Art From Science Figures
Science Illustration vs. Art
Science illustration is a discipline dedicated to creating visual representations of scientific information for specific audiences. This illustration niche makes science accessible and comprehensible to the general public. First and foremost, science illustrations need to be both accurate and convey information. However, as illustrators here at SayoStudio we are equally dedicated to simultaneously creating science art with every illustration. Even for the most basic graphic, we hope to achieve art. We want every illustration to convey information in an engaging, visually appealing and interesting manner.
In contrast, pure science art allows us to simply enjoy the patterns of a figure or result. The art alludes to the science without necessarily conveying specific information. Figures from a particular scientific investigation can serve as inspiration. For example, one may interpret a violin plot to create an abstract, pattern based image or perhaps a surreal landscape. In other words, it is simply art for the sake of art. As a result, an audience can interpret the image in an infinite number of ways. This can pair well with a study as it provides a nice contrast to the factual, scientific information.
Creating Art for Journal Covers and Article Openers
Creating science art for journal covers or article openers is particularly liberating (for us artists). Because the art is abstract, there is essentially a limitless source of inspiration one can pull from. For example, we may create an image with painterly qualities and strong colors reminiscent of fauvism from the patterns found in a petri dish. In contrast, the same petri dish could double as a moon in a starry, night sky.
Often, an editor or scientist has a specific idea in mind. Below is an example of instructions for a journal opener from an editor for the Blood Cancer Discoveries journal published by the American Association of Cancer Research. You’ll notice that the instructions are specific enough to steer us in the right direction. However, they still allow for creative freedom on SayoStudio’s part. The resulting artwork depends on our artist’s particular style and even digital techniques!
Below is a collection of some of SayoStudio’s favorite artworks commissioned by the American Association of Cancer Research. We have included art by both Nicolle R. Fuller and Claire Agosti to showcase their different artistic styles.