Mad Art Lab is a group blog about the intersection of art, science, skepticism, secularism, humanism, atheism and geek culture. All Mad Art Lab contributors are artists representing a wide variety of mediums such as, web-comics, music, writing, sculpting, cooking and performance art. This blog is part of the Skepchick Network. See our Commenter Code of Conduct here.
Amy Davis Roth a.k.a. Surly Amy is the fearless leader and managing editor of this team of super-intelligent and highly creative artists poised to take over the universe. They keep talking about the world but Amy has bigger plans. Amy is a multi-media artist who practices art everyday. She is the creator and maker of Surly-Ramics. She also writes for Skepchick.org and is co-host of Mad Art Cast. Follow her on twitter @SurlyAmy or support her work on Patreon!
Anne Sauer is a humanist with a passion for science, good food and spirits, and feminism. When she isn’t cooking new things, she is pursuing her MBA in Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School and helping to empower social entrepreneurs through her consulting work. If you like pictures of homemade food and fluffy kitties, you should follow her on Twitter @aynsavoy. If you insist on buying her a drink, she’ll take a Perfect Rye Manhattan, please and thank you.
Ryan is an engineering graduate student living in Waterloo, Ontario. When not destroying things for science, he is a sculptor, armor smith, art teacher, writer, juggler and nerd. His Mad Art Lab Superpowers include mathamancy and illusions. To him, global domination seems like rather a lot of work and he’d much rather spend the time building things and eating cake.
Dale is the co-author and artist of the twice-weekly historical webcomic Frederick the Great: A Most Lamentable Comedy and was the creator of the atheist webcomic The Vocate for three glorious years. He is a regular contributor to The Freethinker, Philosophy Now, and American Atheist Magazine and blogs about humanist culture and science over at Twilight of the Nearly Everything. Squirrel Girl is his favorite Avenger. (Photo by biblenamephoto)
Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) realized her destiny to become a saxophone player after a bite from a radioactive jazz musician left her incapable of enjoying a song’s tonic note. She can often be spotted cavorting around Chicago playing saxophone with her funk band FuzZz, with the big bands Big Band Boom and The Great Postmodern Nightmare, and in the pit orchestra for various musical productions. She has appeared on WNYC’s Soundcheck, where she used the word “boss” as an adjective, unironically. She also writes for a living, but if she told you where, she’d have to kill you. In her free time, she enjoys running on the beach with her beloved husband and two dogs, all of which are imaginary. Follow her on Twitter at @smashleyhamer.
Donna is the sole proprietor of Sheer Brick Studio, an award-winning design shop in the Historic District of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She has the great fortune to work with good guys who specialize in being talented badasses. She’s a preferred vendor to her clients, Ms. Information for George Hrab and the Geologic Universe, the Diva of Design for Dark Øverlord Media, the media technician for her city’s Mounted Police, and now, a Skepchick at Mad Art Lab. Donna likes cheesecake and world domination but would much prefer a plate of ziti and a nice Sangiovese. She enjoys the occasional ribald typography joke. If the design industry tanks, Donna’s backup plan is working as a dominatrix named Madame Ligature.
Brian George is an illustrator who lives and works in the Van Beardswick neighborhood of Brooklyn. His fierce love of cheesecake is often (but not always) thwarted by his intolerance for lactose. He will draw and paint for your amusement (‘amusement’ is archaic Etruscan slang for ‘money’). Visit his portfolio at bgeorge.com and follow his tweets @brianggeorge.
Victor scrawled plans for world domination on the bars of his crib when he was little and if he ever tracks down that crib, the world will be a much better place, or at least it would have better cheesecake. Until such a time, he spends his days writing poems describing the wonders of the natural world and taking apart irrational arguments. He can be found asleep at the wheel after being up in the wee hours of the night making cheesecake and mumbling to himself during his more lucid moments. On the more frequent occasion that he is less than lucid, he can be found participating in arguments on the internet. If you live near the San Francisco Bay Area, you can order one of his creations at reuschelles.com and meet the man in person to find out why you should support his scheme for world domination.
Elizabeth Havener Finn has not been able to choose a career; instead she decided at age five to go through them alphabetically to see which she liked. At the moment she’s caught somewhere between Acrobat, Author, and Biologist (having at least settled against Actress and Astrophysicist). She is a graduate student in genetics at Stanford, where she spends most of her time moving tiny amounts of clear fluids from one tube to another and chasing after mice. When she’s not developing carpal tunnel syndrome from pipette overuse, she teaches and performs aerial fabrics, writes ridiculously verbose prose fiction, dances, and designs and makes her own clothing.
Seelix, aka Emily, is a Science Communicator, Forensic Anthropologist, Costumer and QA Analyst, sometimes, but not usually, all at once. She is not actually in the business of world domination herself, but she will be designing the uniforms and hiding the bodies for our future overlords. Strengths: textile manipulation, cultural theory, mad cocktail skills, and explaining big concepts in little words. Weaknesses: Every time she hears someone misuse poisonous or venomous, she must make a 4d10 willpower check for at least 35 or she has to stop everything she’s doing and correct the offender. Weapons of choice: pedantry, sarcasm, the eye-searing purple of her Batgirl costume, too many degrees, and her top-secret Mai Tai recipe. Emily can usually be found lurking in dark corners of the internet as Seelix on Twitter, on Google+ and even occasionally at her blog This View of Life. She has a phobia of free time, so she organizes conferences, conventions and science events to take up that time. (Photo by Jamie Bernstein.)
Katie is an animator and illustrator of human innards living in Chicago. A childhood of looking at icky body slices at the Museum of Science and Industry, grossing herself out with Encyclopedia Britannica, and an unshakable jonesing to make stuff led her to this obscure profession. Her favorite color is shiny, but tarnished metal finishes come in a close second. She lives in an Victorian era horse barn off Wicker Park with two chinchillas, Joe Buck (a stud) and Ratso (who is walking here!) and cannot imagine living somewhere that doesn’t have multiple concert venues within spitting distance or one of the greatest skeptic groups in this fine country.
CharlesP is a man, or a muppet, or maybe just a “Standard Nerd”. He may not be great at anything, but he’s mediocre at a spectacular number of activities: the day job of software engineer, playing guitar, writing fiction, building websites, photography, baking giant cakes, making the puppets, performing the puppets, being a dad and husband. You can usually find him on the twitter (@cpillsbury or @puppetaweek), or building and performing for Death By Puppets, when he’s not wasting time on tumblr, or working.
Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and public transit and still does not own a smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don’t like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around.
A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a multimedia publishing company she co-founded with hard science fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She’s a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn’t like chocolate all that much.
(Photo by Amy Davis Roth.)
Lauren Lane is the co-founder of Skepticon, the nation’s largest ABSOLUTELY FREE skeptic convention. She has two degrees in art and is not afraid to use them. You can find her here on twitter and look at her pretty arts over here. (Photo by biblenamephoto)
Courtney Caldwell is a vegan feminist who enjoys painting, writing, and concocting delicious vegan recipes. When not helping organize local and national conventions, she is probably spamming your Twitter feed with pictures of her chihuahua. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, you can follow @CultOfCourtney on Twitter!
Celia Yost is an illustrator who has done a little of everything at this point, from community newspaper covers to book illustrations to home
decor design. Her non-commercial work can be viewed at http://celiadrawing.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on twitter @mocknot. She has a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art, a love of drawing monsters, and a large collection of art supplies.
Julianne is an artist and illustrator with a passion for science, science fiction, and storytelling. She can often be found painting cephalopods at live music shows, trying to avoid mixing-up her brush water and beer but seldom succeeding. You can see her work at julianneharnish.com and follow her on Twitter @JulianneHarnish