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2019 Members Exhibit Call For Entries

The GNSI and AMBI Members' Digital Exhibit - Call for Entries is Open!

GNSI AMBI Call for Entry 2019Rendering Science - Clarity and Concepts

GNSI is excited to join with the AIMBI (Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration) for our 2019 Conference Exhibit, digitally displayed at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, opening reception July 1, 2019, at 7 pm.

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GNSI President's Message - Reprographic Rights

Two organizations - (1) the American Society of Illustrators Partnership, Inc. (ASIP),
teamed with Artist Rights Society (ARS), and, more-recently formed, (2) The American
Society for Collective Rights Licensing, Inc. (ASCRL) - are promoting distributions of
European reprographic royalties. The GNSI Board has been asked to give their formal
endorsement to or assessment of these organizations.
 
The GNSI Board of Directors, on behalf of GNSI, Inc., cannot endorse any organization
involved with royalty distribution nor advise members on their personal financial
decisions related to those organizations.
 
The GNSI Board of Directors acts according to our mission: “GNSI connects professionals
who promote, educate, and celebrate the visual communication of science”. 
 
If a member wishes to understand the future directions of these reprographic rights and
royalties organizations, they can contact ASIP and ASCRL directly.
 
Most sincerely,
Sara L. Taliaferro, GNSI President

Extended DEADLINE: Abstracts for GNSI 2019 in Brisbane, Australia

Due March 7, 2019

If you would like to be considered for a presentation, panel, workshop or spot in the Techniques Showcase, please fill out the form here and upload your abstract. If you are not yet completely sure that you will be able to attend, please submit an abstract now and let us know in the submission that your plans are not yet final.

Abstracts are due by March 7, 2019.  We will send out notifications accepting/declining submissions by March 15, 2018.  The initial abstract submission form is much less detailed this year; if your submission is accepted, you will be asked to provide further information and materials for conference promotion and program.

Please contact Samantha Peters ([email protected]) with questions or to further discuss your abstract.

BioImages 2019 - Call for Entries

BioImages is an annual visual media competition that showcases the finest still, graphics and motion media work in the life sciences and medicine.

Entries will be judged on impact, composition, clarity, content, technique, lighting, image quality, presentation, creativity, originality and effective use of the medium to fulfill its stated purpose. Deadline for entries is March 31st, 2019. You can find detailed information on application and awards here

Our BRAND NEW Website

Early this winter, you will be surprised with all the new and improved features at your same trusted URL of many years: www.gnsi.org. We are so proud about the upcoming GNSI website that we wanted to tell you all about it!

It’s interesting to recall that our online presence began in 1998 with a one-page static website created and maintained by GNSI member and webmaster Heike Blum. Step back in time and take a look. We have archived this legacy website to preserve the institutional memory and history: wayback.archive-it.org/10600/20180822190052/https://legacy.gnsi.org/.

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2019 GNSI CONFERENCE is in Brisbane, Australia, June 29 - July 6, 2019

GROW YOUR SKILLS. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK. INSPIRE CURIOSITY.

Each summer, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators hosts a fun-filled week for artists, scientists, and educators from across the nation. The GNSI Annual Conference offers endless opportunities for brainstorming, professional development, and sharing local attractions alongside some of the brightest individuals in our field.  

With 160–200 attendees, every event provides enough diversity to catalyze great conversations and address different skill levels and interests while ensuring a comfortable environment for interacting and networking.

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GNSI President's Message

Sara Taliafero Presidents MessageDearest GNSI Members,

As we navigate through a season that in North America includes the winter solstice and day with the shortest span of daylight in our calendar year, I am in a reflective mood. Since accepting the honor of serving as President of the Guild this summer, I have enjoyed the challenges and rewards inherent in collaborating with the diverse and rich leadership and expertise that all of you bring to this organization. My every meeting and correspondence has deepened my respect for each of you and broadened my hope for what we are and what we can become.

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GNSI Service Awards

The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators has three awards with which it can recognize the dedication and long-time efforts of its members. These are:

The Distinguished Service Award (DS): Established in 1994, this award is given to long-term dedicated workers, those who have put in countless hours and have usually served both on the Board and have coordinated conferences or portions of conferences. The award is given after several years of ongoing service on the part of the member.

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Call for Abstracts for GNSI 2019 in Brisbane, Australia

The deadline for abstracts is coming up!  

Please note that the abstract submission process will be a little different this year than it has been in recent years.  If you would like to be considered for a presentation, panel, workshop or spot in the Techniques Showcase, please fill out the form here and upload your abstract.  Abstracts are due by February 28, 2019.  

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Book Release: Skeletal Anatomy of the North American Pangolin

Pangolin Julia Morgan ScottThe Smithsonian Scholarly Press most recent publication features the work of GNSI member Julia Morgan Scott, alongside that of Larry Isham (1922-2011), GNSI founding member. The “Skeletal Anatomy of the North American Pangolin Patriomanis Americana (Mammalia, Pholidota) from the Latest Eocene of Wyoming (USA)”, written by Timothy J. Gaudin, Robert J. Emry, and Jeremy Morris, is a classic example of a high-quality science illustration-enhanced research report. The publication and art are more than 14 years in the making. When you think of a hardcore science illustration project, this is a great example.

You can examine the entire collection of art, and the science content, online in PDF form.

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How Art/Design Competitions Exploit Artists - and what you can do about it

As an illustrator, I’m frequently confronted with work “opportunities” that do not merit consideration, and I know I’m not alone. The impetus for this article was my frustration at being invited — yet again — to enter a contest where I don’t get paid to submit a design and if my design wins, the prize isn’t worth my effort anyway. These types of contests exploit artists. (I’m using “artists” here to refer to all types of creative professionals, including illustrators, graphic designers, fine artists, and photographers). It’s called “spec work” — work done without guarantee of any compensation, though usually with the hope of gaining some reward. I’ve been thinking that it would be worthwhile for the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators to make a statement on such exploitative contests, and for its website to offer advice to the organizers of such competitions — many of whom don’t realize that they’re exploiting anyone. That way, artists like me can refer contest organizers to the website instead of typing up a long explanation or worse yet, saying nothing at all. We can make a difference in how artists are treated, one competition at a time.

What types of competitions am I referring to?
The contest I mentioned above was a t-shirt design contest held by a not-for-profit scientific organization. The guidelines were thorough; the design needed to be very specific to a location and event, and the organizers even went so far as to say “[We] shall have the right to edit, duplicate, or alter the entry design for any purpose which it deems necessary or desirable, without the need for any further compensation, and/or permission.”  So what compensation could one expect for one’s creative efforts? In this case, a free t-shirt. Seriously.

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Book Review: Nature Mandalas

Leopard Frog Leaping, Tim Phelps

There is no doubt that Tim Phelps is a very talented natural science artist: a quick glance at his faculty website at Johns Hopkins University reveals meticulously accurate illustrations of the dog musculoskeletal system, alternative routes for venous outflow from the human brain, techniques for carotid artery anastomosis, and others. 

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Book Review: Name Those Grasses; Identifying Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

Grasses are notoriously difficult to identify, ask any botanist. Having evolved along the same basic physical plan and superficially resembling one another, grasses must be identified by studying tiny structures that cannot be observed without magnification. By default, this has traditionally been left to experts, who still have difficulty separating species. Because of the exactitude involved, written descriptions in botanical atlases and floras are written by and for experts. Most laypeople turn away in bewilderment, wishing that some interpretive guide existed that could help to decipher the code.

And now one does! Ian Clarke’s book, Name Those Grasses; Identifying Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes helps those without specialized knowledge use identification manuals and botanical keys and clarifies the identification of grasses and grass-like plants. Stuffed with practical information, the book is designed, written, and profusely illustrated with ink/scraperboard drawings and color photographs by Clarke. He knows his topic well, having worked in the botanical field for more than 40 years, first for the University of Melbourne School of Botany and later for the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s identification and information services. He has a longtime interest in botanical illustration and has served on the selection panel for many botanical art exhibitions.

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Book Reviews: Botanical Illustration

Introduction

Like many of you, I am curious when a book asserts itself as an authoritative survey of a favorite subject. Charged by Gail Guth with reviewing Martyn Rix’s The Golden Age of Botanical Art, I chose four other titles for comparison and will present summaries of each in chronological order of publication. The Martin Rix book is number four.

The Art of Botanical IllustrationThe earliest of the series discussed here is The Art of Botanical Illustration by Wilfrid Blunt (with the assistance of William T. Stearn), my volume published by Collins, London, 2nd ed., 1967 (1st edit. 1950). Compared to the number of images in the other books, this one has a modest 46 color plates; 32 black and white plates; 61 illustrations; and 18 figures to amplify the text. Having the 3 appendices and a comprehensive index contributes significant value to this volume. The 2015 reprint of the 2001 edition of the book has a steep list price of almost $70 but includes many more illustrations than the original. Of the four volumes considered here this one is the one most clearly directed towards educating the aspiring or even professional botanical artist in technique as well as offering an appreciation of the field’s history. It is also the most historically comprehensive (even trumping Rix with a photo of a Paleolithic plant carving). William Stearn is the notable author of Botanical Latin, so you can be sure this book brings both the expertise of the trained botanist as well as that of the professional artist. It’s important to remember that Blunt was born in 1901 and writes much in the insightful, detailed style of that day. Of all of them, it’s probably the most helpful to the intermediate and advanced botanical artist and teacher because of its comprehensiveness.

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Ready, Set, Sell! Proactive Marketing Strategies

Visual Analogy GuideI am an Anatomy & Physiology professor, and the author/illustrator of a four-book series called The Visual Analogy Guides with Morton Publishing. These books cover the fields of anatomy, physiology, and chemistry and are sold to college students nationwide. In the publishing world, my books are classified as stand-alone supplements. Think of them as a combined study guide/workbook/coloring book all rolled into one. They are very visual and contain all the useful study tips not found in a typical textbook.

The inspiration for these books was born in the classroom. In the anatomy lab, I used to draw sketches for students comparing anatomical structures to things from everyday life. For example, a thoracic vertebra looks like a giraffe’s head. This comparison allowed the student to superimpose the known (giraffe’s head) on the unknown (thoracic vertebra) to better visualize and learn the anatomical structures. I called these comparisons visual analogies which are based on an effective form of learning called contextualized learning. My students used to joke with me that I should compile all of these visual analogies into a book. Initially, I brushed aside their suggestion, but I took it more seriously when I tried to find a book containing these visual analogies and found nothing. This was the motivation I needed to write and illustrate my own books.

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Book Review: Beetles and Other Insects

Introduction

On the introduction to Beetles and Other Insects, Gerhard Scherer writes “There is (…) something mysterious about these objects, these small organisms with many hidden secrets. This aura of mystery and the fascination exerted by insects’ physical appearance are no doubt what has repeatedly induced artists to depict them.” Indeed it was only at thirty-two years of age that artist Bernard Durin (1940-1988) stumbled upon insects for the first time, during a walk in his native region of Provence. But the experience was so transformative that it set him on a journey to illustrate these animals with a passion and precision that are unparalleled in the representation of insects.

FROM THE BOOK COVER: BEETLES AND OTHER INSECTS BY BERNARD DURINBeetles and Other Insects includes all known and currently available images produced by Bernard Durin. It is the fourth expanded edition of the book published in 1980 with the same title. About half of the sixty watercolor plates in it portray a variety of beetles, from the widespread seven-spotted ladybug and the expected Hercules and rhinoceros beetles to the rare alpine borer and exotic flower scarabs. The remaining plates put the spotlight on a few species from the wasp, bees and ants group, cicadas, tree and jewel bugs, grasshoppers, a crane fly, butterfly and praying mantis. There are also one spider and two scorpion illustrations, which, by being outside of the insect group, should have called for a different book title. Each plate is complemented by a historical and anatomical text, the majority of them crafted by the head of the beetle section of the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich at the time of the first edition.

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Book Release: Mecklenburg Breeding Bird Atlas

Excerpt from article by Amber Veverka, The Charlotte Observer, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

The golden-crowned kinglet leans over a sketched-twig perch, his bright eye peering out from the page at his creator, Leigh Anne Carter.

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Book Review: Shaping Humanity

Shaping Humanity book coverGray-bearded John Gurche has been in the paleo-reconstruction business for a long time. His paintings, drawings, and sculptures are featured in numerous books, magazines, and exhibitions in the National Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, National Geographic magazine, Natural History magazine, and The Guild Handbook of Natural Science Illustration (see Hodges 2003, 1989), just to name a few. He teaches and lectures about his work to public and scholarly audiences, including the GNSI.

John, who I consider to be the best in the business, has just published his first book: Shaping Humanity. Now, all of us can begin to understand the technical, scientific, aesthetic, and spiritual travels that take John from the fossil remains to his completed sculpture. Beautifully designed by James Johnson and lavishly illustrated in full color, Shaping Humanity is sure to become a classic in the field of paleo-reconstruction.

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Science Illustration Sourcebooks

For those who promote their work to potential clients, one of the traditional methods is through sourcebooks. For the science illustration community, this often means September is a big month when the fruits of your labor are put on display in the latest editions of the Science-Art and Medical Illustration Source directories. The Science-Art.com sourcebook is full of GNSI member's work and the art of Nicolle Rager Fuller graces the cover.

Both these publications will be released to a total of 9500 potential art buyers this September. The cool thing about the internet is that the books are already available digitally for your enjoyment, and is an educational opportunity in how others design promotional material for themselves.

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Book Review: The Big Apples of New York

The Big Apples of N.Y. CoverThe Big Apples of New York takes the reader on a wonderful journey that includes apples. It teases the senses. It is filled with rich history related to the apple, from the beginning with Adam and Eve to the people who brought the seeds to America. The book contains myths, medical uses, history, and a wonderful mystery.

The Big Apples of New York is a great addition to the library of a hobbyist, gardener, history buff, botanical artist or any person who loves apples. Even the domestic chef would be surprised by the recipes at the end of the book. The book is filled with beautiful botanical apple plates that visually distinguish the varieties through color and textural look. Descriptions of history and how the portrayed apple might be used are written on the back of the plates. At the back of the book, you will find a list of apple orchards in the state of New York. I found the book easy to read- and thoroughly enjoyable. Just make sure you have apples on hand for a snack.

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