Artist and scientist Jill Pelto combines art with scientific data to raise awareness about climate change. In this watercolor, called Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification, the subtle line graph depicts changes in ocean acidity level over time. By enlivening it with illustration, she tells a story about the effects of decreasing pH on the ability of clownfish to navigate, avoid predators, and process information.
For many of us, envisioning the profound effects of climate change is hard to do without relatable examples. By illustrating specific aspects of climate change research, Pelto provokes viewers to question, wonder, and want to know more.
In this exercise, you will select a scientific graph that addresses an important real-world issue, create an illustrated graph from that original, and craft an effective artist’s statement that connects the two. Once you’re done, keep an eye out for other ways you can merge science with art. The possibilities are endless!