It’s so cliché having posters and photos of musicians on your walls; your walls could be smarter if they sported some rock stars of science, instead.
In early 2010, Megan Lee achieved inspiration via channel surfing when she came across a television documentary on the life of Nikola Tesla. Megan knew little about Tesla prior to watching the program but she found his rock-star brilliance incredibly interesting. Not sure exactly of where her research would take her, she began to read more about Tesla’s life.
When the answer came, it came Eureka-style and in the form of a mental image. She pulled out a notebook and quickly sketched the image in her head—a rectangle with a lightbulb inside and Tesla's name and year of birth written underneath it.
She knew exactly how she wanted it to look, could see it perfectly in her head. An artist who had previously employed worked primarily in photography and acrylic paints, Megan did not have experience or training in graphic design—but she surely figured it out.
Her Tesla design was based off of an old diagram she had found while researching and she kept the lines looking a little rough, layering the image under textures and smudges to give it an aged steampunk look.
She hung it in her apartment, pleased and with the task seemingly complete. But after some positive feedback from friends, she decided to sell her Tesla rock star print on Etsy.
According to Megan, “It sold. And then more sold. Ideas were pouring in while I continued exploring my new interest in science, so I started creating more designs and selling them as prints on Etsy, too. And that's how it all started.”
Today, the Rock Stars of Science collection has grown considerably. But Megan’s process is mostly unchanged from when she was first inspired by Tesla’s genius. “I get an idea or suggestion, I research the subject, and then I have fun playing until I like what I have.”
“It's really amazing for me to see that what started as a small personal project has now turned into a full-time business—as well as put me in touch with really fun and amazing people all over the world," she says. "Thanks to customers and passionate fans spreading the word about my work, I get contacted by scientists, schools and businesses about different opportunities just about every week. A few months ago I was contacted by the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington DC, who I'm now collaborating with and just a couple months ago I got an email from mental_floss! It's rather exciting waking up and never knowing who I'm going to hear from that day.”
Of course, we think Megan is pretty much a rock star herself and we have stocked four of our favorites of her prints: Einstein, Curie, Newton and, of course, Megan’s original inspiration, Tesla—pick one or get the full set of four!