I'm Martha. I've been a science illustrator, artist, and fan of weird creatures my whole life. This blog is about sharing my fascination with all things strange and unusual in the natural world.
View my portfolio at www.marthaiserman.com
Since I was little I've been obsessed with sharks. And insects. And baby goats. But mostly sharks, which was weird for a girl growing up in the frozen tundra of landlocked Minnesota. I fueled this fascination with Zoobooks subscription, David Attenborough documentaries, and a library card. After growing up and receiving my BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Minnesota I realized my artwork was largely inspired by similar themes. The wild world of science has been the drive behind my paintings ever since.
Eventually, I decided to make it official and received my graduate degree in Science Illustration from California State University in Monterey Bay (Go Sea Otters). Here I was able to focus full time on illustrating all my favorite critters, and I decided to center my work on the creepiest of the crawlies. My focus was invertebrate zoology, and because of this, I was able to work on a Mollusk project at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and then in the Entomology Department at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
For the past decade, I have had the privilege to create images for publications including VICE and Nautilus magazines, research centers like The Florida Center of Neuroscience and the UMN Cancer Research Institute, and companies such as Nuvimedix and Amcraft Manufacturing. With the publishing company Teacher's Curriculum Institute in 2016, I illustrated and designed two life sciences textbooks for middle schools. Afterward, I worked as a consulting art director for startups in Silicon Valley before moving to Australia in 2019.
The majority of my work is done in watercolor, with the occasional pen and ink or digital illustrations to supplement an image.
I now live and work in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne with my husband Chase and our 2.5 cats. I have big plans to take advantage of this unique ecosystem by illustrating a field guide to the ranges and teaching upcoming nature journaling classes.
Have an idea for a DOPE NOPE, or a cool story about a crazy creature? Let me know!