Like so many others in this field, I came upon scientific illustration in a circuitous way. I loved drawing and science as a child, but it never occurred to me to put the two together. I'm interested in making learning more accessible to anyone, and as more information and distractions compete for our attention, I'm convinced that visual communication and education is more important than ever.
I actually started in psychology, earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in the field of industrial/organizational psychology at the University of Oklahoma. I was interested even then in effective information dissemination, and my thesis focused on workload shift - how effectively people can recollect information when bombarded with varying types and amounts of information. Eventually, I realized that I was more interested in organizing information in aesthetically effective ways, so when I got the chance to go back to school, I took it.
I completed another bachelor's degree in biology at the University of Central Oklahoma, and then began to study under the direction of Gretchen Halpert in the Scientific Illustration Distance Program. This tremendously helpful program allowed me to attend online, fully interactive classes in the evening, all while holding a full-time job. I learned to work with traditional mediums such as graphite, ink, colored pencil, and watercolor. During the height of the pandemic in June 2020, I completed the program with a virtual internship with the Oklahoma Aquarium, designing a field guide directed at teenagers interested in marine biology.
I desired formal training using digital tools, and began a certification in Graphic Design through the Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education program. Through this program, I am now skilled in the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, namely InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. I also learned to write some HTML and CSS code for user interface and design purposes.
I have been a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators since 2019, and currently serve as a production editor with their journal, the Journal of Natural Science Illustration. This is a volunteer position that enables me to stay current with trends in illustration and graphic design, and allows me to hone my editing skills. As a bonus, I get to see all of the beautiful artwork included in each issue before it goes to press!
If you have any questions about my background or experience, please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I'd be happy to connect!