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Sunday, May 28, 2023

SciArt profile: Ivana Henry – the Node

In our newest SciArt profile we hear from Ivana Henry, a science communicator and illustrator with a background in developmental genetics. Ivana enjoys creating 3D visualisations of scientific ideas in molecular biology and genetics.

The place are you initially from and what do you’re employed on now?

I used to be born in stunning southern Czech Republic and studied genetics on the College of South Bohemia. After finishing a PhD in developmental genetics in Bayreuth (Germany), I undertook a postdoc on the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden (Germany). I studied the function of planar cell polarity in tissue/organ improvement utilizing the Drosophila ovary as a mannequin. Afterward, I studied how power technology strikes tissues. I additionally developed light-sheet microscopy imaging approaches to review subcellular processes in curved epithelia. Presently, I discovered my love of scientific illustration and 3D visualisation and began to supply scientific illustration companies. I at present work as a laboratory supervisor on the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge within the UK.

2D illustration exhibiting a comparability of embryo improvement (Tribolium vs Drosophila)

Had been you all the time going to be a scientist?

I don’t assume so. As a toddler I favored all college topics, so I believe I most likely wished to be a trainer first. I favored artwork, languages, historical past, literature, and my curiosity in biology and chemistry got here later. It was at secondary college/gymnasium that I found Louis Pasteur, Darwin’s concept after which molecular biology and genetics. I took half in biology Olympiads and have become inquisitive about bugs and vegetation. The concept of turning into a scientist could have began to take form in grammar college, however I didn’t severely think about it till I used to be at college.

A element of a graphical abstract indicating a distinction between the expression of the circadian clock genes in the summertime and within the winter. Drosophila grownup is digitally painted.

And what about art- have you ever all the time loved it?

Sure, I all the time loved artwork. As a lot as I liked going to pure historical past museums, I additionally liked going to artwork museums. Afterward, I couldn’t resist visiting artwork museums in varied locations once I was at scientific conferences. Artwork merely has been all the time a part of my life. It began with drawing portraits of my household and led to drawing portraits of my entire gymnasium class. However I by no means thought I used to be an artist or that I’d wish to grow to be one. I used to be drawn to the world of molecular biology and genetics. I wished to grasp how issues work. However artwork comes via in numerous types in my scientific journey. Once I was at college, I used to attract an outline of the examine materials for every topic I used to be finding out. This helped me to commit newly acquired information into long-term reminiscence. I believe it is very important visualise scientific information and I discover it simpler to recollect data within the type of an image slightly than as lengthy scientific textual content.

Digital drawings of a kidney exhibiting nephron and glomerulus (on the left) and a cardiomyocyte (on the best).

What and who’re your most necessary creative influences?

One in every of my favorite artists is our Czech Artwork Nouveau artist, Alphonse Mucha. I like his detailed graphic and illustrative model and admire his dreamy work of The Slavic Epic on such a big scale. I’m unsure this affect is seen in my artwork, however his works usually function my inspiration. I additionally very very like Impressionism, particularly Claude Monet and his later work, together with the Water Lilies sequence as they’re nearly summary artwork. Brilliant and complementary colors utilized by impressionists normally replicate in my color code.

As well as, I’m usually impressed by new digital approaches from modern 3D artists and several other famend biomedical studios creating visuals for business / the medical area.

A metaphorical digital drawing of the bodily forces that play a vital function in shaping animal tissues and organs. This illustration reveals the actomyosin filament (pink thread) that drives tissue fluidization throughout epithelial hole closure in embryogenesis or wound therapeutic. Equally, holes in outdated socks will be sewn collectively.
3D visualisation of antibody molecules
(heavy chains in darkish blue and light-weight chains in mild blue) detecting antigens (inexperienced)

How do you make your artwork?

I normally draw an preliminary idea as a pencil sketch, creating totally different variations. I current these to my shopper after which convert the popular model into digital type. The ultimate digital model relies upon very a lot on the topic and what it is going to be used for. I normally create vector graphic illustrations for graphical summaries/abstracts, including remaining digital/portray touches. I additionally create 3D visuals utilizing 3D software program, that are greatest suited to shows, web sites and canopy artwork the place you wish to interact your viewers.

Digital drawing of Thomas H. Morgan

Does your artwork affect your science in any respect, or are they separate worlds?

Once I was doing my very own analysis, it was most likely a direct affect. I don’t know should you might name it artwork, however very like at college, I used drawings to summarise my findings and it helped me to place them into a much bigger image/see what route to take subsequent. It normally compelled me to simplify and give attention to the details. Now it’s extra my rest/pastime time. I do benefit from the technique of translating a key scientific message into a visible type. It isn’t classical artwork per se, however it does require sure means to provide you with an authentic concept that results in a visually pleasing and self-explanatory design that pulls your viewers.

3D visualization of a ‘springing’ neuron

What are you considering of engaged on subsequent?

I’m wanting ahead to the artwork and craft present at our institute, the place I plan to point out a few of my artwork made with conventional portray supplies. It’s a pastime that forces me to go away my pc display screen and offers me new concepts for digital artwork. I additionally hope to have extra time to replace my web site and to launch extra merchandise incorporating my scientific designs.

Artworks had been created utilizing the Fluid Artwork approach to evoke the summary illustration of plant tissue. Each 40x40cm on deep edged canvas. These had been created for the 2022 exhibition.

Discover out extra about Ivana’s paintings:

Web site:

Twitter: @biodataclarity

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