One down and two to go… all cover-art candidates in neuroscience!
I absolutely adore working on cover-art concepts! There’s something so satisfying about getting to the core of a scientist’s work and bringing out what makes their research unique. Having previously struggled to explain my own research to friends and family, I always try to embed a story in the illustration, to create the seeds and framework of a ten minute chat. For me, it’s all about making the research memorable and tangible to everyone outside science, that the value of all the hard work the team have put in can be communicated. I’ll admit sometimes this can be tricky, but there’s always a satisfactory thread in the story to pull on!
I find commissioners (for cover art at least) are at first daunted by the blank canvas – “do whatever you want, I’m sure I’ll like it!” – until there’s a sketch or two to work with, then they have options. With that comes opinions and finally ideas, and then the commission becomes a collaboration. Getting to throw in an a subtle reference only those in the field will get is always a fun bonus, too.
Of course, I can’t and won’t share the work until the science teams themselves are ready to, but the longer the gap the greater the excitement when new people get to see the work. It’s just waiting that’s the hard part!