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Seymour Simon’s Einstein Anderson series was reintroduced in 2013 as “Einstein Anderson: Science Geek” featuring interiors and covers illustrated by Kevin O’Malley and a layout template established by Sara Eichner. As the head of production for this project, I could not have been more delighted to have the contribution of such talented people. I was left with one challenge: the updated series was to include STEM-forward illustrated do-at-home science experiments, and neither Sara nor Kevin were contracted to provide this artwork. In fact, the art was supposed to have a junior-high, DYI, accessible quality that shouted: “You can totally do this, science is FUN!”.

My high school science notebooks were filled with illustrations of experiments so I jumped at the chance to provide the science illustrations for this series. There were production challenges presented by the ink percentage cutoff in the print-on-demand format: you couldn’t have too light or too dark a grey—you had to stay somewhere between 30 and 90 percent—a grey area (ha!). I didn’t want to use hatching because a lot of Kevin’s BW plates in the book used hatching and in no way did I want anyone to think he had drawn these experiments. From book to book (we published eight Einstein Anderson books) I tried different approaches and had a lot of fun with the help of editor Miranda Barry.

Drawing kids to Homegrown Science

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