Illustration of a Drosophila female

CREATORS – Sofía Polcowñuk

In ALL, CREATORS by Vrinda Nair

Name: Sofía Polcowñuk

Which came first in your life, the science or the art?

As a young girl, I had a strong influence from both. My parents are artisans, so the artistic part was always there since I was very little, but on the other hand, they also studied biology, so my house was a place where art and science merged.

However, for my career, I decided to go for science, I studied Biology and got my PhD. 3 years ago.

An illustration of the proliferation of a cell
Proliferation by Sofía Polcowñuk

Which sciences relate to your art practice?

In my artwork, I’m inspired by nature, by the organisms I work with. Biology is my source of creativity and new ideas.

An illustration of the structure of a fly's brain
Fly brain by Sofía Polcowñuk

What materials do you use to create your artworks?

I use mainly pencil and watercolour. Because the watercolour technique is very versatile, I can play with other elements to create effects and different ways of blending the colours.

An illustration of a golden fish
Golden Fish by Sofía Polcowñuk

Artwork/Exhibition you are most proud of:

Recently I have had the opportunity to present my artwork at Pint of Science, Creative Reactions. It was the first time showing my work at an exhibition, so I was very happy to see the reaction of the people and to show this part of myself.

An illustration titled "Portrait of a star"
Portrait of a star by Sofía Polcowñuk

Which scientists and/or artists inspire and/or have influenced you?

I’ve been always fascinated by naturalistic illustrations, like the ones from Linnaeus and Darwin. I always admired the level of detail, the colours, and the idea of the visual communication behind their drawings and paintings.

Nowadays scientific and medical illustrators show me the world of digital art. There are great examples of very talented illustrators that also inspire me to learn more about this field.

An illustration of an insect wing
Learning to fly by Sofia Polcownuk

SciArt is an emerging term related to combining art and science. How would you define it?

For me, SciArt refers to the use of artistic media, creativity, and visual tools to communicate science. It’s the place where the beauty of the scientific world can be expressed and seen from a different perspective. Even if the term is new, I think that artistic representations of science were, at least for biology, at the beginning of it, where the observation and the accurate representation of the living world were very important to describe and communicate discoveries.

For more by Sofía Polcowñuk, visit her Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Featured image: Female Drosophila by Sofía Polcowñuk
All images courtesy of the artist.

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About the Author

Vrinda Nair

Vrinda Nair is a doctoral student and public scholar who is pursuing her PhD in Physics at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Currently, working on drug design of small molecules implementing deep learning. She also serves as the treasurer of the Forum on Graduate Student Affairs (FGSA) at the American Physical Society. She is a published author-poet of three books which include two poetry books: It’s a carnal world (physical book), Abuzz (Kindle eBook) and one self-help book: Motivate your genes (Kindle eBook). Vrinda also holds a record in writing a poem in alphabetical order from the India Book of Records. She writes on diverse themes on her blog and designs many art forms. She is a freelancer who provides services like content writing, resume/CV editing, SOP, presentation making etc. She is also a certified professional life coach, instructional designer, artist, and digital illustrator and is passionate about playing the violin. She actively supports many causes like women in STEM, supporting sci-artist and has worked with various organisations and offered volunteering services. She believes to live in sanguinity.