Welcome! My name is Vanessa, and I’m a graphic designer and a scientific illustrator.
So, What does a scientific illustrator do and how did I get here?
During my PhD in Marine Sciences I could verify the technical difficulties that many coworkers found representing their work in a visually attractive way.
In research, we spend a lot of time reading, studying, designing/setting up/carrying on experiments, applying for projects, justifying expenses, writing papers, editing other’s papers, doing reviews… and there is little time to spend on prepare beautiful figures and posters.
For that reason, I started to study how I could improve my presentations and results in a more attractive and interesting way for others, from posters in congress to figures in manuscrips. This study became a passion, so I ended up combining my doctoral studies with an MA in Graphic Design at the Institute of Visual Arts in Jerez and several courses of scientific, botanical and artistic illustration. Simultaneously, I started performing different jobs for researchers and professors from the University of Cádiz.
We all know that not all the research topics have the same “charisma”, and a good visual presentation can make the difference. With good graphics, the geochronology of iron oxide copper–gold deposits can be as cool as the ecology of the hawksbill turtle in the Caribbean reefs.
After my PhD defense, I decided to delve into scientific illustration and graphic design and redirect my career to scientific outreach and communication, among researchers working in the same field, from different fields, institutions and the general population.
My aim is to provide high quality works, with a close collaboration with the client, being aware of the deadlines, requirements and demands involving a project.
I have over 15 years experience in various arts such as drawing and painting. Also, thanks to my background as a scientific researcher, I have experience in laboratory work, including manipulation and fixation of samples, use of microscope and binocular microscope, species identification and fieldwork. I have also participated in numerous international conferences and congresses (ASLO, SIEBM, ISBW10, MSW, ISMS09/12) both with posters and oral presentations.
I provide visually appealing illustrations and designs to improve the scientific communication between researchers and science outreach to society.
10 facts about me that you might be interested to know :
I´m from Asturias (in the north of Spain), but I’ve spent many years in the south of the country (Cadiz-Malaga). I’ve lived in so many cities that sometimes I’ve troubles answering the famous “Where are you from?”.
I am addicted to massive open online courses (MOOCs). I constantly devour Coursera, Edx or Skillshare courses. Well, also classroom courses, workshops, lectures, presentations … I love to be surrounded with the best professionals and learn from them (or as I like to say, “drink their brains”).
At the age of 14 I failed Physics for the first time. At the age of 18 I failed for the fifth time. My teacher told me that I wouldn’t be able to finish a scientific career. It seems she was wrong.
My thesis studies the effect of the seagrasses beds on the local hydrodynamic, and how this changes affects the food supply availability for filter feeders.
I did an internship for 6 months in a sewage treatment plant lab. My work everyday was to analyze the liquid oozing from a local dump. I learned that perform the same task every day from 9 to 15 pm choked me more than my samples.
Thanks to my uncle gave me a PC Amstrad 32 mb hard drive back in 92, I love computers and programming. My dream is to create my own game someday.
I studied Japanese for 6 years and I remember even a few things. Scientific illustration is written 科学イラスト o サイエンティフィックイラストレーション.
I love personal productivity. I can talk for hours about it. Consist in a number of techniques to help you to manage your time and resources efficiently to do everything you want to do, and to reach your goals in a given time.
The idea of providing illustration and design services for scientists came up with my first poster for a conference. It kept me thinking days about how to make it better and better. I understood then that I wanted to do it my profession.
Some people told me that moving from science to illustration it’s going from bad to worse, but I’m sure that with attitude, confidence and optimism both scientists and artists together we can conquer the world. We must support science, we must support culture and everything that involves progress for the mankind.
If after reading this you think I can help