Info & Contact

Interdisciplinary Artist • Science Visualizer • Art Director

Artists' portfolios OR permission for Quanta art → see QUANTA section.

NO: N-F-Ts, cryp--, A.I.

Requests about these will be ignored.



Since the 00s: illustrator & fine artist → designer → art director → physics student → science visualizer.

Currently an independent freelancer collaborating with scientific publications, researchers, labs, universities, and others worldwide.

I work in a variety of styles and mediums, and most enjoy “visualizing invisible things” — a recurring joke on my former team, meaning abstract and imperceptible subjects in theoretical and experimental science. Some favorite topics include physics (from the particular to the universal), science fiction, and fantasy.

Available for freelance / consulting / contract opportunities.


In 2014 I joined Quanta Magazine as the first official Art Director and was the sole art staff for several years following. Through 2021, my work included establishing and shepherding the visual identity, directing and creating feature art (illustration, photography, interactive, video, etc.), visual / graphic design, hiring and guiding creative staff, and more.

✎ Quanta Contact Form
Interested in creating visuals for Quanta? Send portfolios there!
I resigned in 2021; the form is the best way to get your work seen by current staff.

Permission for Quanta art or graphics:
→ Contact Quanta (form above) if: you need a specific image I created and the article is dated 2021 or earlier.
→ Email me if: the article is dated 2022 or later, and is at least one year old. If you need a similar visual, I may be available for hire.


  • Sketchfab Science Spotlight
    Why & how I created real-time 3D models for Quanta. (text)

  • SVA Creators - Feature
    A short video about my botanical photography, art, & approach to social media. (video, 2:40)

  • Adjust Your Margins - Interview
    About my work; synthesizing art, design, science, and gardening. (text)

  • SciViz 2019 - Talk
    "Galaxy Leggings, Truth Serum & the Visibility Cloak"

    My approach to scientific / editorial art at Quanta. (video, ~20:00)
  • Illustrating Mathematics - Book Feature
    After giving a talk at ICERM on the titular subject, my Möbius strip packing animation was featured in a book of mathematical art by Diana Davis / AMS. A younger, math-hating me would be infinitely confused by these developments. Yet here we are!


I love plants — tropical foliage and Araceae, particularly. Over some years I amassed a collection of indoor specimens, along with (perhaps inordinately?) expansive mental and photographic libraries on the subject.

  • DNA Analysis Reveals a Genus of Plants Hiding in Plain Sight
    In 2018 I wrote / art-directed / produced an article about the science behind Philodendron bipinnatifidum & related species' reclassification to the genus Thaumatophyllum. Thanks to John Rennie for editing, and to Haarkon for photography.

  • Unsplash
    Free, Creative Commons photos from my archives. (Plants, landscapes, textures)


You're still here?

My work has appeared in: The Atlantic, The Baffler, The Institute for Advanced Study, Nautilus, Pour La Science, Science, Science News, Scientific American, The Simons Foundation,, Symmetry, WIRED, and elsewhere including books, lectures, galleries, and on one building in NYC. A few recent achievements I contributed to: a Pulitzer, ASME Ellie for General Excellence, Webbys, and One Club Pencil. Solo, I've received various awards for art and writing, and a university Physics Department award remains one of my most personally-meaningful honors.

© Olena Shmahalo