Real Scientists is getting an artistic education this week with Julia Krolik, information designer, data scientists, artist, and Entrepreneur. She founded the creative agency Pixels and Plans and non-profit organization Art the Science. In addition to being an award-winning artist, Julia has a background in microbiology, and she chatted to Real Scientists about her work so far:
Welcome to Real Scientists! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into this combined science and art world?
Shortly after my mom and I came to Canada from the Soviet Union, my mother told me that “art doesn’t make any money” so I pursued a science career. This however didn’t stop me from going to the local art gallery every Thursday night in high school because it was free. I went for 5 years and continued to take art courses in university as electives, so I guess you could say put in my “10,000 hours”.
I knew that I wanted to create a workday where I can do both science and design/art and that no one was going to post a position like that, so I had to make one for myself. In this vein, I often feel extremely humbled and lucky to have found my science/design/art ecosystem. Aside from working with Pixels and Plans clients, I lead a nonprofit called Art the Science. I am also the Partnerships Director for the Data Visualization Society.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
My work is dedicated to helping the public understand the fascinating world of science through various creative means. Most of my work revolves around data visualization and visual communication. My current role allows me to tap into my wide range of skills including data analysis, graphic design, radio/video production and art installation.
I currently work with my partner, Owen Fernley, at our creative agency Pixels and Plans. It’s kind of like an advertising agency, except instead of convincing people to buy stuff, we leverage audience research and creative strategy to get audiences excited and engaged in research and science. We also love creating interactive data visualizations and science-based art.
Very cool. What do you get up to in your free time?
I rock climb and play the ukulele. For my ideal day off, I try and replicate the passage of time as a child, when days felt like years. This often involves immersing myself in imaginative play with my eight year old son.
Julia Krolik, welcome to Real Scientists!