Behind The Art
Bold colors, intricate details, and smooth brushstrokes. I capture the beauty of the universe using scientific data and telescope images, weaving together science and art, through multi-spectral paintings.
Growing up on a farm in the countryside of Indiana, my rural upbringing and nights spent under the stars camping with my dad inspired my love of science. But collecting cool rocks in the driveway and running outside during a storm wasn't enough for me. I decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a scientist, enrolling in college at age 21 as a first-generation student.
After transferring around and learning how to navigate higher education, I graduated from Purdue University in 2013. Several rejections later and a terrible car accident caused by a careless driver, I eventually pursued a PhD from University of Arizona. I graduated in 2021 with a hybrid doctorate in planetary sciences and science education.
Though I loved my research studying the atmospheres of exoplanets and brown dwarfs, after a 6 month post-doctoral fellowship, I decided to take a much needed break and use the time to pursue art.
Creating Steller Arts
Throughout my entire journey, art has always been by my side, but my creativity often took a backseat to my educational pursuits or was drown out by the echos of past bad advice "you can't be a scientist and an artist". Co-organizing and participating in the department’s annual art show, The Art of Planetary Science, helped me become more confident in my art and rekindle my passion for painting. I used this drive to learn new mediums including spray paint, oils, watercolors, and digital art. A more creative outlet from my day-to-day quantitative work was just what I needed to stay inspired.
I stepped into a more public role in 2020 joining social media and forming Steller Arts—a science communication platform created to unite science + art—named after one of my favorite birds, the Steller's Jay. My hope is to inspire others interested in astronomy to pursue their dreams who, much like me, might not feel like you fit the mold of a scientist.