Maria Sibylla Merian

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


If I had any control or say, in my next life I would love to be a scientist. Sadly, in this life, I don't have the mental capacity for it. I'm definitely more right brained, therefore, I'm more creatively inclined (that was slightly redundant). Thanks to the ever informative Google Doodles, I discovered Maria Sibylla Merian (2 April 1647 – 13 January 1717). She was a naturalist and scientific illustrator and was known for her documentation of butterfly metamorphosis. I'd say 80% of the time, I click on the Google Doodle, especially if the illustration interests me. In the case of Merian, her illustration immediately grabbed my attention. I love discovering new things or rather people of the past who made a huge contribution to science and art.

I think art and science have a complementary relationship, demonstrated in Merian's illustrative style and subject. I'm always fascinated by women artists of the past. It was Merian's stepfather Jacob Marrel who encouraged her to draw and paint. Her favorite subject matters were botany and entomology, sadly, I'm most afraid of insects. It was unusual for someone to be interested in insects, she was the first naturalists to observe them directly. Nevertheless, I love her visual style. I love the idea of metamorphosis and how it applies to human beings. We all go through many phases in our lives, we have to adapt to all kinds of situations, we're constantly growing, changing, evolving... at least hopefully we are. I think I've grown up a lot over the years. With the help of photo documentation, I can see how I've physically changed over the years. I've also been writing a memoir, which allows me to revisit all my happiest, saddest and angriest memories.

I love that art can evoke so much emotion and that's one of my goals as an artist, writer and filmmaker. I always wanted to be an artist or rather a painter and illustrator as a child, but I never pursued it because I was self conscious. Eventually, I discovered my love for films and realized my desire to be a filmmaker. I think filmmaking suits me best, since it combines everything from storytelling, visuals, sound, music into a single art form. I can best express myself with all these mediums and translate my idea into an actual physical form. I just love finding inspiration in my surroundings. Thanks to the internet, it is so easy to educate yourself. I am looking forward to collecting more books and building a library like in Beauty and the Beast!

Enjoy the stunning illustration of Maria Sibylla Merian! Happy 366th Birthday!

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