People often perceive science and art are at the impassible spectrum, although it is a matter of observation and interpretation. For humans, the most effective method for interpreting the world around them is Visual Art. From prehistoric to the modern world, illustration has been the most effective way to explain the world around us and comprehend complex information clearly and concisely. Therefore the field of science and art are intimately connected. The detailed illustrations by artists and scientists significantly convey the knowledge and understanding of years of scientific research describing new species, anatomy and behaviour, complex processes, new technologies etc. This blog is dedicated to recognising SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATORS, a fascinating intersection between science and art.
“Science illustrators are artists in the service of science.”
– The Guild of Natural Science Illustrator
The practice of scientific illustration is an accurate and often artistic visual interpretation of a concept or idea aimed at the target audience. Therefore, A Scientific illustrator is an artist who has advanced education and specialised training in art, design, visual technology, media techniques, science, medicine and theories related to communication and learning. They collaborate with scientists, physicians, and other content specialists. They serve as a visual translator of complex technical information to support education, publishing content, medical and life science research, patient care and education, public relations, and marketing objectives. Apart from this, they can often function as content developers, creative directors, consultants to law firms/MNC and administrators within the general field of biocommunication. Many of them work as freelancers and emerge as entrepreneurs in the marketplace.
Scientific illustrators’ profession may not be as well recognised as teachers, astronauts or doctors since, after looking at the work of scientific illustration, many people assume that it is just a computationally created piece of art that you see in science textbooks, posters and advertisements. However, creating an illustration is a pretty extensive and complicated process, given they do a lot of reading, research and work with experts from all different fields. Creating an illustration is like starting with an idea, writing everything, thumbnails and brainstorming. It goes through various versions, drafts, corrections, and proofs until it ends with a final illustration.
As part of the “Enhancer in Art” science’art program, all the ESR are committed to finding a highly motivated artist to be involved in the project where they have to understand the depth of the project and bring artistic perspective to the edge that everyone can devour. Keeping this motivation in mind, I explored the plethora of scientific art and came across Tejeswini Padma, Professional Medical Illustrator (https://www.tejeswinipadma.com/). She is an award-winning medical Illustrator who creates bespoke and accurate artwork, animation and design for the medical, scientific and legal fields. It was amazing to meet her and be fascinated to see the medical illustration she had worked on. Lastly, here is one of her artwork I would like to present.
“When Nano meets Polymer” – Two miscible polymers interacting are shown by the boys playing. When subjected to extreme temperature changes, the polymers’ phase separate’, portrayed by the rift between the boys. The addition of nanoparticles (chocolates, candies and other goodies) helps keep these polymers together for longer, even in harsh conditions. Therefore the boys are back to playing together.