In Our Phage World / by Leah Pantea

I am writing this post way past when perhaps it would have been time-relevant, however, only now, after time and separation, do I believe I am ready to share about this project. I was found for this project by a now-dear friend who saw my works hanging in a restaurant, contacted me, and invested in me to illustrated for a textbook on bacteriophage. 

Apart from interest in high school, I had had no experience drawing viruses, or had any previous knowledge of their workings, so for me, this project was a lot of research. Each of the 70 (yes 70!) illustrations required multiple back and forths between myself and the writers, making sure I understood the concepts so that I could accurately hand draw each illustration. I was creating about three illustrations per week, and honestly, this project was an unexpected joy. Being a school lover, I really enjoyed the return to studying and attempting to understand new things.  I was, and still am, thrilled that I was able to contribute on a project that was so different from my own style of work and be able to use my work to translate difficult things to understand. I also did each of them entirely by hand. All text on the drawings are my own handwriting.  The works were scanned into the computer and from there all that was shifted was the tone of the drawings. I loved being able to add a human element to a textbook, where generally images are just as difficult to understand as the text.  

As if all of the interior illustrations did not fill me with a sense of joy and fulfillment, I was asked to create the cover to be a fusion of my illustrative style and my personal style.  WHAT A DREAM COME TRUE! IS THIS MY LIFE? 

Its challenging for me to put into words how thankful I was for the opportunity to join in something so unlikely. It was truly a strange and glorious project.

Buy it here

See select illustrations here