It is important to pay artists for their time. Worried about funding? You’re not alone. A quick poll of participants at the workshop revealed that funding was the number one reason holding people back from entering a SciArt collaboration. It is important to pay artists for their time. Some ideas for where to find funding include asking your university / department for support, industry sponsorships, grants and micro-grants, crowdfunding, and private donations. Places like the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, Sloan Foundation, SciCommMake, art councils, and state arts agencies may also be great places to start.
From an artist’s perspective, Jessika talked about things to keep in mind when entering a collaboration. She said that taking the time to brainstorm and establishing a channel for timely and frequent communication is important.
She also addressed some common mistakes and misconceptions. First, don’t assume a baseline knowledge from the artist–just ask and communicate with them throughout the process. Additionally, a science or a science communication background as an artist is a plus, but it is not required. The artist serves as a great first audience member no matter their background.
“I see myself as the audience and I hone in on what is important. Every piece of art cannot convey every little facet of research.” – Jessika Raisor
Lastly, don’t try to control the final artistic format. Instead, as a collaborator, it is crucial that you make sure the artist has not misrepresented anything. Jessika emphasized that all the effort will be worth it in the end for everyone involved!
To pull it all together, Paige and Jessika presented an example collaboration process. It is important to remember that every collaboration looks different, but some steps that may be involved include:
- Introductory meetings
- A creative brief to cover goals, audience, format
- Contract creations
- Reviews and fact-checking
- X rounds of changes
- Testing/audience feedback
- Final full-color illustration
Finally, Paige and Jessika led workshop attendees through a series of discussion prompts and activities to get people thinking about audiences, goals, formats and other criteria for potential future SciArt projects!
In the chat, participants had several goals for potential SciArt collaborations.
“My goal for a sciart collab is helping scientists come out of the ivory tower and be less scary to us normals. Artists are a great way to bridge that gap and build trust with the science community” – Sky Hatter, a workshop participant
Many participants mentioned that they wanted to inspire curiosity, build trust, or make science more fun. Some ideas in the chat about specific collaborations included:
“I study earthquakes and I would love there to be nicer, less clinical graphics describing how to stay safe in specific scenarios during an earthquake” – Sarina Patel
“I study circatidal rhythms in fiddler crabs – an animation showing how they move in and out of estuaries would be so useful!” – Caitlin BrabbleRose