Friday, March 22, 2013

Scientific American's Skeptic column

Scientific American has a great skeptic column, usually dedicated to the various ways the human brain can malfunction and create one effect or another. There are great illustrations that go along with each article, and the subject matter is an illustrator's dream. Juicy stuff like why our brains deny/distort clear evidence, or how the brain creates consciousness.

I was lucky enough to be tasked with illustrating the recent issue. The column was skeptical of a brain surgeon's assertion that, during a near death experience, he'd had a glimpse of heaven. Seemed a sensitive issue for my normally irreverent approach to drawing.

Pretty much two approaches to the same idea. The 2nd beat of the image would show you that the brain is the culprit. 
Playing off the evidence and hallucination ideas, I thought it would be fun to draw pink elephants. I found out later they are pretty  much exclusively related to alcohol induced hallucination. Oops.

I knew going in that this was my strongest idea. It wasn't as goofy as the others and the relationship between brain and vision of heaven was more subtle. Using color to tie the elements together is somewhat new for me and I'm glad it worked out as well as it did.