Shiz Aoki completed her graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (in the Art as Applied to Medicine program) in Baltimore, MD. Combining her passion for science, art, and communication, she took her first job out of grad school as science illustrator with National Geographic Magazine in Washington, DC. Now based in Toronto, Canada, Shiz has continued to lead the science illustration efforts for National Geographic over the last 7 years, while also growing her own medical illustration practice at Anatomize Studios. Her team has won numerous global awards and was listed in both 2016 and 2017 Best American Infographics Books.
After turning away hundreds of scientists who couldn’t afford her services (and seeing the awful images that were being created in Powerpoint as a result), Shiz realized that there was a huge gap in the availability of resources for scientists to create their own images. She also noticed a growing distrust in science by the public, and realized the crucial role that effective images play in science communication. Over the last year, she has shifted her efforts from growing her client-base to leading efforts to democratize science illustration through a free DIY platform, empowering scientists to create their own professional images through a website called BioRender.io.
Shiz can be found on Twitter @ShizAoki and @BioRender tweeting about #SciComm, #womeninSTEM, #SciArt, and sharing everything she’s learned in the 10 years of visual scicomm into easy how-to tips to help improve the current state of science visualization. She is co-located in the Bay Area and will be tweeting out from both SF and Toronto where she will be giving talks in both cities.