Out of This World

Spacey illustrations by Sonja Katanic.

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Illustrations and Captions by Sonja Katanic

Couch Surfing

When you finally feel at home somewhere, your new habitat, and it’s just in time for you leave. The feeling of floating there, suspended in this state, this longing to stay forever is unbearable.

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Space Girl

This is a piece of art I did that is completely different to any self-portraits I’ve ever done. It is not who I am, nor who I will be. It is my ideal, who I wish I could be. Unshackled of any earthly responsibilities, the epitome of calmness and serenity, and most importantly, anxiety-free. She is a character I think about a lot, and one I even created a constellation in the sky for.

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Find more of Sonja’s art on her Instagram page @spicy_astro_babe.

Cracking Code, and Subsequently, Life Itself

Learning JavaScript is stretching my brain and teaching me some awesome life lessons.

By Julia Arciga

Art by Charlotte Southall

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a chemist. Then I found out I was really, really bad at all things STEM.

No, it’s completely true. I scraped through pre-calc on some kind of miracle. Physics was so intriguing to me, but I would always get those pesky equations wrong—no matter how hard I tried. But my apparent non-affinity for all things science never really stopped me from trying: I once enrolled in a free open course from Yale on Quantum Physics (bad idea, in hindsight). I was a part of my high school’s Science Olympiad club, and got 7th place in competition. I was never a scientific success, but I was just so happy to be surrounded by things that I knew nothing about that I didn’t really care if I embarrassed myself.

I got my start in coding in a completely unusual way: through supermodel Karlie Kloss.

Once upon a time, I also wanted to be a professional model (also a bad idea for me, in hindsight). Karlie Kloss was one of my idols—and she’s still such a muse of mine to this day, although my supermodel dreams are far behind me. I caught wind that she was picking up coding, and I thought that was super interesting: some glamorous fashion goddess was flaunting her geeky side. Mix that with companies like Google and Snapchat moving into my neighborhood of Venice Beach and my dad working on code around the house, and it wasn’t long before I decided to sign up for Codecademyjust to give it a shot. Continue reading “Cracking Code, and Subsequently, Life Itself”

Flame Test

There is something to be enjoyed and learned from every class—even if it isn’t going to be on the test.

Words and art by Alex Hanson

I crossed paths with my worst academic nemesis, fourth period Honors Chemistry, in my sophomore year of high school. While much of my distaste of the subject was due to a teacher whose vibes didn’t mesh with mine, as well as my severe inability to visualize the concepts that I was supposed to understand, I did find one class experiment to be particularly redeeming. Continue reading “Flame Test”

Fearless Pioneers: An Interview with Rachel Ignotofsky

My passion for learning about biology and the mechanics of how the world works did not leave me when I decided to go to art school.

by Adriana Ortiz

All art courtesy of Rachel Ignotofsky’s website

Rachel Ignotofsky is an illustrator and author hailing from Kansas City, Missouri. She works as a freelance designer nowadays, but has previously worked at the iconic Hallmark card company and wonderfully dispels any dreariness that (500) Days of Summer may have implied about it. Rachel is passionate about science and history and communicating all of it toward a wider audience to inspire learning in others. Her work takes complex information and makes it accessible and fun, and does it all with an adorably appealing aesthetic. She covers topics ranging from marine animals to bodily organs and basically any interesting idea imaginable. I am a huge fan that is IN LOVE with her Instagram account, as it brings so much joy and knowledge to my feed. I totally recommend giving it a follow if you love cute things combined with science!

Rachel has recently written and published a book called Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World which showcases various women in science throughout history. She tells the often under-recognized, yet super-inspiring stories of incredibly intelligent and accomplished women in STEM, each accompanied by her illustrations. It comes out July 26 of this year!

I am so glad to have interviewed Rachel about her new book and everything behind it, so read on to learn more about this STEAM queen and everything she loves. Continue reading “Fearless Pioneers: An Interview with Rachel Ignotofsky”

Four-Dimensional Snails Could Take Over the World

The idea of a point of omnipresence existing is something that fascinates me.

Writing and art by Charlotte Southall

Recently I have been finding a lot of inspiration for art projects in my maths/physics background and a concept that I am currently exploring has to do with four-dimensional space. I first came across the idea of there being more than three dimensions years ago in a maths class where a teacher mentioned it briefly— I remember being told that 4D snails could take over the world (which I later learnt was in reference to this study). This year I have decided to delve deeper and see what the higher dimensions have to offer me artistically, and if there are any snails. It is said that if you were to float in an unimaginable four-dimensional space you would be able to view every perspective of a three-dimensional scene at once; this idea of a point of omnipresence existing is something that fascinates me. Continue reading “Four-Dimensional Snails Could Take Over the World”

STEM and the Arts: Why Choose?

The foundations of science rest on good artistry, just as good artistry depends on good science.

by Lynn Wang

Illustration by Charlotte Southall

A great deal of the way we talk about education and careers has to do with this implicit understanding that STEM and the arts—liberal and otherwise—are at odds with each other. You can hear it in the way your history teachers rail against your high school’s devotion to the arts, scornfully dubbed a “waste of resources.” Maybe you’re an art student who is amazing at what you do, but can’t fathom yourself sitting in another math class because x is just too hard to find. Or maybe you constantly have to listen to grumpy uncles who blame our generation’s unemployment on lazy millennials who all pick up English majors because they’re too stupid to hack (haha, get it?) an engineering or computer science degree.

Maybe it’s your classmates who reinforce the divide. It’s easy to spot in the way your engineering friends sneer at English majors, and vice versa. Or you’ve noticed how all your liberal arts-oriented peers on your semester abroad started to treat you differently when they found out you were a biochemistry major. The message are all the same: MATLAB doesn’t get along with Matisse, and that’s just the way it is. Continue reading “STEM and the Arts: Why Choose?”