Interview with Liz Burke

Interview by Benjamin Robira

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (interests, hobbies, places you’ve lived, etc.)?

I was born, in Massachusetts and grew up in Tucson. I’ve lived in Tennessee and California for brief periods of time. Hobbies are my hobby… gardening, dance, music, art, metallurgy, crafts, animals, yoga, martial arts, outdoor activities, reading,...

What got you interested in art and science?

The more I think about it, the things I used to do as a child ended up making good tools to apply to science. Once I finally realized much of my interests had comfy nooks in science, I plunged myself into the science aspect.

Do you think that the two complement one another?

Yes! They build on each other so well that I can’t help but see through scientific lenses when I paint and vice versa.

Do you think you will combine the two in your professional life?

I’m not sure I CAN’T at this point.

Has your NSCS degree helped inform your art, and vice versa?

Absolutely! It’s also helped me hone in on HOW to lay visual concepts so they can be (hopefully) widely understood by ANY of the other science branches. The more I learn, the more artful science becomes for me. The more I paint (or whatever medium), the more I see the science in art.

Do you think being creative is an important attribute to have?

I certainly hope so, personally. Yes, I believe one could argue it’s at times a very useful tool especially in science, physics, technology, etc..

What advice do you have for people who want to be artists and scientists?

Be courageous, even if you don’t think anybody else cares. The impression and attention of the world is not what you should focus on. If something is important to you, practice learning how to reach out to others that already feel similarly.

Don’t let fear close the doors of your passions.

(my personal fav) Don’t be constrained by the viewpoints (of variable open mindedness) of others. Allow yourself to grow stronger with the flexibility that creativity invokes.

The most beautiful part about art to me is that it can tear down walls (literal and figurative) and fortify others. Art is flexible and variable. It can simultaneously shape and reflect history. It can trigger emotions in others that might not even speak the same language or live during the same time. It can reveal the simple yet awesome connectedness of things as well as invoke meaning by individuals without the “right” words.