Yes, it was that time of the year again: I have always found the Mexican student audiences to be the hungriest and keenest regrading new dinosaur research and on top of that, they have always liked my stuff. So what better than taking the opportunity this year again to give two mini-seminars? Thanks to my old friend and comrade of many SVP field trips in the past René Hernández Rivera (foremost palaeontologist in México and famous for his work in Saltillo discovering hadrosaurs and tyrannosaurs), I was invited again to use the time of one of his classes at the UNAM (Autonomous University of Mexico, a model university for the world to see… only its campus are a thrill to visit!) to make a full chronological account of my adventures as a paleoartist. The interest and expectation were so high, that the class started at 2:30 in the afternoon in the laboratory and had to be finished somewhere else around 7:30 in the evening (over a meal and beers, Mexican style!).
I have to thank René and Angel Ramírez Velasco (a brilliant soon-to-be Palaeontology graduate) for being such excellent hosts. Here they are together with my partner Carmen Naranjo.
The after hours meeting brought a lot of lively discussions and I was also able to meet Mexican paleoartists like Hector Munive and we has a general exchange of gifts, signatures and autographs. I had to sign a very well used Random House encyclopaedia! Here’s one of my prizes, thanks to Ricardo Servin Pichardo for his wonderful Daspletosaurus head (proudly hanging now on my studio wall.
But it was not just a matter of giving lessons in the Unversity. For years I have closely worked with the extended Soteno family (lead by Tiburcio, Carlos and Israel Soteno), world-famous clay artists from Metepec a newly awarded “magic” village close to Toluca (Edo. de Mexico). So it was also time to have another dinoclass in his house, where the kids in the neighbourhood have been gathering for years to see and discuss dinosaurs coming to life. I have seen generations of my unofficial “students” come year after year and I’m really proud of their dedication and achievements. Their attentive interest, curiosity and wonderment are very true and an inspiration for anyone.