I met science illustrator Paul Mirocha through a personal Discord server I set up and when Paul started posting his illustrations in the "Show your creations" channel, I was blown away. His style reminds me of the old Giant Golden science books, which I love. Paul's illustrations celebrate both the diversity and the surprising strangeness of nature. He lives in the Sonoran desert in Tucson, Arizona.
I asked him to tell me a bit about his work:
Some projects call for a high level of realism, like food, botanical art, animals, or a city skyline. Yet, despite how well-researched, super-real, or detailed an image is, it may still lack something in the viewer’s mind, something hard to define. Appeal? Sparkle? I call it romance. It’s what makes a viewer understand, want to know more, buy, or maybe begin to salivate. That’s my formula: accurate plus lyrical equals a motivating image. One more thing–my work is digital, using all the expanded possibilities contained in that medium, yet I want it to still look like a traditional painting. That’s what makes it emotional and engaging.
Don’t forget about scientific illustrators, a dying breed in this brave new digital world! Armed with only a Mac Mini, an extra large trackpad, a stylus, photoshop, and a passport, I travel, observe, sketch, and digitally paint. The natural world is crammed with surprises, and rather than merely create images, I try to show the spirit within, shining out.
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