Being able to combine passions in seemingly opposite fields can be a major benefit for creative professionals. Those interested in science and art can find a rewarding career as a scientific illustrator. These artists combine a deep knowledge of scientific and biological principles with artistic and technical skill. In this article, we discuss scientific illustrators: what they are, what they do, how to become one and frequently asked questions about this career.
Read the full article by Pritish Kumar Halder to enhance your knowledge of Scientific Illustrator below:
What is a scientific illustrator?
A scientific illustrator is a professional who creates various types of artistic representations of scientific information. They combine knowledge of science, technology and art in drawings, paintings, models and other renderings. Scientific illustrators create visual works for:
. Educational resources
. Scientific journals
. Museum exhibits
. Depending on their professional specialization, scientific illustrators may also be called medical illustrators or .biological illustrators. Medical illustrators may create that displays parts of the body or disease processes for medical . textbooks or medical models for medical schools. Biological illustrators may create life-size replicas of plants or .animals for schools or museums.
What does a scientific illustrator do?
Scientific illustrators use various technical and artistic methods to create images of scientific matters. They may perform the following duties:
Study scientific subjects.
. Observe subjects, such as plants and animals, or other scientific phenomena.
. Use artistic techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpting and sketching.
. Incorporate technology to create animations and models.
. Create representations of living or extinct species based on research and inference.
. Complete commissioned projects for individuals or organizations.
How to become a scientific illustrator
Here are the steps to becoming a scientific illustrator:
1. Earn a degree
Scientific illustrators typically earn at least a bachelor’s degree in scientific illustration or a science-related field, and many earn a master’s degree. Because the career requires an in-depth understanding of both science and art, your courses should include comprehensive training on each of these disciplines.
For example, your courses may include the following scientific subjects:
. Anatomy and physiology
. Additionally, you should take art courses such as:
.Drawing and life drawing
2. Gain experience
To gain experience in the field, consider completing a scientific illustration internship. This may a part of your school’s undergraduate or graduate program, or you may need to research opportunities on your own. Consult with your school’s career center about companies that accept interns. You can also reach out to companies directly to ask about internship availabilities.
You may consider volunteering your services to gain more experience. You can contact the following locations to ask about volunteer opportunities:
. Recreation centers
. Summer camps
. Publishing companies
. Advertising agencies
3. Create a portfolio
For artistic professionals, it’s important to have examples of your work to show potential employers. You can create an online portfolio of your on a blog or website. There are several free web hosting services that provide templates and user-friendly guides.
Engage with professionals in your field by networking at:
. Social events
. Conferences and workshops
. Alumni activities
. You can also get involved in professional and interest groups online through social media channels.
5. Apply for jobs
When you’re ready to apply for jobs, make sure to update your resume and highlight the most applicable skills and experience for each position you apply for. Check the job posting for keywords that you can incorporate into your cover letter and resume to show that you’re a good match for the company’s needs. Include a link to your online portfolio.
You can find jobs through:
. Career centers
. Professional publications
. Job search sites
. Company websites and social media accounts
. Your personal and professional networks
When you secure an interview, follow these tips for performing well:
. Research the company ahead of time.
. Practice your answers to common questions, like “Why do you want to work here?”
. Attend a mock interview with your school’s career center or a friend or family member.
. Travel to the interview site beforehand to prepare for traffic and parking.
. Dress professionally.
. Arrive on time.
. Follow up within a week of your interview to say thank you to your interviewer for their time.
. Scientific illustrator skills
Here are the skills you need for a career as a scientific illustrator:
. Artistic skills: Scientific illustrators are skilled artists, understanding color, perspective, shape and various techniques for painting, drawing and sketching.
. Technical skills: Scientific illustrators must be able to use computer software and programs to assist with drawing, modeling and animating.
. Observational skills: Scientific illustrators must be keen observers of detail as they create realistic depictions of their subjects.
. Creativity: Scientific illustrators may need to use their imagination to develop visual representations of extinct animals or phenomena they haven’t seen.
. Dexterity: Scientific illustrators may work with small items and complete repetitive motions. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and dexterity to work with precision and attention to detail.
. Communication skills: Scientific illustrators must be able to communicate effectively with their peers and understand scientific terminology. They have to present and explain their pieces and work with various entities to promote their work.