BLOG

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.  

Read More

From Grassroots to Golden Anniversary

GNSI video 'from grassroots to golden anniversary"At the 2018 GNSI Annual Conference, the long-time member, former President, and current Education Director and Archivist Scott Rawlins delivered an engaging and touching presentation about GNSI's first 50 years. View or review the video at the YouTube channel to remember the history of the association and the many talented members that have shaped it over the years.

Plenary "Visualizing Science: Illustration and Beyond"

Plenary cover Jen Christiansen, Senior Graphics Editor at Scientific American magazine, and presenter at the 2018 GNSI Annual conference has made available the transcription of her plenary talk. Visit the blog post at SA Visual, to read Jen's thoughts about her career at the intersection of illustration, design, and science. The plenary talk is also available in video format at GNSI's Facebook page.

Pollinator Partnership Poster Call

Pollinator Partnership is seeking an artist to render the 2019 Pollinator Poster, this year focusing on “Endangered Pollinators and Their Habitats.” To apply, please send a one-page narrative concept idea with a draft sketch to Kelly Rourke at [email protected] by Monday, November 26, 2018.

View this announcement online with added information.

Read More

AAAS Colloquium "Visualizing Science: The Art of Communicating Science"

AAAS auditoriumOn September 18th GNSI members and a Smithsonian botanist participated in a panel discussion on the critical role of art used in the pursuit of science. The participants were (GNSI members) Sally Bensusen, Alice Tangerini, Britt Griswold, Diana Marques, along with (botanist) Kenneth Wurdack.

In conjunction with the GNSI 50th anniversary exhibit “Visualize: Art Revealing Science” that was on display at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) gallery, it was a well-attended event that gave all the panelists an opportunity to talk about their careers and about visual science communication at large. It was streamed on Facebook live and the video can be accessed here.

Read More

New GNSI Videos

In conjunction with the GNSI's 50th Anniversary, three videos of interest for the science illustration community have been added to our YouTube Channel.

Dr. Kirk Johnson plenary talk at 2018 GNSI conferenceFossils, Lost Worlds, and the Hero's Journey - with Dr. Kirk Johnson (1:05:20 min.)
Scientific storytelling is presently undergoing a golden age as we realize how important narrative, imagery, objects, humor, and surprise are to the absorption of meaning. Fossils are exquisite objects but they are also fragments of very ancient stories, and paleontologists are time travelers on planet earth. Dr. Johnson became a paleontologist to explore these lost worlds. But “fossil” can also be a derogatory term and he found that many people were bored by rocks. He began to watch people to see how they responded to scientific information. Using their cues, he learned he could make fossils funny or describe geology in terms of food without losing the thread of insight. He began to write like he spoke. He realized you need to look at your audience, respect them, and look for what makes them smile. In 1998, he began to travel with artist Ray Troll in search of fossils, rock shops and museums, and to meet the people who found fossils and worked at those rock shops and museums. They spent ten years traveling together searching for the remains of the prehistoric Pacific. Dr. Johnson will share the story of their quest and the book which came out of it. Includes art by Ray Troll.

Read More

Travel Tips for the 2019 GNSI Conference in Brisbane, Australia

In preparation for the 2019 Annual Conference in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia), June 29 through July 6, the Conference Oversight Committee put together initial research and tips for planning your flight. 

Flight Travel Tips - a reference for finding flights on your own, and what you can expect in terms of fares. Download PDF here.

Read More

Copyright Registration Survey - What do you think?

A group of Visual Arts organizations is doing a quick survey to get a handle on how artist use the Copyright system, or even if they use it. Plus they are looking for input on several ideas for how to improve the system in the USA. The survey is pretty easy and you are able to offer opinions on different proposed registration methods (multiple choice answers.) It takes about 10-15 min. This collected information is anonymous and is input for their commenting on the proposed US Copyright Office regulation changes.

Right now Illustrators appear to be treated pretty unfairly when compared to photographers. You might want to take a few minutes and fill this out, even if you have never copyrighted anything, but might consider if it was an easy thing to do.

Read More

How Art Makes Better Science

Artistic reconstruction of Habelia optata by Joanna LiangMaeve Doyle, of the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI), has written a good article about the process of reconstruction of an invertebrate at the Burgess Shale and the importance of art and the artist in science.

> Artistic reconstruction of Habelia optata by Joanna Liang.

Read More

[Compiled] 2018 GNSI Annual Conference

2018 GNSI Conference: Washington, DC

2018 conference logo

Read More

GNSI-New England: Mass Migrations Exhibit

For any GNSI members residing in New England: The New England chapter is seeking entries for a show on mass migrations in the NE area. Chapter membership not required. The show will run November 13 - December 27. Submit your entry forms by September 1st.

Mass migrations take place all over the world, yet when someone mentions mass migration, we are more likely to imagine huge herds of wildebeests and zebra on the plains of Africa than the visitors who come to our own backyards, ponds, rivers, forests, and beaches right here in New England. You don’t have to go on a safari halfway around the globe to encounter a migratory species, sometimes you simply have to step out into your own yard.

Read More

2018 GNSI Conference Group Photo

Guild of Natural Science Illustrators 50th Anniversary Conference Group Photo in the Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall Rotunda of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on July 18, 2018. You can find a running list of the photo IDs here: https://2018.conf.gnsi.org/merchandise/group-photo-id

2018 GNSI conference group photo

Read More

2018 GNSI Members Exhibit at AAAS Art Gallery

AAAS announces the 2018 GNSI Members Exhibit with an article and videos

AAAS GNSI Exhibit Teaser

Read More

Alice Tangerini featured in the Smithsonian Magazine

Alice TangeriniLongtime GNSI member Alice Tangerini is featured in the July issue of the Smithsonian Magazine.

Alice Tangerini’s botanical illustrations all begin the same way: with a seemingly simple line drawing, in which she explores a plant’s features—leaves, seed, stem, perhaps a flower or two. Next, she uses a microscope to investigate her specimen’s tiny hairs and veins, recreating their likeness in delicate lines with the pressure-sensitive pen of an architect or engineer drafter. Tangerini has adopted the tools and the vision of both the artist and scientist for her work, which is, as she describes it, “art in the service of science".

Read More

GNSI Live on Facebook Tue 7/17 - 10:30 EDT

GNSI invites you to join us live on Facebook for a Conference Plenary session. Be a part of the GNSI Conference!

10:30 am July 17, 2018

Read More

Member Spotlight: Mesa Schumacher

Drawing archaeological excavation profiles in Chavin de Huantar, PeruMy artist origin story takes a form I think is fairly common for scientific illustrators. I grew up in Seattle with parents who didn’t study science, and knew little about art, but encouraged my interest in both. In our household, you could maintain a concentrated area of chaos in some corner by saying “don’t touch that, I’m in the middle of a project,” and my brothers and I usually each had several projects going at any given time, ranging from painting to rebuilding machines bought from the thrift store.

My family loved nature, and we enjoyed camping, hiking and outdoor sports. Travel was also a priority, and a few times during childhood we were pulled out of school for months at a time for “sabbaticals,” which profoundly impacted my goals for adult life.

Read More

Member Spotlight: Dino Pulera

Dino PuleraI’ve always been inquisitive and fascinated by nature. I would spend many hours drawing as a child but, despite my interest in nature, I never thought to draw it. Instead, I spent my time reading and drawing Marvel Comics superheroes. Being the son of immigrant parents, I was encouraged to pursue a career that was stable and with a steady income; they didn’t want their son to become a struggling artist. So I set my sights on science with the hopes of going to medical school.

In my senior year in high school, my biology teacher noticed that I used drawings to record my observations in labs and mentioned that some people made a living from illustrating scientific concepts. Looking back now I’m shocked that I didn’t even consider a career in scientific illustration. I guess I thought since this vocation involved art, it would be a hard sell to my parents. So I put it out of my mind. 

Read More