The Many Facets of Lynette Cook.
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From an early age my two main interests were art and nature. I pursued these by double majoring in Biology and Drawing & Painting at Mississippi University for Women. After completing Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, I moved West to the California College of the Arts, specializing in scientific illustration and graduating with a Master of Fine Arts.

Internships in the Exhibits and Invertebrate Zoology departments at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco led to the staff job of Artist/Photographer for the Morrison Planetarium, a position I held for sixteen years. I am now self-employed.

Botanical and biological imagery comprised much of my early freelance work, with clients including Fine Cooking, Houghton Mifflin, Random House, and RN. Product illustration included note cubes for The Nature Company and the Food for Thought posters titled Periodic Table of the Fishes, Periodic Table of Rare and Endangered Species, and Chocolate.

Today I am well-known for my exoplanet artwork, many of which have accompanied discovery press releases. My work on this subject began in 1995, following the announcement the first confirmed extrasolar planet orbiting a sunlike star, 51 Pegasi b. I now have a sizeable collection of such artwork to my credit. These, and other astronomical pieces, have been available throughout the world in books, periodicals, and documentaries published/produced by Astronomy, BBC Television, bild der wissenschaft (Germany), CNN, Cosas (Peru), The Discovery Channel, Eos (Belgium), Japan Public Television, The Learning Channel, PBS, Science et Vie (France), Science News, Sky & Telescope, Time, and US News & World Report (a partial list).

Nearly 70 of my illustrations are featured in the adult-level book Infinite Worlds: An Illustrated Voyage to Planets Beyond Our Sun, co-authored with Ray Villard. I also have illustrated a children’s book on the subjects of extrasolar planets and life in space titled Faraway Worlds.

My method is to consult with astronomers, science editors, and art directors, to discuss what these alien places might look like and decide how best to represent the subject matter. I then create a work of art based on the known data. I sometimes incorporate scientifically plausible elements such as moons and planetary rings as well.

Trained traditionally, I once used a mixed media technique of gouache, colored pencil, and acrylic airbrush paint. In keeping with the times, and to accommodate short deadlines and frequent last-minute changes, my science illustration now is created digitally.

While marveling at the magic of the computer, being velcroed to a monitor for long periods causes me to yearn for tangible pigment and ground. As a result, I have picked up the paintbrush again and walk the paths of scientific illustrator and fine artist simultaneously. You can view my recent paintings and find a list of current and upcoming exhibitions at

I am a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists.

My CV can be found here.