What tips do you have for other science artists? For their careers or how to create visuals that broader audiences can relate to, enjoy, learn from, etc.?
It’s difficult to give advice since there is really no standard career-path (which is partly why I love this field) but one thing that I would say is that you need to be interested in what you’re drawing, otherwise how can you expect other people to pay attention?
So my advice would be to start with a field that you are passionate about, and pick a medium that you genuinely enjoy (in my case it was neuroscience and comics). Don’t chase the latest trends or attempt to replicating existing work only because it seems to get a lot of attention. Anyone can do that and no matter how good you are, it will look anonymous.
I think that if you put something of yourself into your art, that comes across. It will be more interesting to look at and you’re more likely to get similar jobs (that you will actually enjoy doing). That said, showing some range in your portfolio and learning the different software is always a good thing, since you’ll need some degree of flexibility. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over.
What do you think are some important aspects of art/illustrations that help people better understand or enjoy science?
I think that art can do so many things for science! Illustrations, in particular, can make scientific concepts much more ‘relatable’ for non-experts. Especially when it comes to intangible domains that most people can’t experience in everyday life. Like biology, chemistry, physics and all the small things that we can’t see or touch. These can be extremely hard (if not impossible) to understand without a good visual.
Why should more scientists work with artists?
Well, obviously, because they can help you communicate your science to a wider audience. But – on a more personal note – I think they are often pretty fun people to work with! I personally always found the scientific community a bit limiting, I always needed people from other backgrounds in my life (not just artists) to remind me of why science is important, and to ask interesting questions.