Artists wanted!

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Would YOU like to contribute original artwork for a posting in TIR?

Regular readers have probably noticed that Total Internal Reflection’s artist-in-residence Oliver Hoeller has not been able to contribute as often as we’d like for the past year or so. We’d now like to invite budding scientist-artists or artist-scientists out there to get involved in the visual side of things. If you’re interested, more details below…

What TIR is about (see also the Mandate page in the main menu):
– TIR is focused on the human side of science, with a strong focus on challenges facing young scientists. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s whimsical, sometimes it’s plain silly.

– There are 7 categories of posting (funding, life at the bench, mentoring/teaching, publishing, the world of science, how to…, gender/family) dealing with different aspects of the scientific experience. The “How to…” category is focused on improving soft skills such as giving presentations, choosing a postdoc, asking a question, and so on. We try to post to each category in turn.

– Postings are once per calendar week.

How TIR postings are made:
– Brooke (TIR’s writer) chooses a topic for a posting and communicates that to Oliver (or YOU).

– Brooke and Oliver/YOU go off and separately work on the text and the image for the posting. In other words, the words and the artwork constitute separate and independent explorations of the same topic. Sometimes the two are in synchrony, sometimes they come out a little different – and from the creative side of things, that’s part of the fun.

– Obviously the ability to produce artwork quickly is an asset, given the weekly posting frequency. It’s possible to cue up postings in advance though. As with anything, good communication is the key.

Eligibility for artistic contributions:
– TIR is about seeing the world of science from within, so it’s very important that contributing artists self-define as scientists, even if they are no longer working full-time as a bench scientist. Being within the scientific world or having spent time inside it are the key eligibility criteria.

– It’s definitely not necessary to be an established artist, and we’re more than happy to have first-time contributions. 

– Basically, we’d be thrilled if the blog could become a forum for visual as well as textual exploration of topics relevant to the scientific experience. Brooke Morriswood started TIR as a means of scratching the creative itch when parenting duties stopped him doing theatre (he’ll be back!), so creative/artistic engagement and exploration are really central to the blog’s mission. 

Some other bits and bobs:
– We can’t offer any payment. We can and will provide a named acknowledgement of each contribution in a caption, and a link to the contributor’s homepage/Etsy/whatever if relevant. We can also provide further succinct biographical details at the end of the posting if wished (it’s always fun finding out about people’s hidden talents). 

– Scan previous postings if you want a clearer idea of the topics we’re addressing. From the visual side of things, paintings with captions are what Brooke provides as a default/backup option if no original artwork is available.

If you’d like to find out more, leave a comment here or send a DM to @TIRscienceblog

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Brooke & Oliver

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