This post marks the beginning of my second major blog. I began the first, ‘Painting, Drawing and Molecular Biology’, a few months into writing my PhD thesis. I didn’t know what direction to head in next. I knew from writing my thesis that I adored writing and making illustrations, and, importantly, I wanted to make sense of my seemingly random choices so far. Where had I been and where was I going?
That blog saw me eventually complete and submit my thesis, saw me through my first post-doc position. I had my first baby, took a second post-doc position, and published a whole heap of research papers. I was awarded my first grant, yet towards the end of 2016 my contributions to my blog dwindled as I began making fellowship applications. Around this time my blog was hacked, causing me to wind everything back to an earlier save, which of course by some cruel twist of luck was from before I’d made significant modifications to the layout and image formatting. The award of a research fellowship, my second pregnancy, and now I can’t remember the passwords for my blog. It seems it is time to move on.
‘Painting, Drawing and Molecular Biology’ had a relatively wide subject matter. In trying to understand what made me move from art to science, I wrote a series of posts concluding that art and science aren’t so different after all. I wrote about artwork I made after I’d started to study science, some craft pieces I’d made for home, and alerted my readers to exhibitions I was participating in. I discovered that science communication and public engagement are a good outlet for my creative talents. And through all this, I continued to work in laboratory research and battled with whether the struggle to publish publish publish was really worth it.
So what is ‘Miniature Worlds’ going to be? I feel I’ve said all I need to say in comparing and contrasting art and science. Instead, it’s time to move forward, potentially making new artworks and writing to really conceptualise what I find fascinating in my research. In my last blog I saw each post as a final piece, holding off on publishing until the work was finished – this meaning that sometimes pieces weren’t written about at all. There’ll be a lot more ideas and sketches. As I still work in scientific research, no doubt there’ll be more posts about the state of academia as I see it, and the joys of being a woman (and mother) working in STEM. Next week I’m beginning an online creative non-fiction writing course, and it’s likely you’ll see some of the output of this here too.