Science Illustrators


I have recently been procrastinating with my blog posts. Got so many titles in draft that I need to write on, but keep blaming my tight masters schedule. This is unacceptable. So I decided to publish a title of this post to force myself to write it within a week (and it worked!). So, as promised, here is a quick one on Scientific illustration.

Ever wondered who does those nice illustrations in textbooks or journal papers? Or that nice graphic that helped you understand that difficult concept? I had no idea a field like this existed, until I saw a beautiful illustration of the main findings of the Glossina genome annotation. I will link the paper once published.  According to the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNS) :

Scientific illustrations in both traditional and digital formats provide a visual explanation and aid the viewer by clarifying complex descriptive information. The function of a scientific illustration, therefore, is essentially a practical one: to inform, to explain, and to instruct — in short, to communicate

Eye nerves diagram by Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator

I would not go into explaining what an illustrator does there are many articles on that already. But, I’ll provide some of the links at the end of this article. Scientific illustration involves simplifying complex scientific ideas visually. It requires a wide range of skills is ranging from digital illustration to the manual drawing of the specimens. This is especially true for botany and zoology. In Biochemistry, only skills in digital illustration may be enough.

My message is, you can still combine your love for art and science into a career. Most people find out after undergraduate studies that they are not comfortable in their respective fields. I made a choice to specialize in Bioinformatics due to my love mathematics and programming. The same applies for any career out there, many ways to combine your career and passion exist. You just need to find them. If you were looking for a way to combine art and science, now you know. You may find more details of what it takes to be an illustrator from the following sites:

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