2D meets 3D

One of the great benefits of having moved back to Boston almost a year ago is that I've been able to reconnect with old grad school friends, one of whom hired me for this cover art project. It's about using mRNA sequencing to monitor yeast fermentation, reporting back when the system is low in some key component such as, in this case, lipids. The idea for this image was conceived of most pleasantly over sandwiches on a roof garden in Kendall Square, as opposed to my usual forehead-to-desk-alone-in-my-office method.


One challenge that comes up in the majority of my projects in the problem of scale. How do you represent objects that differ in scale by several orders of magnitude together in one image? Sometimes artists will use a magnifying glass, or even just an inset. Sometimes I will use extreme perspective. For this project I decided to try something new, and used 2D for the molecular and microscopic, while using 3D for the macroscale objects. It's meant as a sort of wink to the audience, as in, I know mRNA is not as big as a computer monitor but I put it in a different dimension so it's okay, see? Like a parallel universe! Will you allow it?