This past December I decided to take my work and create pins and earrings. The question was how to do this. I found something from my childhood that I always loved to create with, Shrink-e-dinks. Yes, those plastic sheets you could paint, color or draw on, cut out and then pop in the oven to watch them shrink into a hard plastic.
I remember creating Disney Christmas ornaments from kits that my parents would get for my sister and I. Those snowy Saturday afternoons where mom and dad needed to keep Karen and I busy….Boy, those were the days.
Well, I found the Shrink-e-dink material and decided, WHY NOT!
First off, I started actually drawing out images and then coloring them in. This took a long time for each image but once shrunk down they looked really cool. I used a variety of media including colored pencils, alcohol markers, and inks.
I then did a little more exploring on the art supply websites and found Shrink-e-dink material that you can send through an ink jet printer. Hallelujah!!!! This was so much easier. So, I started to look through my sketchbook and computer and found lots of images that I created to print out. The results were great and the items were and are some of my most popular sellers.
Hand draw magnets
Computer printed magnets
Take a look for yourself here as I have some items still for sale. Just contact me via messenger in Facebook or you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next up, a review of the Epcot® International Festival of the Arts: Disney has art classes and workshops? Who new they were so artist friendly? Stay tuned.
Women in Science and Art: Rebecca Banasiak, Mammals Collections Assistant and Preparator
In March, many of my colleagues and I, were asked to answer some questions about what it is like to be either a women in science or a women in art. I am lucky enough to be one of the few who was highlighted as both a women in science and art. I highlighted some of my answers below and you can read the full blog post here on the Field Museum’s website.
How did you get to where you are? I received a BA in chemistry and fine art … from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, in 1997. ….It wasn’t until I went back to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago …. that I was introduced to the vast collection of material and specimens here. While at SAIC, I started at the Museum as an intern with Bill Stanley, … then in 2005, I became a full-time research assistant. In 2015, the collections assistant, mammals preparator position opened up … and that is how I got to where I am now.
What does your job entail? What’s the day-to-day like?
Part of my day-to-day includes working with the dermestid beetle colony that cleans specimens … I also supervise volunteers and interns. I train them on different tasks like skinning, stuffing skins, and cleaning and numbering bones … how to use the camera equipment and the camera lucida for illustration, and help them get involved with different research projects. One of the projects we’re working on now is photographing the skulls of Grammomys (a group of rodents found in Africa). … Other tasks for similar projects have been to photograph or illustrate a specimen or create maps and graphs that my colleagues or Field Museum researchers may need for publications. … Other projects might include processing specimens that a researcher brings back from an expedition. …..
What has been your favorite part of the job, or a memorable moment?
One of my proudest moments was the day that Bill Stanley came down to my office and was holding the new Fieldiana (a scientific journal published by The Field Museum) that had various articles about the small mammals in the East and West Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. ….
The other moment was when one of my colleagues and a researcher at the Smithsonian, Mike Carleton, asked if I wanted to be an author on a paper about a new species of rodent in the Hylomyscus genus. …..
What advice do you have for future women scientists?
I’m not a proponent of STEM, I’m a proponent of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). … Like the sciences, the arts also do not have enough representation by women. … Art does help with science; they work together. … Science and art work together.
If I had to go back to myself at the age of nine or 10, I would say, “Stick with science, and stick with art, and don’t worry about anyone making fun of you.” When you look at our Museum, we have a lot of female presence. But we need more female leaders in science as a whole. As we educate a new generation, we want to give them confidence. My message to future female scientists and artists is to have faith in yourself; this is really what it is. If you think you can do it, you can do it. If you do something incorrectly, you’re only human, so get back up and do it again. Learn from your mistakes. All it takes is a little education and practice, and you can do it. Take the criticism, learn from it, and keep improving. You will see that it all pays off in the end.