Penn State Research Magazine Paper Cuts

I am so excited to finally share my latest paper cuts with you! This summer, I was commissioned to create three paper cut illustrations for a story about the evolution of skin color in the Penn State Research magazine.

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski; Research at Penn State Magazine 35(2) Fall 2015

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski, printed in Research at Penn State Magazine 35(2) Fall 2015

The story is based on the work of Penn State anthropologist Nina Jablonski. The first illustration is a portrait of Nina, based on a photo by Patrick Mansell. This is probably the most complicated portrait I have made to date!

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski, created for the Research at Penn State Magazine.

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski, created for the Research at Penn State Magazine.

Curious how this was made? Check out this work-in-progress video:

As part of Nina’s research, she and her colleagues created a map predicting skin colors of indigenous peoples based on ultraviolet radiation. I converted this map to paper for the story’s opening spread.

mag_map1

The opening spread for the story, written by David Pacchioli.

Both the portrait and the third piece posed quite a challenge, as the black shadows blended into the background in one seamless piece. The third piece in particular was quite stubborn, but it turned out all right in the end.

Paper cut hands created for the Penn State Research Magazine. Based on a photo by Patrick Mansell.

Paper cut hands created for the Penn State Research Magazine. Based on a photo by Patrick Mansell.

I am very pleased with how these illustrations turned out! See them for yourself in the magazine. And, of course, read more about Research at Penn State on their website. (I also recently wrote a few news stories for the Penn State Research website–check them out here and here.)

mag_cover

Research | Penn State – Fall 2015. My illustrations can be found on pages 12-17.

After December I will again be open for commissions. Until then, I will be working on my dissertation, which is due quite soon. Curious about my research? Check this post on my lab’s blog for a summary of one of my recently published projects.

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About Gail McCormick

Science writer at Penn State University; papercrafter, ecologist, theatre-lover.
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One Response to Penn State Research Magazine Paper Cuts

  1. Pingback: Science Communication and Art! | The Lizard Log

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