Here on Symbiartic we are embarking upon an exciting new experiment. We are taking a science theme every couple of months and presenting you with one new original piece of science art from each of us - a fine artist (Glendon Mellow), a science comic (Katie McKissick), and a scientific illustrator (yours truly). Our first topic was intentionally vague - new beginnings - but we chose it because it had so much potential for exploration. At its core, I was interested in whether there was any scientific value in beginnings since as humans we seem fairly obsessed with determining how things began - how life on earth began, how the universe began - and yet, once we come up with an answer to these questions we can't help but ask, "ok, and what was before that?" It seems to me an infinite chicken and egg question.

So when tasked to think about the concept of new beginnings in a scientific and artistic context, rather than offer a scientific answer to which indeed came first, I wanted to do something else. When I say egg, you undoubtedly think of the white or brown hen's eggs sitting in your fridge (that may or may not be doing a little jig after the newly updated dietary guidelines finally exonerated the poor, maligned yolk!). But as much as I've been thinking about omelets, I couldn't help but chuckle when Mark Bittman exclaimed in relation to the new dietary guidelines, "Think of all those eggs you missed!" I agree, Mr. Bittman, (although I'm quite sure where I'm going is not what you meant...) there are more eggs to behold than the chicken egg, and some of them are quite delightful and surprising.

Those of you familiar with my personal science art of late will know that I've fallen in love with the denizens of the deep, and I reserve my utmost admiration for the gem-like octopus and cuttlefish egg cases. This particular sculpture is of a cluster of cuttlefish eggs. To me, they are the perfect visual answer to the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg: neither, because if the origin of life is what you're after, the answer is likely something squishy and delightful in the sea. If you're one of the many who has never thought to google "cuttlefish egg case," allow me to be the first to open that door for you and exclaim, "think of all those eggs you missed!"

And just because this series is all about experimentation, I thought it'd be fun to put the egg case in situ, sort of. Why not?

Other posts in this series:

Katie McKissick's New Beginnings in Comic Form

Glendon Mellow's coming soon...


This post is part of an on-going series at Symbiartic called Art Takes on Science. We designed the series to highlight how three different science artists - a fine artist, a scientific illustrator, and a science comic - communicate the same science topic through very different means. For each new installment, we'll introduce one relevant science topic and then shortly after we'll each reveal what we've been working on in the studio. Aside from agreeing on the topic, there will be no other collaborating between the three of us. We hope you enjoy seeing the breadth of ideas we bring to the table as well as the opportunity to gain a little insight into science artists and their process. Read more about the motivations behind the series and as always, please feel free to contribute to the conversation via social media: #arttakesonsci #sciart #symbiartic