I agree with Marie, as long as you have the respect for science and the desire to learn science and science concepts as you work to help comunicate the science information. And are always ready to realize where you have holes in your knowledge, and not ignore them, and think logically about the communications challenges. My background is Illustration and Design, but have always been interested in science.
My background is in the fine arts, an undergraduate degree in painting and a
masters in art education. It has served me well, I have learned some of the
scientific terminology I use on a daily basis at this time through
interactions with the scientists for which I work. Those things which I
don¹t know I just ask. Your background will not hinder you, in my opinion,
in this field. The scientists which I work with need someone who has the
knowledge of illustration, that is what they do not know and need in order
to document their research.
J Marie Metz
United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Plant Sciences Institute, Systematic Entomology Laboratory
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution CE-423
10th and Constitution Ave. NW MRC 168
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Email: [log in to unmask]
Phone: (202) 382-1804
Fax: (202) 786-9422
On 3/7/09 1:40 PM, "John Petruzzi" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I just joined this listserv and it seems like a great resource of knowledge
> and information.
> I'm an artist considering moving into scientific illustration but I have a
> questions someone can hopefully help answer.
> I am a lifelong birder, fish keeper, and general naturalist. I always
> I would be an ornithologist as an adult but instead I chose a path in the
> arts, my other passion. I graduated with a BFA in painting last year and am
> currently earning my MFA in Boston. My work has always been connected to
> nature, specifically the erosion of biodiversity during the colonial and
> industrial age, aka the Holocene Extinction Event.
> I have long considered my goal in the art world to be a university teaching
> position with the possibility of gallery representation, but as I continue
> build a body of naturalistic watercolors (mostly of birds) in addition to my
> large scale "studio paintings", it has been suggested that I consider
> illustration. Somehow I had never previously entertained this exciting
> So my main question is whether my background in the fine arts can be of
> In my limited research, it seems most illustrators have degrees in the
> sciences. Could my MFA be a potential asset in the business world?
> I would greatly appreciate any insight.
> John Guy Petruzzi
> [log in to unmask]