Behind the Scenes: Mars 2020 Designs
Today we have a guest post from scientist and artist Briley Lewis, who helped design our amazing Mars 2020 merch!
It's no secret that I love working with STARtorialist. They've brought so much nerdy joy to the astronomy community by sharing their love of space through fashion, and they're consistent supporters of small businesses and independent artists. They were one of the first supporters of mine when I started selling jewelry, and I've been lucky enough to work with STARtorialist on some projects over the last few years—most recently, a design to celebrate the Mars 2020 mission and its explorers, the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter!
I'm so excited to share the final product. It looks so gorgeous, and like Emily says, it's a true representation of the power of collaboration! The story starts way before I was involved, when STARtorialist worked with a professional comic artist (who requested not to be named) to make a Mars Curiosity design a few years ago. Emily has always had big dreams for this, planning to make it a series of planetary exploration designs, but unfortunately that first artist wasn't available to do more of these drawings.
And that's where I come in! All thanks to a sketch of the VLA I posted on Twitter, Emily reached out to get this collaboration rolling. My job was to create the line drawings, which STARtorialist team member Debbie would then format for printing onto the products (printed by Detroit-based small business CyberOptix). We re-used the same Mars from the original Curiosity design, and I added the rover, Ingenuity helicopter, and landing capsule, drawn using Vectornator on iPad.
Printing took a while, so we didn't make it in time for the launch last summer (although STARtorialist did launch these cool face masks from ScienceSocks), but they're here now for the landing, which is happening THURSDAY! Emily's even got new items in the works with the Mars 2020 design, such as this t-shirt with the full view of the drawings.
We're all SO excited to see Perseverance and Ingenuity land safely and start exploring Mars. If you want to tune in for the landing, NASA's got a whole landing toolkit to guide your viewing and they'll be streaming the landing on 2/18 starting at 11:15am PST. I know I'll be watching! :)