Personal Work

After a long hiatus, I want to share some of my plans/dreams for Cartoon Science and my personal work. TL;DR version: I have opened a Shop and launched a Patreon to sustain this website and other passion projects. Thank you for your support!

I was reticent at first. Asking for money is always awkward. There are so many other talented artists and important initiatives to support (BTW do you already subscribe to Science for the People?) – WHY should anyone choose to support Cartoon Science?

I’m incredibly LUCKY to have made a career in illustration. Having a creative job – of any kind – is a great privilege and for me in particular, trained as a neuroscientist, to have found a job that literally pays me to draw neurons is beyond my wildest dreams (in case you don’t know, I’m currently a Scientific Multimedia Producer at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute).

BUT sometimes I do miss the freedom that both my academic job and my freelance career have afforded me (in different ways). The freedom of choosing my own projects, pursuing ideas that don’t always work out, without having to worry about clients or publishers. It’s unfortunate that those freedoms come with so many other barriers (paywalls, job insecurity, unsustainable work/life balance). So, I have decided to create my own space of ‘freedom’. In 2022 I’m planning to slow down on commissions and embrace the magic of personal work, as described in a recent blog by Rebecca Green.

I have started cartoonscience.org as part of my scholarship in Society in Neuroscience (2016-2019). Since then I have kept it updated in my own (scarce) free time, at my own expense. It allowed me to connect with science illustrators and cartoonists all over the world and for that I’m very grateful. However, I want to do more with this platform. I have sketchbooks filled with ideas for science comics on topics ranging from vaccines to psychedelics research, graphic essays about the politics of science, a series of microbiology-inspired landscapes and much, much more…

Creating a sustainable income for Cartoon Science would allow me to dedicate some real time to these projects. Making this website not just an archive, but a testing ground for what science visualization can look like. I know times are hard, and supporting artists may not be your priority right now, but if you like my work, and you can afford it, please consider becoming a supporter or buying a print.

Thanks a lot,

Matteo

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