About 


Jen Burgess is a freelance science illustrator based in Vancouver, BC, where the beauty of the Pacific North West continues to inspire her love of nature and concern for the environment, as it has from an early age.

My goal is to serve the scientific community and educate the public with my art. I collaborate with scientists, researchers, writers, and other experts, to bring to life their knowledge and ideas and tell their story visually.

I have a background in biology, geography, education, interpretation, and the fine arts. This intersection of skills makes me uniquely suited to understand the language of the scientist, then translate it visually to create an approachable, communicative, accurate, and beautiful piece of art.

 

 

 I graduated with a bachelor of science in geography from the University of Victoria in 2005, spent a few years teaching English in South Korea and Vancouver, then completed a certificate in fine art techniques at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2011 before moving to Santa Cruz, California.

While in California I volunteered for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum, took watercolour classes at the Art League of Santa Cruz, and trained as a naturalist at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum, and as an interpreter through the National Association for Interpretation.

I am a 2015 alumna of the Science Illustration Graduate Certificate Program at California State University Monterey Bay. I completed my capstone internship back in Canada at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. I am now freelancing full-time in this rewarding and challenging career.

 

I am always happy to learn something new. I am humbled and honoured to work with professionals who know their stuff. To illustrate means to enlighten, to illuminate. In my working process of illustrating, I become more enlightened, illuminated, myself.

In my free time I can be found outdoors hiking, walking my dog, foraging, gardening, or indoors reading, cooking, or sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea.

 

 

 Why Hire an Illustrator? 

Not everything can be said easily with a photograph or with words—an illustration is sometimes needed to educate and tell the story.

Douvilleiceras sp. Ammonite

Douvilleiceras sp. Ammonite

Research can sometimes be dry to the uninitiated, but an illustration can grab the attention of the reader and summarize the writing.  Illustrations can show at a glance all the plants and animals you can expect to find in a particular biogeographic area. They can remove extraneous details of a complicated subject to focus on a particular aspect, or take an abstract or conceptual idea and put it in a familiar context. They can even make a fantastical fictional idea become “real” to viewers.

Illustrations can show both the inside and the outside of something, all at once, whether it is the human body or a far away planet. They can show all stages of a flowering plant, from bud to seed, simultaneously. They can show microscopic details at a macro scale alongside the subject. They can describe the details of a process, even across the language barrier.

Illustrators can reconstruct specimens to look alive where references are only partially available: perhaps they are partly decomposed, pressed, flattened, or fossilized. They can recreate prehistoric or anthropological scenes from before the invention of the camera. Illustrators can composite from several references to create an image that did not exist previously.

 

 Services 

 

Client Work, 2016

Client Work, 2016

I’m interested in but not limited to:

  • Figures, illustrations or diagrams for publication in journals, magazines, books, websites, or social media.
  • Maps
  • Graphical Abstracts
  • Infographics
  • Interpretive panels
  • Logo design
  • Conference posters
  • Murals
  • Speaking engagements
  • Workshops
  • Lessons

 

Variety of media includes:

  • Digital (Adobe CC, QGIS)
  • Graphite
  • Pen & Ink
  • Scratchboard
  • Watercolour
  • Gouache
  • Acrylic
  • Coloured Pencil
  • Coquille
  • Mixed Media

 

 

 Testimonials 

“I was delighted to work with Jen on this piece.  She worked hard to understand my requirements, offered some key insight and suggestions, and delivered a stunning image that boosted the signal of my science.  I can hardly wait to work with her again.”

“Secret sauce for communicating science to peers and the public? [@isolinestudios] graphics!” @ChrisDarimont

Chris Darimont

Hakai-Raincoast Professor, University of Victoria
Science Director, Raincoast Conservation Foundation


“Jen Burgess created a beautiful scientific illustrations as figures for my paper, with painstaking and meticulous attention to detail. I was grateful she worked with me patiently to transform an image in my head into an eye-catching and scientific depiction of complex data!”

Adrian Treves

Professor
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison


“Jen Burgess was a delight and a breeze to work with. I brought to her a technical social science paper, and she helped me figure out how to communicate abstract concepts about people’s motivations to read science blogs in a fun, visually engaging way. 

She worked with me through several edits of an infographic about my paper without hidden charges, and was committed to delivering a final product that I was 100% happy with. She delivered the final proofs in a very timely manner. I’ll be working with her again!”

Dr Paige Jarreau

Researcher
Louisiana State University


“My group generally does the type of science that requires plots and maps to visualize, not illustrations. However, we were contributing to a piece on fire management policy that required a complex and multi-layered picture… Jen Burgess came recommended by a colleague, and we sat down to talk about the vision over coffee. She sketched up some ideas, and quickly sent mock-ups of the most promising approach. Once we had agreed on the final product, all deliverables were on-time and on-budget. We are still working on the paper (an international collaborative effort), but Jen’s amazing illustration is the focal point. I would not hesitate to hire her for any future projects.”

Sarah Henderson

Senior Scientist, Environmental Health Services
BC Centre for Disease Control



I can create artwork in a variety of styles and media to suit your project’s needs and budget.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me…

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave