To tell someone you are an artist they probably get this image of this hippy-type relaxed individual who paints abstracts that don’t make sense to them. This certainly is not always the case. Sometimes maybe, but not usually. We all know this. Heaven only knows I did go through college with these types of artists, but most of us were not. The rest of us were still trying to find our way in the world. For one thing it would be hard to get an artist job lookin’ like a hippy unless it was designing CD covers or gaming apps. Nothing wrong with this, don’t get me wrong. Just most of the arts jobs around are business like, or a bit more upscale especially when you want to draw the more upscale clients.
Now, to get to the point! One of the more “upscale” sections of art is the scientific illustrator. These folks are few and far between. Do you know why? You can probably figure that out when you see the type of artwork they do. Pick up any science textbook and you will find scientific illustrations. Much of it is done on computers these days, but there is still a fair amount of hand work done. There is always a market for that.
The biggest thing about scientific illustration is accuracy. If you have someone studying to be a medical doctor, they want their journals and textbooks to be accurate for obvious reasons. All of their study won’t be looking at cadavers so most of it will be from the textbook until they are able to get out to do their internship. Human anatomy is complicated and massive, doctors have to know where things are, how they function, and what they look like.
Another example would be anatomy of long extinct animals. With computer generated apps these days a dinosaur can be created for its appearance from a fossil skeleton. This can even be done from human head skulls. This science is very advanced and new and the results are amazing. For police work if a human skull is found they can computer generate from that skull what the person looked like in real life. This really helps break an unknown person case. Police forensics use scientific illustrators all the time in various situations. Illustrators are also frequently used in courtrooms.
Any kind of science work requires lots of pictures. Most of those pictures are not photos but illustrations. Scientific illustration is a lucrative field if you have the talent and patience for it. It is grueling in the sense it has to be so accurate, but if you have a propensity for detail and good drawing skills it could be a good career for you. It may be something worth checking out. The possibilities are limitless!