realized that biology was my mainstay and I completed a B.Sc. in Ecology and Environmental Biology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. I followed this degree with a M.Sc. in Ecology at the same institution. I've studied and published research papers on pollination mutualisms in Utah and the effects of trampling on moss in Jasper National Park in Alberta. Now, during my Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, I study bacteria that thrive in exotic deep ocean hydrothermal vent ecosystems and in terrestrial salt springs. It's been very rewarding to participate in deep ocean cruises in which scientists send remote-controlled submarines to the bottom of the ocean, a mile or more below our feet to collect samples and snap eerie photos. While my studies do not encompass dinosaurs per se, my biological background is a useful resource on which I draw when restoring long extinct ecosystems.
It has been rewarding to work with paleontological experts to hone my accuracy. I am highly motivated by challenges and while I have volumes yet to learn and improve, I hope that circumstances will continue to allow me to work in the extremely enjoyable field of paleoart.
Photographs copyright: Julius Csotonyi