After many ups and downs, the facility I work in was bought by a small pharmaceutical company called G&W Laboratories (after being merged with Waston Pharmaceuticals after being bought by Acatvis). This meant that after months of stressful audits and tours, we finally had some job security, but it also means that now we are working harder to reintegrate the old and change over to the new. We also don't have the funding of a big company anymore. Meaning longer hours at work. Meaning fewer hours at an art desk. :-(
On the hobby side, I picked up volunteering at the Schiele Museum (a tiny little gem of a natural history museum that hides in Gastonia, NC) with the folks in Collections. I have never worked with such an interesting group of scientists. They are so enthusiastic! And it is infectious :-) they might even have inspired me to go through with a Masters in Zoology and enter the scientific illustration field through a back door and networking.
I have been specifically working with the Malacologist there to illustrate common Piedmont NC snails. Who knew there were so many minute differences in land snails? I am learning a lot, to say the least. You might have seen some of them posted on Google+. If not, here is one of my favorites.
This is Striatura meridionalis. It only grows to be about 1mm wide. Yup, that small.
I am now trying to get the Triodopsis page done, which will compare the aperture (a major diagnostic feature and where the snail comes out) views of some common Triodopsis snails. It is slow, but coming along. I'd like to have all the sketches done and transferred to illustration board and then take a whole Day to volunteer and finish them all in one day.
Also on the list of things to do is to make a functional portfolio website. I have the domain name but haven't done the web hosting. Sigh. Any suggestions?