this is just beautiful scientific illustration

Hello beautiful people! I’ve started using Patreon as a means to support my art (maybe even pay the rent?? 😬). It’s a crowdfunding platform that works like Netflix - for a couple bucks a month you can help me keep drawing- and get cool art, helpful tutorials, and fun stuff in return! 🎨🖋 This drawing is one of the high quality downloads you can get this month for just $5 (a cup of coffee)! But if that’s still too much, you can donate as little as a dollar to help me out. patreon.com/kcgillies ❤️🌻please check it out!

Someone chat-messaged me asking why I thought The Danish Girl was negative queer representation with how it had the whole “love trumps sex and gender” message, so here’s a detailed response:

Okay, in the name of full disclosure, I’m a cis/het woman who loves history, sweet romance, and beautiful costumes, very much a member of The Danish Girl’s target audience.  And that’s a problem.  I’m also a screenwriter whose preferred genre is sweeping historical drama, and few things piss me off more than when I see history grossly misrepresented on screen.

So much of the basic facts about Gerda Wegener and Lili Elbe were wrong. Their story, their true story, is beautiful and incredible and inspiring and touching and queer af.  In the movie, Gerda is portrayed as languishing under the shadow of her male-presenting spouse, and as a feminist trying to succeed in a male-dominated field, that just makes me angry. Gerda was an artist whose work was equally respected as her spouse’s. What the movie failed to mention was that Gerda was famous for painting sensual portraits of women and for illustrated lesbian erotica.  That’s right, Gerda was openly bisexual and had numerous female partners before Lili came into her life. In the film she’s a chaste straight girl. Bisexual erasure is a HUGE problem in Hollywood and it becomes especially egregious in The Danish Girl because it creates the false notion that a person can’t unconditionally love someone as male and female. Straight Gerda is confused and somewhat disgusted by Lili and it causes their marriage to fall apart. Historically accurate bisexual Gerda loved Lili and had a sexually and romantically fulfilling relationship with Lili (I mean, just look at the paintings she made of Lili! You can’t paint someone like that and not be sexually and romantically involved!).  Their marriage fell apart when Lili legally became a woman and two women couldn’t be legally married.

As a story-teller, I can see that The Danish Girl was written that way as a way of creating conflict, but that’s just poor story-telling.  Being queer in a heteronormative world inherently creates conflict, and you’re doing a disservice to Lili, Gerda, and queer people as a whole to create conflict where it simply didn’t exist. I once asked a trans woman how she wished to see trans-ness represented on screen, and she said she wanted to see it presented as an opportunity rather than a curse. That’s something that I think about A LOT. Yes, there’s hardship, but the possibilities of living happily as one’s true self are immense and astounding. The Danish Girl falls into a lot of old, tired, harmful tropes about queer people who do nothing but suffer and then die.  Lili had to *earn* her identity though immense suffering, rather than just being female and that’s it. And in the end she died, with “true” womanhood and a female body just out of reach.

The movie portrayed Lili and Gerda as sort of living in a vacuum. The only time queerness is mentioned outside of Lili is when it’s mentioned that Ben Whitshaw’s character was homosexual. The real Lili and Gerda did not live like that. Europe in the 20s, especially in Paris and Berlin, especially especially among the artistic bohemian crowd, was a vibrant time of sexual and gender experimentation. Season 2 of Transparent, which still does have a few problematic elements, did a really good job of illustrating that with the subplot about Gittel and Rosa. Not only were people expressing themselves more freely than ever before, for the first time there was serious scientific inquiry into the nature of gender and sexuality by a great number of doctors and scientists. Lili’s doctor wasn’t just a lone operator working on the notion that, well, *maybe* you can perform gender-reassignment surgery.

The thing that’s so frustrating about The Danish Girl is that, yes, ultimately, the story of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener *is* a beautiful story about how love trumps sex and gender, it just wasn’t the sad hetero story presented in The Danish Girl.  It’s a trans fiction written by cis people dumbed down and straight-washed for cis/het audiences. Lili and Gerda deserve better.

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Two beautiful illustrations from an 1856 lecture ‘On the security and manufacture of bank notes’ at the Ri, given by Henry Bradbury, who had just founded a banknote printing firm (which survived as Bradbury Wilkinson until 1990).

They are two entirely spurious bank notes engraved by John Leighton (an illustrious book illustrator of the period) and signed by Bradbury himself as if he was the Chief Cashier. One design is described as ‘simple’, and the other is described as complex.

Hello beautiful people! I’ve started using Patreon as a means to support my art (maybe even pay the rent??) 😬 🎨🖋 This drawing is one of the high quality downloads you can get this month for just $5 (a cup of coffee)! But if that’s still too much, you can donate as little as a dollar to help me out. patreon.com/kcgillies ❤️🌻please check it out!

Gemini: air Sign, mutable, ruled by Mercury.

This painting is based off the story of the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux. The twins were said to hatch out of two eggs after their father Zeus disguised himself as a swan and seduced their mother Leda. Shortly before this painting was started I discovered the beautiful transparent geometric qualities of butterfly eggs. The two butterfly twins have just emerged from their intricate casings.

Okay but a Death Note artist!AU

-Light is a baroque painter who produces mostly religious imagery and still lives, he uses either very dark and muted or beautiful, highly contrasting colors. He has been known to produce medical drawings for a number of text books as well.

-L is a multimedia artist, but specializes in surreal painting and sculpture. He will try any style or medium once, and excels at almost everything he does (he hates watercolor and pastels with a passion). He has previously worked in scientific illustration, but was cast from the field when he repeatedly tried to worm his way into the experiments and observations instead of just shutting up and drawing.

-Mello is a photographer, writer, and musician, focusing on grungy or tortured sound and imagery with conflicted religious undertones. He has a cult following, and may or may not be a regular in the beat poetry scene.

-Near makes beautifully intricate technical drawings, fascinated with architecture and design. His attention to detail is captivating, but his drawings are often so detailed they are hard to produce as a functioning model or create large scale. He has also created a number of paper sculptures.

-Misa is a talented member of the performing arts field, she especially enjoys costume design and acting.

-Takada is a graphic designer and watercolor painter. She produces clean and bright quality work, and mainly paints floral arrangements.

-Beyond specializes in cooking and ceramics equally, and is known for his intense and unique flavors and methods in both fields. He is highly criticized.

-Naomi is a film producer who favors documentaries (praised as brilliant), and has been known to dabble in simple, dark fashion design. She is also a talented and revered nature photographer, and travels for bigger jobs when she wants them (a lot of companies offer, but she seldom takes them).

 -Matt is an animator and video game designer, he worms his way into a lot of big ticket companies, works for them briefly, and quits to work on his own projects. He is also fond of street art and has an alternate persona for his graffiti work.

-Mikami is a writer, he writes realistic fiction concerning incredibly accurate depictions of the justice system and its workings (flaws and all), and an occasional court sketch artist, though he admittedly takes those jobs primarily for inspiration.

-Matsuda is a cartoonist and sound technician who works with bright colors and unusual yet commonplace sound, he has interesting movement.

I could go on and on with this, honestly.

Ascidiacea from Kunstformen der Natur by  Ernst Haeckel published in 1899. Haeckel’s book clearly shows what beauty can emerge when art and science are combined. Haeckel was a very influential 19th-20th century scientists who is well known for his important contributions to study of animal development and comparative anatomy. Kunstformen der Natur has been described as "not just a book of illustrations but also the summation of his view of the world". 

vimeo

Probably the best BBC Knowledge Explainer about DNA ..

BBC Knowledge and Learning is exploring a wide variety of topics from social history to science in a series of three-minute online Explainer documentaries, and commissioned Territory (territorystudio.com) to produce an animated film on the subject of DNA.

As Will Samuel, lead designer and animator on the project explains, the approach taken wasn’t just to look into a scientific future. “We needed to find a graphic style to communicate the beauty and intricacy of DNA. We wanted to create nostalgia; taking the audience back to the days of textbook diagrams and old science documentaries, such as Carl Sagan’s COSMOS and IBM’s POWER OF TEN (1977). Using the double helix circular theme as a core design we focused on form, movement and colour to create a consistent flow to the animation, drawing on references from nature, illustrating how DNA is the core to everything around us.”

Three minutes is a short time to explore a subject where most doctorates only scratch the surface, so writer Andrew S. Walsh teamed up with molecular biologist Dr Matthew Adams to distil the script down to the most fundamental elements required to understand not only DNA’s form and function but how our understanding of these discoveries has affected the wider world. While this length may feel restrictive, the team found that this limitation acted as a lens, focusing the piece on the essentials.

The Explainer series is designed to intrigue and inform, encouraging those who discover the documentaries to further explore through links to additional information found on the BBC website.
(by Territory)

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GRAY’S ANATOMY
(Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

It so happens that the right teacher can take the form of a book. Gray’s Anatomy is one of those few titles that practically everybody has heard of, and with good reason–it is a scientific and artistic triumph. Not just a dry index of parts and names, Gray’s lets the natural beauty and grace of the body’s interconnected systems and structures shine forth from the page. Using sumptuous illustrations and clear, matter-of-fact descriptions, Dr. Gray unleashed a classic on the world more than 100 years ago. Its clarity and usefulness keep it in print today. Whether you want to understand yourself or others, knowledge of our physical parts and how they fit together is essential. Gray’s Anatomy provides that information in a simple, timeless format that cleanly dissects a body of knowledge grown over centuries. This book will not only fill the needs of people in the medical profession, but will please artists and naturalists as well.

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ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND & OTHER STORIES
(Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories is one of Barnes & Noble’s Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world’s greatest authors in an exquisitely designed bonded-leather binding, with distinctive gilt edging and a silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectible, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensable cornerstone for every home library.