Where to find an experienced digital botanical illustrator?
November 5, 2022 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm consulting with a company that specializes in products that feature botanical illustrations. We're having a hard time finding someone who specializes in this work but is also doing it digitally (ie vector or high res bitmap). Where would we begin looking for such an individual?

This is a commercial enterprise that is successful and growing in size, and therefore will pay for high quality work. The dilemma is that while there are many talented commercial artists available who do botanical illustrations in watercolor, acrylic, etc, the nature of the project requires someone skilled in digital processes, probably Adobe Illustrator and also someone who is ideally familiar with pre-press and CMYK limitations.

Things I've tried include trawling through Behance portfolios and doing Google searches, but it's very time-consuming and I'm wondering if there's some shortcuts, ie perhaps a specialized botanical illustration forum or database?
posted by jeremias to Work & Money (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I follow Dr Heather Hinam, Manitoba, on twitter @SecondNatureMB, she works in physical and digital science illustration.

The accounts she follows on twt are a trove of botanical and wildlife illustration.
posted by unearthed at 10:15 AM on November 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Possibly try the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators? You can search the member directory (found under the Membership subheading) using various criteria, and Botany and 2D digital illustration are some of the available criteria.
posted by gudrun at 10:20 AM on November 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

Digital botanical illustrators lurk (and sometimes post) on Reddit /r/botany
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:28 AM on November 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Liana Vitousek at Vitousek Illustration does this!

I taught her NOLS course when she was a young ‘un.
posted by grinagog at 5:17 PM on November 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'd be looking on dribbble, TikTok and Instagram.

If you're active on Twitter, search out some reputable people who can signal-boost your search. I'm part of a couple Slack channels where I'd start this search. There are contractor databases like the one on Wethos.

Look up magazine articles, particularly from digital magazines; and browse websites to find illustrations you like, then reach out and ask who did them.

I'm also wondering how vital it is that the illustrator have a botany background. The elements of a plant drawing can come from a reference. The essential skill is the digital illustration, and you may have more luck casting that wider net. Maybe have someone at the company review each illustration for accuracy.

You also have the option to hire one person to draw by hand, and another to digitize the drawings.
posted by rockyraccoon at 5:57 PM on November 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Try looking at illustration agencies as well as the resources above. Off the top of my head, there's Closer&Closer, Shannon, Snyder, IllustrationX, Folio Art, Handsome Frank, Illozoo, The Different Folk, and so many more. You can look through the portfolios on their sites and see if there's anyone promising, and you can also just cold email them to ask if anyone on their roster would fit your requirements.
posted by (Over) Thinking at 7:58 AM on November 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

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