"Sometimes they surprise me and satisfy me a lot"
2021/05/07 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
Izaskun Alberdi Landaluze is a science illustrator. Illustration or science, asking about what had hit him before, does not doubt: science. “I have liked both since I was young, but I have always lived them apart. As a child, outside school, he went to drawing classes. But if not, science attracted me, especially the living. I’m curious and I was clear that I wanted to study biology.”
Attracted by lines of research on the environment and biodiversity of species, he specialized in Biodiversity Conservation and Biology. Remember that while studying I made diagrams and summaries visually, with drawings, “but without thinking that I would then dedicate myself to this”.
When he started working, he saw the world of scientific illustration very far. Until the UPV/EHU had to take a postgraduate degree of scientific illustration, that was the first step to take the new path: “I prepared a portfolio with my drawings and they took me. I learned many techniques that I didn’t use until then: watercolor, computer drawing… and ways to explain concepts. And since then I am here, in full scientific illustration.”
In fact, at the end of postgraduate studies, Vega Asensio began working on the study created by Herrero (NorArte Visual Science), where he continues. In addition to making the scientific illustrations required by customers, it also offers courses and workshops, and likes both activities.
When making the illustrations, he confesses that, in principle, some subjects made him easier than others, such as biology. “However, I really enjoy working on other topics. Maybe they ask me more effort to understand me well and to imagine how to express it through illustration, but sometimes they also surprise me and satisfy me a lot”.
A broad and effective resource
In education he has taught graduate classes of scientific illustration. In addition, it offers courses to both scientists and fans of drawing. “We equip scientists with tools to better explain scientific content through images. Thanks to graphic design instructions, we help you make things more attractive and visual. With young people we do traditional illustration workshops and they are very successful.”
Alberdi explained that young people like watercolors, brushes, crayons… And drawing is a good way to know the biodiversity of the area. “Many of the animals and plants we have around us are unknown and to draw them you have to pay close attention and analyze them well. It is therefore a good way to foster knowledge of local biodiversity.”
He has taught courses at the Laboratorium Museum in Bergara, at the Bizilabe workshops organized by Elhuyar, and at the UPV Science Week. “We usually work on the computer and alone, and the courses allow me to be with people, teach children… It’s very nice to see how children often exceed our expectations and understand better than we think the scientific ideas imagined.”
In short, images seem useful tools to transmit and memorize science. I would like to follow his path in the future and demonstrate that scientific illustration is a very broad and effective resource.