Sea Dragon Illustration
Caitlin E. NielsenScientific illustrator, biologist, sculptor, creature designer, and special effects artist.
Art in the service of science
Scientific illustration has a long history of melding two seemingly unrelated disciplines, art and science, into a method of observing and recording the natural world. Both artists and scientists need keen observational skills and attention to detail and the ability to think outside the box.
Illustrations are often the best way to document natural history subjects even in the modern era, as they can depict details that even photographs can't capture.
What I do
I use my scientific background and my skills in a wide variety of digital and traditional media to bring natural history subjects to life.
I enjoy using many different materials and often work in mixed media. I am also a self-taught sculptor and special-effects artist; I use moldmaking and casting techniques to create detailed animal models in silicone or resin.
With two biology degrees and certificates in both natural science illustration and technical writing, I am well equipped to handle projects that require technical skill as well as familiarity with hard science concepts.
"In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught." (Baba Dioum, 1968)