I was in the same situation 6 years ago. I drooled over the degrees and certificate programs, but limited finances and family didn’t allow. These are the things I did to train myself:
Attended state community college art and science classes in the evenings. A lot of them.
When I was within 1-2 years of an undergraduate degree I went to a private University (with more flexibility than state schools) with scholarships where they had a lot of flexibility and they combined my science and art credits (and even gave me credit for going to the conferences) into a Liberal Studies degree with an emphasis in Natural Science Illustration.
Became a member or GNSI and attend conferences whenever I can.
Took on projects that scared the crap out of me and used the Guild handbook and the wonderful resource of this listserv to guide me.
Got a computer and the Creative Suite programs and forced myself to use photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
And, I got completely and absolutely lucky after all that, and landed a job with the State of Alaska in our little town where I get to illustrate about 25-30% of the time, the rest teaching Marine Science. I also pick up graphic arts and illustration projects outside of work.
I’m still very much a student in this field of Natural Science Illustration, but it is possible to get in without the more traditional and costly programs. Although I’d be much further along faster if I could have done that. I honestly would not have been able to get into this without the guild. (thanks guys)
You have your science background with your nursing degree, so that should really help.
Good Luck and feel free to contact me off the list for more info if you’d like. Catie
Kachemak Bay Research Reserve
From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of CLINT MOUDY
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:15 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
I am a new subscriber to the listserv.
I wanted to ask what variety of education/background everyone has. I am a registered nurse. But I have always wanted to pursue an art degree or science degree. It only seems natural to me to pursue a second career in science illustration. I have been slowly working on an art degree, but with a family and full time job, it has been a challenge. I am determined to break into the field one way or another. I am aware of the science illustration programs and certificates throughout the country. I would like to attend one, but with a family, again it is difficult to move the whole group.
Any words of wisdom from some seasoned illustrators? How much does educational background weigh as compared to ability when it comes to getting some work?
Thanks for the input,
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