Lindsey Leigh grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, fascinated by the Smithsonian Museums and the Baltimore Aquarium. Her passion for communicating scientific ideas eventually led her to join the Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrators. She has since completed a Scientific Illustration internship with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has created educational comics for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Tech, and the magazine BBC Focus. When she is not drawing, she enjoys taking long walks in the local cemetery.
A Conversation with Lindsey Leigh about THE DEEP!
What inspired you to write this story?
The deep sea has been an area of interest for me ever since I was very young as I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown and the deep sea is really one of the most unexplored and mysterious places in our world. I remember learning that life was only discovered at deep sea hydrothermal vents in 1977 and that blew my mind, it seemed so recent! I also have a fondness for animals that other people consider “weird” or “scary” and the deep sea in particular is chock full of them, so I naturally wanted to give them a voice and show the world that these creatures can be beautiful and fascinating.
What was your creative process like when taking scientific ideas and breaking them down through illustrations for young readers?
I have always been very passionate about science communication and I will often work with scientists to create comics of their scientific findings. I start by reading their scientific papers, then I try to break down the ideas into simple concepts and images that will be understandable for all age groups. I found that was excellent practice for creating this book.
I also find humor is a great way to communicate ideas for young readers and I hope that the jokes in the book really make the facts fun and memorable.
What do you hope readers walk away with after reading?
My hope is that readers come away feeling as excited about deep sea creatures as I do! There are new discoveries being made every year and we still have so much more to learn about the deep sea, so I hope readers are left wanting to know more about their strange and beautiful world!
What is your favorite creature or spread in the book?
That’s hard to say, I love all of them but I especially love sea pigs, I just think they’re adorable!
Oarfish are also one of my favorites, they are so majestic, they really do look like mythical sea serpents.