James Gurney To dream is one thing. To create that dream with single-minded artistic
determination is another. James Gurney is that rare artist for whom childhood
fantasy became an adult reality, with all his experiences and accomplishments
contributing to the knowledge needed to make the dream come true. The concept
is simplicity itself: what if dinosaurs evolved into the intellectual equals of
man and remained alive on a single, mythical island? Not a utopia, but a
Dinotopia, with a science and lifestyle far more Earth-friendly than our own.
To create this world, Gurney needed knowledge…a lot of knowledge. He graduated
from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in anthropology,
then studied further at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. Following
years of free-spirited travel and commercial artwork with fellow artist Thomas
Kinkaide, Gurney continued his creative quest with more than seventy paintings
for book covers, but really reveled in his illustrations of ancient worlds for
National Geographic magazine. Finally, he was ready to realize his dream, and
Dinotopia was created through a series of prints, posters and a book.
More works of art and books have followed (Dinotopia: The World Beneath and
more recently Dinotopia: First Flight), in addition to many other tie-in
products. A made-for-network television epic is also planned. Gurney has
remained on the forefront of dinosaur research, making his creatures
scrupulously accurate in addition to being wise and ecologically correct.