The foundations of aesthetics are vital, knowing how to draw very well, crucial, my experience is the path taken does not seem to be as important as the end product/portfolio. I know many who came to scientific illustration through the so called “back door” they do not have degrees in Scientific Illustration and often not even a formal class. I am, in fact, of this ilk. I did do an internship/apprenticeship without pay, I read books, talked to professionals and studied scientific artwork with a keen visual eye. I still do these things, I am always learning. I attribute a great deal of my knowledge of scientific illustration to the GNSI(workshops held during conferences) and my internship with George Venable at the Smithsonian some years ago. I try to share everything I have learned, I see this as a way to keep knowledge alive and progressing in our field.
In the words of another infamous talent,
“Poor is the student who does not surpass his master”.
-Leanardo da Vinci
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 8/6/08 9:17 PM, "Gina Mikel" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Barry MacKay posted the other day about the passing of James Fenwick Lansdowne. I don't know Lansdowne's educational background but it sounds like he was primarily self-taught and taught by his mother. He's one example of an artist whose portfolio speaks for him, regardless of his educational background.
I can't remember the last time a client has asked me about my educational background. It's listed on my website, so it may be that they already know (I have a BFA). My suspicion is that they skim, at best, any biographical information and are mostly looking at whether I have a piece that closely matches whatever piece they're looking to buy or commission.
It's easier, though, to develop strong pieces if you're working on them in a setting where you're getting feedback from people with a good eye and good instructional ability *if* it's not too difficult to juggle with family responsibilities. I'm just now beginning to have time to do more non-commissioned work again, now that my kids are in high school. When my kids were younger, if I did a piece, it was in those slices of unscheduled free time (versus scheduling that kind of time by taking a class).
----- Original Message -----
From: CLINT MOUDY <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:15 AM
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,