Somehow, I recently managed to make my employment as a PhD a whole lot cooler!
Back in august 2017 I was contacted privately by a geologist from Greenland. She offered me the chance to illustrate a geology book for school children for the Government of Greenland.
The project couldn’t fit my science communication dreams better.
There was no way I could accept the offer – I’m working full time as a PhD student with hardly any free time on my hands.
However, my boss is way too awesome for his own shirt! He helped me set up the sweetest deal!
My PhD employment is four years long (opposed to three) because I have to do a years’ worth of work for the museum I work in. This duty work should ideally consist of various tasks within outreach, collection management, teaching and administration.
Now I’ve been allowed to use 700 hours of my duty work exclusively on this children’s book!
The deal is officially between the Natural History Museum of Oslo and the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Labour and the Interior of Greenland. It’s kind of like the museum is renting me out in exchange for shared rights to my illustrations. And also for some money. Did I mention that? I’m being payed good money for my work! (Or, well, the museum is. But my project is secured excessive funding now!)
Here’s the project:
The book is intended for children around the age of twelve. It’s ordered by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Labour and the Interior of Greenland and will be handed out free to schools in Greenland to be used in geology teaching. The book is specifically about geology and resources in Greenland but will cover many general geological themes. The text is written by geologists within the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Labour and the Interior. Throughout the book the text will be supported by illustrations and comics done by me! I’ve written the manuscripts for the comics myself so it is thoroughly my voice and style that will be seen in the final book. It’s super exiting!!!
The comics feature a geologist polar bear who talk directly to the reader. She is so far nameless.
Here’s her ‘official’ design, though I immediately changed her ears when I started drawing her for real.
I work together with the graphic designer of the book to adjust colour code, text font and frame design.
For that reason, I’ve more or less finished the first comic page from the book as a test. I’ve changed the text to English here for your sake. ;)
At this point, all manuscripts are written and storyboards and early sketches have been drawn.
Here’s the storyboard (in Danish) for a three-page comic on plate tectonics.
I’m now in the process of making all the true sketches – this I do the old-fashioned way with pencil on paper.
Here’s the same comic as above.
I will also be making the cover for the book but the design is not certain yet.
This is my present idea sketch. (Imagine a photo of a landscape with the frames and polar bear drawn on top.)
©Bitten Bolvig Hansen AcademicComics.com