Gail Guth, Linda M. Feltner, Tania Marien, and Sean Vidal Edgerton
When Good Careers Stall: Working Through the Slump (panel)
This is not intended to be a “woe is me” session, but rather a sharing of ideas, hints, and general support on what to do with yourself and your career when the slump hits (and it probably will!). Do you throw in the towel and apply for a job at Michael’s, take that class you’ve always wanted, or devote your newly-found free time to sprucing up your portfolio and your website and general marketing?
Nicolle R. Fuller, Deborah Shaw, and Natalya Zahn
Running an Illustration Business (business panel)
Join us for a lively discussion about freelance business organization (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) and garner essential information about insurance, taxes and contracts. A short image-based presentation prepared by Marc Paisin regarding plagiarism will also be shown and discussed.
The 50-minute lecture presentations will cover media techniques from traditional to digital; the latest technology; as well as the research and subjects we passionately pursue.
Benjamin T. Arthur
Communicating Science Through Animation and Visual Media
Benjamin Arthur will show the animated short he directed and animated for National Public Radio’s "The Invisible Universe of the Human Microbiome," a tour of the living worlds that exist to support our body's health. He’ll share concept art and storyboards as he talks about the process he went through, finding visual ways to tell a scientific story. Benjamin will then have a Q & A session with the audience, and show several other animated shorts he's directed and animated for NPR (time permitting).
Ann Caudle (moderator), Jennifer Bates, Daisy Chung, Martha Iserman, and Andrew Leach
After Grad School: Recent Graduate Students of the Monterey Program
(TED talk format)
The Science Illustration Certificate Program at California State University, Monterey Bay, accepts a cohort of only fifteen students each year. It’s a rigorous year of hard work, camaraderie, and long hours spent in the classroom studio developing illustration and professional skills. There are field trips, guest speakers, contract and copyright law seminars, portfolio reviews, and an exhibition, followed by practical experience in an internship. But what do graduates do after the program? How do they launch their careers? Join us as recent graduates Martha Iserman, Andrew Leach, Jen Bates, and Daisy Chung share stories about what they’ve done since earning their Science Illustration Certificates. Topics include illustrating birds at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, one individual's path to a staff position at National Geographic magazine, an illustrator’s surprising shift to digital media, and using the scientific illustrator’s skill set in alternative careers such as graphic design, crafting, and fine arts.
Sondra W. Cohelan
Illustrating with Waxy Pencils
Sondra Cohelan has taught botanical illustration to children and adults for over twenty years and has gained a keen eye for details and how to capture an image. Using Prismacolor pencils, Sondra will demonstrate how to fuse layers of waxy color to create a base that can be scratched into for fine details.
The Non-Charismatic Microfauna: How We as Illustrators Can Illuminate Appreciation for Snails and Other “Unlovely” Living Things
Invertebrates comprise about 97% of all animal species on earth and form an essential part of the food web, yet there are many groups within the invertebrates that are understudied and underappreciated. General audiences tend to favor fluffy and feathery fauna and more readily support efforts towards their conservation. With land snails as the featured model, this presentation will provide ideas for how we as illustrators can help improve ecological literacy and cultivate appreciation and conservation interest of the lowly critters. You’ll also gain insight into some of the basic how-tos of illustrating live and preserved invertebrate specimens. Come follow the humble trail of a snail and its invertebrate friends into the realm of public appreciation.
Large Informational Poster Projects (medical topics group)
Join Zina as she talks about her experience creating a series of large informational posters for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her mission is to communicate ideas in science—whether in technology or medicine. Zina regularly interviews researchers and strives to understand the science well enough to both illustrate and write about it.
Saving Original Scientific Illustrations
After publication, the utility of original scientific art produced for museums and universities is often forgotten. This work is many times is left languishing in file cabinets or loosely stacked in piles within the dark recesses of these large institutions. While the artwork still has great scientific and aesthetic value, most of the time it has not been properly preserved and is not accessible to the public. For several years now, departments within the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington DC have made various efforts to gather, preserve, database, and scan the original the art work and make available on the web. Joel will describe in detail the current state of archiving original illustrations from botany, entomology, fishes, invertebrate zoology, and paleontology within the NMNH, and will share links to these resources.
Nicolle R. Fuller
A Nanotechnology Illustration Niche Beyond Sci-Fi: The Art and Science
Nicolle seems to have fallen into a niche. A nanotechnology niche—with at least a dozen nanosphere illustrations in her portfolio (not to mention nanotubes, nanochips, and nanobots). Come learn a little bit about nanotechnology science beyond the sci-fi, along with a little bit about her illustration techniques. Nanospheres are studied as promising drug delivery systems to combat cancer, autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Through her illustrations created for different scientists, Nicole will review the different facets of research looking into nano self-assembly and targeted drug delivery. She’ll give an overview of how she uses Cinema 4D to create the nanospheres and then composite and paint in Photoshop. Finally, throughout the talk she’ll try to point out the path that led her into this niche, from the first client to the present.
The Backwards Anvil: Perpetuating Visual Mistakes (medical topics group)
We will revisit a well-known medical illustration, and see how it has influenced subsequent image creators for 75 years—and how simple mistakes and inconsistencies become perpetuated and accepted as truth. We will discuss why it's important to break the chain of perpetuating inaccurate information, and in one case, how it was achieved.
Dinosaurs in Motion: Reconstructing Mesozoic Vertebrates
Vertebrate Paleontology has become one of the most fast-paced sciences of the 21st century. Spectacular new fossils from previously unexplored localities are giving us new information on soft tissue anatomy, proportions, and behavior of extinct animals. Paleontology relies on a unique integration of science and art to restore the life appearances of extinct organisms. This presentation will cover some of the most exciting recent developments in Mesozoic paleontology and comparative anatomy, and how these new data can influence our life reconstructions of dinosaurs and their relatives. We will explore how dinosaur fossils are now being examined for information on color, pattern, and body coverings. Key fossils, combined with new techniques in biomechanics, have provided a wealth of information on behavior, motion, and performance in dinosaurs and other Mesozoic life. These aspects can also come to life in paleoart with depictions of anything from giant launching pterosaurs to bird-hunting five-winged dinosaurs. The presentation will feature a discussion of how these ideas are being integrated into new world-class exhibits like Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs.
Nancy R. Halliday
Perspective of Shadows and Reflections
Shadows and reflections can be confusing because they are not often exact copies of the actual objects seen. This lecture will present some simple rules to properly locate shadows and reflections in perspective.
Jodie S. Holt
Invasive Plants: Using Art to Inspire Action
Weedy and invasive plants are the ugly ducklings of the plant world and receive much less attention by nonscientists compared to beautiful, unusual, and exotic plants. However, weedy and invasive plants cost millions of dollars in losses to agricultural and managed lands and are the second leading cause of loss of biodiversity worldwide. Dr. Holt will explain what makes a plant weedy or invasive and why these plants should be on the radar for artists and educators. A slide presentation of images from her research and that of other weed and invasion scientists, as well as images of some of the world’s worst weeds will be used to illustrate this talk.
Anatomy of a GNSI Motion Graphic
The toolbox of the modern scientific illustrator can be deep and may be used to create a wide range of projects, both static and animated. Long a proponent of "time-based" illustration, Frank Ippolito has leveraged just such a toolset to create a dramatic flying logo opening sequence for a series of recently released GNSI videos. Join Frank for a detailed discussion of the challenges encountered—and the tools employed—to create this complex motion graphic, including digital three-dimensional modeling, both large-scale and close-up ocean simulations, and launching a galaxy of flying artwork.
Art to Action: Influencing Behavior Through Creativity
Jay's exploration of humanity's terrestrial lineage—and the impact that human disengagement with its own evolutionary and biological development is having upon all life on earth—made her realize there is a great need for resensitization and rewilding. She began to examine complex narratives about biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene on both a macro and micro level. Jay deconstructs data and problem sets to discover the building blocks of each story that will translate most efficiently through media channels to the masses. By analyzing elements of a story together and apart, Jay draws unique relationships between seemingly disparate realities and entities, ultimately evoking the moment of epiphany and authentic emotion she experienced when the cause or connection first became apparent to her. In a continued effort to uncover the details and broad-strokes most relevant to communicating effectively and succinctly through still and moving images, Jay constantly evolves and supplements her visual vernacular's grammar and vocabulary.
Removing Backgrounds in Photoshop: A Comprehensive Review
“How do you get rid of the background?” may be the most frequently asked question from illustrators and artists working in Photoshop. If artwork is scanned or photographed, chances are that there are artifacts and cleaning needed to achieve a pure white or transparent background. How do you get rid of uneven lighting on the surface? What is the difference between a white background and a transparent one? How do I not spend ages cleaning the background using tiny white brushes and tiny erasers?
This presentation, aimed at illustrators who use (or attempted to use) Photoshop will cover: 1) Multiple options to separate out the illustration from the background depending on the illustration characteristics; 2) How to fine tune selections; 3) Tips and tricks to set up the illustrations for different needs. There are many ways to achieve the same results in Photoshop; come see the options that you might have not considered before. There are plenty of Photoshop tutorials aimed at photographers and designers, but most are not for illustrators and their unique challenges. Don’t miss this opportunity where Ikumi will share her tools and step-by-step tutorials to make her medical and scientific illustration pieces in Photoshop.
The Reason for Painting Nature and Teaching What I Know
Join Mary as she talks about her distinguished career as a published illustrator of the natural world, what it means to her, and her passion for teaching what she loves. Painting nature brings us closer to understanding the importance of the world around us. Especially for children. Mary will share how being a teacher has changed the creative lives of some students, and how students have helped her. She'll talk about her illustrating methods, experience with the publishing world (then and now), working with a book packager and directors, and a little about growing up in a creative environment.
Krill: The Common Currency in California's Coastal Waters
This presentation will provide an overview of the role krill play in the overall function of the California coastal ecosystem, as well as how shifts in climate and oceanographic processes can affect this dynamic.
Fiona R. Martin, Glenda Lee Mahoney, Erin Hunter, and Christie A. Newman
Infographics and Figures for Academic Articles (group talk)
A picture is worth a thousand words—and data points! In this world of fast-flowing digital media, infographics are more important than ever to capture the attention of multitasking readers and convey scientific concepts in a concise and easily understandable manner. In this talk, Illustration Editors from Annual Reviews (a nonprofit scientific publisher) will define “infographic” and share some successful examples in print and online publications as well as social media. They’ll feature before-and-after examples of Annual Reviews figures, focusing on enhancing clarity of message through hierarchy and flow of information, typography, color use, simplification, and overall composition. Additionally, the group will discuss some of the specific requirements of working directly with scientists to create infographics for an academic audience.
Dinos and Drinks: Unconventional Outreach for Unusual Times
How do you get science illustration out of the back hallways of your institution and into the public's imagination? By shamelessly capitalizing on the adult creativity trend! Learn how the Virginia Aquarium started a unique “Paint Night” as part of new outreach efforts toward adults.
Field Sketching While Freezing: An Artist in the Antarctic
Terri Nelson was one of the National Science Foundation's artists in the Antarctic from 2015–2016. She was well-acquainted with field sketching animals while standing around in bad weather, but the Antarctic presented a whole new set of hurdles to overcome. Join her while she talks about vodka colors, projectile penguin poo, and the wily snowy sheathbill, the bird with the worst breath in the Antarctic.
A Chemistry Card Game Like No Other: My Journey to Neon
(medical topics group)
Chemical bonding scares many people, but it shouldn't. As illustrators know, you must understand the material deeply to make a clear, breakthrough image that gets difficult topics across. My journey began with my kids and ended in communication with Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize-winning chemist, in order to make sure my Electronimoes atomic bonding playing cards were correct. Come and see how they work and play.
My Journey Specializing in Veterinary Medical Illustration
Veterinary medical illustration is a specialized field that Laurie has focused on throughout her career as a freelancer. This presentation will cover her passionate love for animals (inside and out), and offer a visual tour of past projects, her work approach, and art techniques.
Picture as Portal: Strategies for the Visual Communication of Science
(medical topics group)
Betsy Palay and Tami Tolpa have created an online course on how to make pictures that communicate science ideas clearly. The course is organized around a straightforward sequence of strategies based on principles of cognitive science and visual literacy. It taps into innate abilities we all possess to understand information nonverbally through patterns and shapes. The goal of this course is to empower anyone to be a better communicator of science by creating compelling pictures about any subject, no matter how complex. This presentation offers a brief overview of our approach.
History of Scientific Illustration/Art History
When the Smithsonian’s dinosaur collections manager was checking the top of the specimen storage cabinet for water damage after a pipe burst in the ceiling, he was astonished to discover a set of over 1,000 nineteenth century illustrations of dinosaurs. This discovery propelled Mary Parrish to search for, centralize, digitize, preserve, and research these and other historical illustrations hidden in dusty drawers and other nooks and crannies of her department. Subject matter includes Charles R. Knight paintings, first drawings of the fossils of the Burgess Shale and many other iconic drawings. Mary will discuss her finds; her conservation efforts; ponder what is trash and what is treasure; discuss why we save original art when we have digital copies, and describe other issues she faced over the past twenty years during her development of the historical paleo art collection in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History.
Saving Seals and Sea Lions in California
The Marine Mammal Center is the world’s largest marine mammal hospital, responsible for rescuing an average of 600–800 sick and injured seals and sea lions each year from over 600 miles of California coast. With 40 years of experience, the Center has been able to give over 20,000 marine mammals a second chance at life with financial support from the community and over 1,000 trained volunteers that conduct rescues, feedings, basic medical procedures, and education work. In addition to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals, the Center learns from every animal that is rescued and collaborates with 40–60 organizations a year to further research on marine mammal and ocean health. The veterinary work and research is shared widely among over 100,000 visitors to the hospital each year with the goal of inspiring ocean conservation. Adam will share the latest stories of the marine mammals found along the California coast, including the record numbers of seals and sea lions needing rescue over the past few years.
Rock-Paper-Scissors Colors and Patterns in Animals Across the World
The rock-paper-scissors (RPS) game has fascinated evolutionary biologists, economists, and mathematicians for decades. Here I want to inspire scientific illustrators in its possibilities. I describe how RPS games generate an explosion of colors in nature, leading to spectacularly beautiful animals in diverse taxa such as insects, crustaceans, birds, lizards, amphibians, and fishes. Colors in one “player” of the evolutionary game signal meaning to other “players” in the game. The RPS game may be one of the most common games in nature, played out within and among species. Within species, males develop bright colors to signal different social types such as aggressive, cooperative, and sneaky or deceptive. For example, in male side-blotched lizards an aggressive orange type is beaten by a sneaking yellow female mimic, which is in turn beaten by blue cooperators, which are beaten by orange to complete an RPS dynamic. In predator and prey species, colors evolve in an evolutionary game involving prey types that are either colored with bright warning coloration which signals toxicity to predators, or a mimic that lacks toxicity but cheats by displaying warning colors to fool predators thus avoiding predation, or diverse cryptic types that avoid being eaten by blending into the background.
Using the iPad® in a Science Illustration Workflow
Scientific illustration is a discipline that embraces technology. The invention of mobile tablet technology, most notably Apple’s iPad®, has encouraged creative professionals to “think different” about how they work. Whether you are interested in creating quick sketches, finished illustrations, designing a layout or just jotting down ideas, the iPad® can fulfill an important role in your workflow. New, often inexpensive apps are continuing to be developed that take advantage of the tablet’s power, flexibility, and convenience. In this presentation you will learn about a variety of ways the iPad® can be used in your creative workflow.
Rick Simonson and Sara L. Taliaferro
Galapagos Islands: Biology and Natural History
The Galapagos Islands form the famous volcanic archipelago where Charles Darwin made observations leading to his theory of natural selection. Rick Simonson and Sara Taliaferro were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the Galapagos during the summer of 2015. They will be discussing the biology and ecology of this unique ecosystem as well as some current research. These islands are home to various species such as tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, cormorants, finches, lava lizards, seals, and frigate birds. Rick and Sara will show many great photos of the environment as well as some sketches and artwork inspired by the trip.
Kate will share her experiences working with a whale photo identification project and other wildlife studies at Monterey Bay Aquarium, as well as her experience getting on BBC's Big Blue Live doing some very public science communication.
Bricelyn H. Strauch
Using the Character Animator App with Adobe After Effects CC 2015
Adobe has developed a new app called Character Animator that makes—you guessed it—animating characters easy! It comes standard with After Effects CC 2015 and is easy to use, even if you have little to no animation experience. With motion tracking technology and a correctly structured base art file, you can have a lip-synced character animation in minutes. Whether you are developing an educational animation for kids or need an animated narrator for your next patient education video short, Character Animator can be a great tool for you!
Alice R. Tangerini
Illustrating Plants: Traditional to Digital
Techniques of illustrating herbarium specimens have changed since the introduction of digital techniques. But often traditional is faster where line drawing is concerned. Digital color however can easily be introduced to scanned ink or graphite drawings and with color photographic resources available may be the better choice for online publications.
Andrew Q. Tran
From Service to Product: Medical Illustration in the Tech Industry
(medical topics group)
Digital health technology is accelerating faster than ever. There is a need for medical and scientific illustrators in this rapidly growing industry, but neither side is fully aware of each other. Where does an illustrator fit in? This presentation gives a brief overview of current and emerging trends and products that are transforming healthcare in this space, and shares a personal journey into the health tech industry as a product designer.
Suzan R. Wallace
Digital Presentations: Easy Apps Make Stunning Programs
Twenty-first century digital apps are readily available to upgrade your tired power point slideshows into beautiful, interactive presentations. Integrating your thumb, flash or hard drive of art/video/photography couldn't be easier in this new drag'n'drop environment! Come see a creative collection of presentation apps that make you look like a PRO presenter!!
Nature as my Guide: Carving a Career Path in Illustration
Natalya was trained first as an artist/illustrator, and only self-taught in natural/scientific illustration. It's been a bit of struggle, but she’s carved out a nice place for herself, balancing expressive, contemporary, commercial projects with informed and accurate (macro level) scientific illustration. Natalya will talk about her particular path—what's worked for her, where she faltered, and how natural and scientific illustration can find its way into any market.
Program Coordinators: Elizabeth Morales and Taina Litwak