Science-Art Communication Specialist - it's now a thing

Changed my LinkedIn profile to read "Science-Art Communication Specialist". I've decided that's now a thing.



Although painting and illustrating are my first choice in career and I'm busier than ever with commissions, when I consider my blog writing at Symbiartic on Scientific American, the growing number of talks, podcasts and interviews and my new volunteer Board Member position with Science Art-Nature this seems like a more apt description. I find myself doing a lot of networking for and with other artists engaged in science, and slowly starting to hear from scientists looking for artists. I've been seriously considering turning it into a consulting business. 


I've developed a standard email I send out to artists contacting me about their science-art and asking for advice since it's happening more and more often. (And I don't mind at all!
Keep 'em coming.)

Here's what it typically says.

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I've added your blog to the Science Artists Feed (It's in the 2nd list that feeds into the first one...the first one filled up fast).  So when you have a show or update the bloggy portion in any way, it will appear on the Feed to subscribers, and on scienceblogging.org which is a huge aggregator site many science bloggers turn to to follow the many science blogging networks. 


I don't know if it will help traffic or eyeballs in any way, but it also helps me to stay on top of people's work, which I irregularly compile interesting links from and put in posts I call Scumbles. They used to be on my personal blog The Flying Trilobite, and I've moved them to Symbiartic since Scientific American asked me on board. 


So far the biggest impact the Science Artists Feed and Scumble posts have had is drawing together the disparate scattered science-inspired artists into a tighter community.  I've shared a Circle on G+of them in the past and more are talking on Twitter. I just finished up at my 4th trip to ScienceOnline this year, in North Carolina. Usually I've been one of 2 or 3 science-artists or illustrators out of a few hundred researchers and science journalists.  This year, there were about a dozen of us in attendance which had an impact. If you're on Twitter, an easy way into the community there is to use the #scienceart hashtag. 
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(For the interactive version of the image above, head over to Symbiartic and explore the image!) 





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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the new Scientific American Blog Network!

MOOOO! My business cards arrived!



My business cards arrived yesterday!

I ordered these from MOO.  They're the recycled paper option, and I'm thrilled about the quality.  As you can see above, there's 4 different backs, each with a QR code that goes to glendonmellow.com. It's the little things that made this nifty.  For example, they already pre-mixed the cards, so I can pick up a random handful.

Even though I went to university to study as a fine artist, there's a very telling way I began to know that my future would lie mainly in illustration:  I loveloveLOVE seeing my artwork in different media.  Different textured papers, rough, smooth, glossy, I love seeing my art online, and on calendars and shirts.  It's exciting and narcissistic and awesome.
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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.


Portfolio

Blog
Print Shop

Odds and ends

Lots of little odds and ends this week.

I decided for now to go with MOO for my business cards, and selected these 4 images for the backs of them:








The front contains my contact info and the "Art in Awe of Science" tagline. 

I also re-worked Trilobite Boy's face a bit on the Gargoyle piece.  I felt it was too flat, and didn't match other paintings of the character. 


Click to enlarge a bit more.  Character ©  Glendon Mellow 2010. 

A bunch of exciting stuff on the go, and hopefully next week will have a couple of announcements ready!
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Original artwork on
The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under
Creative Commons Licence.



Portfolio
Blog
Print Shop

Making new business cards

I need to order new business cards.

Here's what I'm thinking for the front (minus the white border my blog puts around 'em):


And here's what I'm thinking for the back:



The qr code goes to my portfolio at glendonmellow.com.

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Original artwork on
The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under
Creative Commons Licence.

Portfolio
Blog
Print Shop

Art Monday: business card tweaks

A 3"x2.5" piece of cardstock is supposed to be my standard bearer when introducing people in realspace to my online identity and artwork.

Earlier this month, I began tweaking this important piece of identification. I hope I may ask for some opinions? Things that look great on the computer screen may not look as nice on paper. My favourite has more drawbacks than the others.

a. Classic look.

b. X-ray look.


c. Pop look.


Which is most "me"? Or do I say who cares, which one stands out the most?

The reverse of each of these will simply list the urls for my blog and hub, online gallery, email, and reproduction store. Hmm. Should I add my Facebook page link?

I'm finishing the end of the year indecisive. Decisive will wait for 2009.


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All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.
Please visit my blog, gallery and reproduction store.
2009 Calendars available now!

My Trilobite Ring

A few years ago, while shopping in The Museum Company at the mall, my fiancee-at-the-time and I came across some trilobite jewellery. It was so emblematic of my tastes, I was desperate for a ring. It is an elrathia kingii inset in steel, and if you flip it over and look at the inside of the ring, the fossil's belly, still retaining ancient dirty matrix, is visible. Elrathia are known for having 13 pleurae down their bodies (little spiny lines off to each side).

Michelle bought it for me, and in some ways, it felt a little like an engagement ring to me. Now we are married, and I covet this ring. It is...precious...to me.

I seldom wear it now. It is 550 million years old, and it is eroding at my touch. I put it on at special occasions, or sometimes just as a treat and inner distraction. You see, I have a lot of associations and mental investments swirling in the memetic wind around this ring.




My wife gave it to me, and whenever I look at it, I think of how crazy I am about her. A flood of memories washes over me, and I begin to think of memories still to come. This fossil, with its tiny compound calcium carbonate eyes has been around 550 million years. And now it's existence is congruous with my own, and with the experiences my wife and I share.



When this little arthropod was alive, humans were an inconceivably faint glint in perhaps some pikaia's eyes. As a fossil, will it last another 550 million years? Will one day, I be a fossil next to it, unlikely as that is?

I wear it on my right hand, the hand I create my artwork with. How is that for post-modern progression: the eons-old fossil, sitting on the hand of of the primate, while he draws and paints pictures of the fossil, which the primate hopes will give him a type of longevity, of immortality through art.

This ring has inspired my art, and is the basis for my business card, for the tattoo I plan to get this spring. It will likely inspire much more. This little trilobite is not just an emblem. It once was a tiny organism, perhaps wandering away from it's hatch-mates, poking its feelers through the sand, over a rock, feeding, respiring, evading detection by predators. I am living my life, wondering at it living it's life.





All this to me speaks to what it is to be human. As I said in my first post, I can sit here and marvel at a being long dead, but not forgotten. I can understand some things about it. And I can be inspired by it.


It is steeped in so many thoughts, it gathers and concentrates them. This is what fossils and artistry, - what science and art! - can give us. Meaning wrapped-in tightly and woven together. A memetic structure, chaotic and incomplete and growing inside my brain.

The Flying Trilobite Business Card




The winner!

Thank you so much to all those who helped this one along. In
my previous post, I asked and received tons of help deciding between two new business cards.

The image on the winner is Photoshop adapted from an ink drawing I have done. The image is meant to be for a (non-winged) tattoo I will likely get in the spring when this blog is one year old.

9 people preferred the first card, 2 the second. I myself preferred the second choice as well. As Lim Leng Hiong of Fresh Brainz called it, it has "extreme quirkiness". I will likely still use this image somewhere, and tweak it some more. Chadmac pointed out that its centre of mass is misplaced, so I'll need to fix that.

But I am very happy with card #1, and it does have my core image. As Leslie Hawes and Rudi pointed out, it needs to be a card that shows off the art. The wings are popular for this artistic ancient aquatic arthropod, as Dale McGowan, Lauren, Traumador the Tyrannosaur, Gastrolith, and Luna_the_Cat and Shelley Batts all agree.

For the final version depicted above, I tweaked a couple of things based on some reader's suggestions. Lauren suggested I shrink the trilobite image slightly, and I think that works well. As Leslie had pointed out, I could also have blown the image up to make it more abstracted. I think shrinking it works a little better, as some people have no idea what a trilobite is, let alone a Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil. Lim Leng Hiong thought it might work better to have more contact between the trilobite and its wings, so I added some crumbly bits to make a better connection between the disparate parts.

I'd like to thank everyone who gave me an opinion, both online and offline, especially my wife, Michelle who watched me seesaw back and forth. Shelley of Retrospectacle also pointed out a business card service that she highly recommends, Moo, so I will probably look into that. This whole process really helped me out. I started this blog to promote my artwork, and also to get feedback on my work. Sometimes an artist is throwing so much into the process, it is easy to become myopic about how well the final image works.


My gratitude to each of you.

(Edit: whoops! Earlier today, the card I uploaded had an older version of the text layout on the card. All fixey-fixey now. No more blogging without the morning coffee. )

Business Card - decisions, decisions...

I need some help. I haven't updated my business card since starting this blog and taking my artwork online last March. I am openly fishing for comments about the two designs I have cobbled together with the help of my trilobite army.

Criticisms, derisive laughter, suggestions to tweak or change, all comments are welcome. But whatever you say, at least make it funny. Scratch that - too much pressure. I am not really a designer, more of an illustrator. I am happy with both of these cards, indeed I am even leaning toward one more than the other. Can you guess?

Real printable sizes are 3.5"x2". I will likely print them on Fredrix canvas paper or Fabriano Pittura paper. The former has a canvas texture, the latter is used with oil and acrylic, but has a soft press watercolour texture, not quite as rough as a cold press. Here they are:

The Flying Trilobite Business Card concept #1 (links go to my DeviantArt gallery.)

This one has the wing, has a design of the elrathia kingii trilobite tattoo I drew that I plan on getting this spring. I usually draw the wing either with a damselfly/dragonfly concept if the trilobite is alive, or with bat wings if fossilized because mammals are so much cooler than wussy modern dragonflies. In both designs I have not included my phone number, since the email would be easy enough to use to get a contract started.

The Flying Trilobite Business Card concept #2

This one doesn't have the Mythical Flying Trilobite wings, and instead has a trilobite fossil being chucked along Galileo's concept of equations for falling bodies. As the hapless 550 million year old arthropod reaches its apex, it will continue moving forward at the same rate while accelerating downward until it reaches terminal velocity and we've lost a precious artifact. Don't worry, the bottom of the business card is padded, and it's a stunt fossil. I referenced some nice diagrams by Yuta Aoki and drew my own and tweaked from there.

So, if you've read this, may I call upon you to lend an opinion below? Whether you are an artist or designer yourself, or someone who has seen business cards before, I'd appreciate the comments.

Next week I'll put a comment and reveal which one so far I think I like better, and which one I ultimately choose. Thanks!