Name: Eleanor Lutz
Which came first in your life, the science or the art?
Hmm, that’s a tough question to answer. I think I’ve always really liked both science and art, and I’m not sure I’ve met a young kid who actively hated either one. I guess I never really grew out of liking both.
Which sciences relate to your art practice?
I’m a biology PhD student, so most of the time my science art is centered around biology. But I also love reading about astronomy and outer space, so occasionally I’ll make something using free NASA data and maps.
What materials do you use to create your artworks?
Most of my artwork is digital, and I use several different kinds of software. Usually I make my designs in either Photoshop or Illustrator. But I’ve also worked on projects that use other software, like Chimera (for modeling 3D illustrations of viruses) and Python (for making animated patterns using equations). Recently I’ve been trying to branch out and try more design programs that I haven’t worked with before.
Artwork/Exhibition you are most proud of:
I think my favorite design this year is the Virus Trading Cards. For this project I wanted to showcase important virus species to share the variety and uniqueness of viral diseases. I picked three human diseases that I thought would be particularly relevant – HPV, Adenovirus (which causes the common cold), and Dengue (a close relative of the Zika virus). I also included Chlorella Virus (which infects a non-human host) to add more diversity to the trading card collection.
Which scientists and/or artists inspire and/or have influenced you?
I love Ernst Haeckel’s biological illustrations. I’m particularly a fan of naturalists who also worked as artists (like Haeckel), illustrating the different species they encountered while working on research. I also love David Goodsell’s paintings of molecular biology.
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