Time-Traveling Wildlife Artist
Best described as a “time-traveling wildlife artist,” Josh Cotton works with scientists to resurrect prehistoric creatures through artwork to the delight of dinosaur fans worldwide. His work, known for its drama and dynamism, has featured in several museums, a book, and newspapers around the world.
Life fascinates me, and I love to explore. Inspiration can come from anywhere For me, this has very little to do with detail
As an artist, Josh's primary fascination is with the energy of a pose, or ”gesture”– the illusion of life created through lines describing energy, mass, and motion. Josh constantly explores the world around him through the lens of his sketchbook. He takes inspiration from people and animals at home, in the supermarket line, and drawing funny faces of speakers in church (watch your back, he may be caricaturing your ears at this moment). The goal is to capture a bit of genuine life that can then be channeled into the illusion of life in his final artwork.
My life mission is to inspire curiosity. For this reason, I work hard to champion museums. Dinosaur museums are places where the young and old can come to practice the mindset of curiosity, a mindset which can then be applied to learning not only about science, but about opposing philosophical, political, and religious viewpoints. It is my belief that the seed of curiosity, if planted and tended in the human heart, will break down the hatred and prejudice at the root of the world's problems. If humanity hates what it doesn't understand, and doesn't want to understand what it hates, then the one bridge to love is the desire to understand the “other”—in a word, curiosity. If we can find the desire—the curiosity—to understand each other, then humanity can find a compassionate oneness—a Pangea of the heart.
Josh earned his BFA in Concept Art at Brigham Young University and got his start as a professional paleo-artist working at the BYU Museum of Paleontology under Dr. Rod Scheetz and Dr. Brooks Britt. In 2017, he was asked by Cliff Miles and Jeffrey Parker of Western Paleontological Laboratories to take charge of the traveling exhibit "How to Raise a Dinosaur." Josh currently works at the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden, Utah as staff artist and scientific liason, and as a scientific advisor and artist on the SightScapers Virtual Reality team. When not dinosauring, Josh enjoys writing, personal artwork, music, the martial arts, and adventures with his wife and son. He resides with his family in eastern Laramidia, near the Niobrara coast.