Lots of data indicate drawing skills are: a) good for scientists, b) good for science, and c) something anyone can learn.
A few months ago, I discovered www.crastina.se, which describes itself as “A networking platform for the exchange of knowledge, skills, experience and opinion regarding both scientific peer-to-peer communication and science dissemination.”
I learned about Crastina when its founder Olle Bergman invited me to write an op-ed. He asked me to write about my deep conviction that drawing skills should be part of the modern scientist’s toolkit, not just a bygone ability for which we are faintly nostalgic. Continue reading “An op-ed: Why scientists (even non-artists) should draw”
You can tell it’s spring; the Internet is aflutter with bird articles.
A lot of those articles relate closely to the two-part series I just wrapped up about attracting wild birds using methods informed by ornithology research.
I was inspired to investigate the subject because we have a “new-to-us” backyard that is bare dirt. A few trees and shrubs sit at the corners of the lot, but that’s it. We’ve begun by seeding in some native grasses and installing a vegetable garden, and now are considering what we could do to attract birds.
“Close observation is the first step in any scientific inquiry, and to my mind, there is no better way to observe than to try to draw what you are looking at.” – Barrett Klein
Barrett Klein, a trained artist and entomologist, is a preparator and display maker in the Exhibition Department at the American Museum of Natural History, and what he said couldn’t be more true for a couple of my recent commissions.
In December, I spent a luxurious handful of days in Arizona’s Sonoran desert, sketching and photographing the landscape, creatures, and plant communities. As I mentioned in my January newsletter, I was working on reference images for a set of commissioned pen-and-ink sketches slated to run in a book about desert bighorn sheep.
Perhaps one of the most revealing observations I made, though, had nothing to do with bighorn sheep.
Continue reading “What I learned drawing: Fish & Desert Plants”
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“Dear Digit, I keep receiving professional-looking email newsletters, updates, and offers, and would love to send emails that look that great. But, I’m not a designer or a computer programmer, and I don’t have the budget to hire one. Is there anything I can do?”
Most likely, the emails you receive that look fabulously designed are created on Email Service Provider (ESP) platforms such as Constant Contact and MailChimp. Systems like these offer a host of benefits while still being budget-friendly.
For those of us working in the arts world, one of the primary attractions is the suite of professionally designed templates which you can customize and adapt to suit. You can also set up different mailing lists, or divide mailing lists into subcategories based on the specific topics in which people are interested. Continue reading “Dear Digit: How can I send professional-looking emails without breaking the bank?”
*Images are from the ‘drawing for scientists’ section I led in a scicomm workshop at ESA’s 2014 annual meeting.
Researchers have demonstrated that drawing (even without training) can help clarify what you know, assist instructors in assessing student knowledge, and enhance public communication efforts. And, there is evidence that collaboration between scientists and artists may result in better science.
Continue reading “Illustrating Ecology…conferences, that is”