Inspiration from Viktor Deak

August 20, 2009

Anyone who’s as excited about the union between science and art as I am should certainly browse and appreciate the work of NY-based paleoartist, Viktor Deak.

Viktor Deak's Lucy

Viktor Deak's Lucy

I discovered his work after reading this blogpost, and was thoroughly impressed not only by his work, but also by the attention and publicity it has received. Now an internationally renowned paleoartist, Deak’s long list of collaborators includes many big names, institutions and companies.

For more info / content, click the following links:

interview w/ NY Times

Viktor Deak’s Portfolio

panorama of Deak’s studio


Dinosaur Reconstruction: Sketch

April 6, 2009

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I finally got around to some sketching that I’ve been meaning to tackle since I took reference photos at the ROM in 2008: dinosaur anatomy reconstruction, based on fossil evidence.

Dwelling on my pathological anatomy illustration experience during my time at the University of Guelph back in 2007 I decided to attempt a 2D anatomical reconstruction of a type of extinct raptor. Aided by  googled images of bird heads and musculature, anatomical textbook limb references, shots of various animal cadavers from the dissections @ Guelph and a few photos of my former pet iguana, I was able to produce a decent sketch of what could turn into a convincing, accurate series of renderings.

picture-5

danko_raptor_2

danko_raptor_3

danko_raptor_4

 

Yes, I should have been spending this time working on my website layout, but no, that would not have been as entertaining. Although I like where this image is going, after considering the pose of the animal, I don’t think i’ll bother to render a final version of this raptor… however, with a better understanding of the anatomy, I might conceive a better composition later….


Spring Promo Campaign 2009

March 31, 2009

This week marks the launch of my Spring Promo Campaign for 2009; yesterday was spent composing various compilations for representation and exposure across the continent. I had hoped to have my new website layout completed and functioning before April; unfortunately, it will now be pushed back, hopefully uploaded within the next week or two (depending on workload). In the meantime, here are some of the promo image compilations for your visual enjoyment. Click on any one of them to access categorically selected works from my portfolio website.

mattdanko_illustration_promo

mattdanko_medical_promo

mattdanko_scientific_promo1

mattdanko_technical_promo

mattdanko_product_promo


Halley’s comet is going to hit Iowa… in about 3 or 4 million years.

July 7, 2006

I am currently rereading (as well as occasionally listening via audiobook) to Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything.” primarily a science and history based book, this work is a phenomenal piece of literature, not only for its factual and interesting content, but for its ability to clearly convey and illustrate intimidating concepts (that would otherwise be lost on many readers) through modernized examples and comparisons. Although I have only listened to half of the book, I have already learned more in just over two hours than I have during the entire summer. Already the book has covered topics ranging from physics to quantum physics to astrophysics, biology and chemistry, geology and geography, entomology, cartography, archeology, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, radiology and palaeontology (just to name a few that readily come to memory). It is full of astounding facts and information about many interesting and incredible scientific fields, and deals with the discoveries, failures, legacies and conflicts of such famous figures as Pythagoras, Newton,read Cavendish, Marie Curie, Einstein, Bertrand Russel and Stephen Hawking.

Interesting fact derived from the text:

Were another planet capable of supporting sentient alien life, similar to our own existence, it would have to be based on a planet postulated to be at least 200 light years away. This means that, assuming this alien race were (right this minute) able to view our species upon this planet, they would actually be watching what we refer to as the 17th or 18th century, because of the spatial lag in light travel between locations. It would take centuries of viewing for them to reach what we would presume to call the ‘present.’

This phenomenon also means that in turn, were we to discover the same thing on a planet far, far away, that the effect would, of course, be the same for our viewing. This applies not only to planets, but to stars… which entails that any given star visible at night from anywhere on earth could, in fact, be long dead. The last rays of light emanating from its hypothetical death toward your eyes would still take an astounding journey through time and space to reach you, depending on its distance from your position. The North Star, for example, is about 680 light years away, according to Bryson’s research. Thus, if it were to burn out today, it’s death would go unnoticed until around the year 2700.

Interestingly enough, that also means that the North Star could have burned out sometime in the 14th century, and we just haven’t realized it yet.

Nuggets of grand information and knowledge such as this are contained within this piece of literature. It is a thinking book, and gets you wondering about tangents that lead you past imagination and wonder, and into the fantastically endless and insane realm of science.

Obviously, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys both the scientific mystery and the tragedy of history… as well as an inspiring read.


this is why i watch the discovery channel

June 22, 2006

Please view this short clip, for nature’s sake. it is simply astonishing.

  • The Lyrebird
  • Things such as this are why i prefer the discovery channel over fox, ch, mtv, etc.
    I had to watch it twice to fully appreciate it. Enjoy!