I started making things out of dinosaurs a long time ago. I always liked them so I kept toy dinosaurs around. Then I saw a table made of plastic army men and decided I would make one out of dinosaurs. I collected more dinosaurs. I made the table. I guess I could have stopped collecting dinosaurs then. I did not need them for anything and I had many. But, I didn’t. I sold most of my stuff and I moved abroad but I kept a few dinosaurs with me. They were light weight and small so it was easy to stuff a few in a suitcase. It gave me something fun to decorate with. I left many behind in places I lived. I bought many more. When I came here, I used them to make my apartment feel homelike. Then I decided to decorate one as part of a creative response. It isn’t the first time I decorated a dinosaur, but it is the first time in a long time. I liked it so much that I bought another and decorated it -more-. Owen said I shouldn’t discount their value and so it encouraged me to keep them around. It encouraged me to think about what they are and what they could be. They obviously mean something to me, I just need to articulate it. Why are they inspiring?
Dinosaurs as Inspiration
Dinosaurs have been inspiring humanity since before we had a word to describe them. The fossil remains of their bones have been discovered and rediscovered throughout history, promoting speculation on the nature of the great beasts and dragons of the earth’s ancient past. They were named “dinosaur” in 1842. The name means “fearfully great lizard.” “Fearfully great,” what better name could there be for such creatures? They are both “of us” and “not of us,” alien and yet deeply connected to the earth. The earth herself is complicit in the destruction and the revelation of what they are. The combination of fear and fascination is exciting. The more we know, the more we want to know. They promote the acquisition of knowledge. We know just enough about them for expansive speculation and limited limitations. Dinosaurs have captured imagination and inundated our cultures. They have played many roles. They have been heroes, anti-heroes, scapegoats and guides. We have a way of making them whatever we need them to be.
These dinosaurs (my dinosaurs) have become symbols of intellectual joy. It is the joyful pursuit of knowledge that is the deep-rooted, internal inspiration for my work. In that way, they have become profoundly personal. If I share them with the world, I am sharing the best part of myself. I try to incorporate them into my projects as often as possible.