My wife and I attended the Montana Festival of the Book over the weekend and attended Jack Horner‘s presentation about his newest book How to Build a Dinosaur. I had my Moleskine journal with me so I started doodling one of the dinosaur images at the beginning of the presentation and was able to finish this small sketch before the presentation was completed. He was kind enough to sign my drawing along with my wife’s copy of How to Build a Dinosaur. It’s always a treat to meet an author we especially like and we found that Dr. Horner was a very approachable and patient person.
I had been lucky enough to attend a symposium in Bozeman, Montana (the home of the Museum of the Rockies, where Horner is curator) and listened to another presentation for the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators before leading us on a field trip to the Museum of the Rockies where we were given a behind-the-scenes look at the efforts that go into creating and preserving the many exhibits at the museum.
It was one of those experiences that makes you say, “If I ever got the chance to work here, I would be in heaven.” Unfortunately I don’t know how to weld, have never cast a bone in a silicone mold, haven’t created exhibit displays where the specimen can be removed for study and reinserted without causing damage to the display or, more importantly, the bones themselves. Needless to say, I’d need a few more qualifications which is why their current exhibit coordinator is so unique. It’s a great museum and well worth the visit if you even happen to be in Bozeman before traveling down to Yellowstone National Park.