In this blog, we interview the amazing Fancy Guisélle. Fancy studied industrial design, art and architecture and is currently working on illustration and visual scientific communication at “Esporasciomm,” a design and science studio that she Co-founded in Chile. Fancy specializes in graphic narrative, graphic recording, and visual thinking. She is also part of “Comunica Ciencia Chile“, an interdisciplinary association of scientific communicators in Chile.
Tell us a little about yourself! How did you get into art?
Art has always been in my family. My mother paints, carves and sculpts so I think it was only a matter of time before I became interested in some artistic discipline, which I did formally. I studied art, architecture and industrial design and in all those schools I enjoyed and learned a lot. My first approach to art, however, was music, then painting, drawing, sculpture, linocut and finally at the end: digital. I am a fan of pencil and paper and I have many sketchbooks that I always carry with me. I enjoy drawing in coffee shops, people’s faces or gestures, what is on the table, or even how certain places make me feel. Drawing people also helps me save postures and gestures in my “mental drawing library”. I also work mostly in Spanish, I could do it in English, but there is so much information already that I prefer to aim to work in my native language and contribute to the Latin visual scientific communication.
Graphical Abstract Notes – Illustration by Fancy Guisélle
What are your favorite things to illustrate?
Microbiology! Everything related to microorganisms; processes, functions and forms. I love their story, everything behind each tiny being, and all the functions they perform to sustain life on the planet, including ours. I am fascinated by not being able to see them, and I take it as a personal goal to show through drawing what we cannot see with the naked eye.
Scent of Rain – Bacteria – Illustration by Fancy Guisélle
What art formats do you work with? Can you provide some examples?
I think I’m always trying new things. I have gone from analog to digital drawing, from oil to acrylics and lately, linocut and graphic recording. Do you know what it is? Basically, I take notes visually about conversations, workshops, talks and meetings, all live, without erasing and during the activity. It’s like a drawing with a lot of adrenaline.
Graphic Recording – Interdisciplinary – Science Communication. Illustration by Fancy Guisélle
Can you describe what your creative process usually looks like? Where do you draw inspiration? What tools do you use? etc.
I’m pretty messy, and the first thing I do is just draw. Throw in ideas, make lots of sketches, think through drawing. It is challenging for me to understand subjects without drawing them, so I always use them. Generally, I work without sketches, but if I have to, I try to pay special attention to the most important details and above all, who will see/read the work? The audience comes first.
I also give myself the necessary pauses and times and try to clear my mind when inspiration leaves me. Walking, biking, watching a movie, reading a book, writing, even looking out the window or playing with my cats helps me. An art teacher once told me that inspiration comes, it always comes, but it must find you working, and I try to listen to it. For this reason, I draw everything, and a large part of my creative process focuses there on going through old drawings, coming up with new ones and being consistent with them. Having a schedule and sticking to it is also important.
What has been your favorite science art project to create so far? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
For the last few weeks, I have been experimenting with organic pigments, specifically fungi, the Coprinus Comatus. The black substance that you see in the image comes from the fungus. I extracted it through different processes, and then I used it to stamp fabric with a sheet that I carved with the linocut technique. Now, I am leading a design research project on bacterial and fungal pigments as a readily available alternative source of natural pigments.
A series of photographs documenting the process of experimenting with organic pigments, specifically fungi, the Coprinus Comatus – Fancy Guisélle