Raised in upstate NY, Brittany Isabella currently resides just outside Boston with her daughter and husband. Her passion for art and science started since she can remember and so combining the two into her career just made sense. Not only does she design artwork for science, but she has experience in the litigation graphics industry working closely with lawyers and drafting their presentations, whether that be for medical malpractice cases, pharmaceutical drug litigation or technology patent lawsuits. She is also a certified medical illustrator approved by the Association of Medical Illustrators. Outside of design, you can find Brittany going to local farms, beaches and hiking trails with her family and friends, fighting weeds in her vegetable garden or tearing up the fields with her recreational soccer team.
Q: What art made the most impact early in your life? And what art — any medium — moves you today?
A: Art that mostly impacted me early in my life are good old comic strips. Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, The Far Side, are just a few of the classic favorites my twin sister and I used to read as kids. Although I didn’t really go down that path of art myself, mostly just a fan, I do imagine that I’d make a comic strip someday. I still like finding and following new modern comic strips that have been getting popular.
Art that impacted me a little later in life and probably one of the biggest influences of why I got into medical illustration are the anatomical drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci. I love how he cluttered all his thoughts and imagery onto one piece of paper, capturing a scientific story as he saw it. Beautiful.
Q: How did you eventually make contact and find yourself in orbit with Orrbitt? And do you like puns?
A: I love puns!… and corny jokes, mom & dad jokes, etc…
I initiated first contact with Orrbitt. I had been looking at Orrbitt’s website for a while and fell in love with the look and design, especially the scientific illustrations, and I told myself “I want to work for this company”. It makes me happy knowing that I tried for something I really wanted to see if there was any opportunity open, and it happened! I truly feel I’ve joined an incredible team here that creates amazing work that can make a difference.
Q: What medical science event / discovery / milestone impacted you whether or not you even knew it at the time? And you can’t say Covid.
A: Crispr. I felt like we were living in the future the first time I heard about it. Although gene editing can seem somewhat intense and a little scary, I can’t help but think about all the positive advancements we may have down the road when it comes to fighting severe diseases and sicknesses.
Q: What’s the coolest part about the cross section of art & science?
A: The final piece. Seeing the comparison of the beginning stages to the end, I feel clarity. It makes me feel like I’ve helped someone with something messy that needed to be “cleaned” up in some way. Nature and the human body is a beautiful complexity that people want or need to see in a different light so that it’s a little easier to understand.
Q: How would you describe your job to a group of five-year-olds?
A: I draw the healthy stuff and not so healthy stuff that are inside of our bodies.
Q: Everyone gets “writer’s block” or “creative funk”. What’s your slump-buster method or approach?
A: Go for a run, take a stroll outside, do something else for a bit that is not creative art. If I know anything about switching from one side of your brain to the next, then I believe human thinking craves variety so take a step back and take a break doing something else! Other human minds are helpful too. I use my creative connections and take a moment to see from someone else’s perspective. It’s nice to get another pair of eyes in the middle of a project.
Q: How do you fuel your creativity in other aspects of life?
A: I LOVED traditional medium. Painting, charcoal, ink, oil, pencil… the feeling of getting my hands dirty or the paint brush hitting the canvas, there is nothing like it. It’s nice to go back to that from time to time, the moment feels so alive. My almost-two-year-old loves to draw with paints, crayons and chalk (or whatever she can get her hands on) and she’s definitely helped bring me back to just getting messy and having fun with art! We’ve made some cute pieces together.
Q: Aliens, yes or yes?
A: A definite yes. The universe is just too big not to.