Share Your Story: Margot Hislop - Mango SEA Science Education Art

ABOUT ME:

I am an ocean-loving, coastal person in work and play, so spend a lot of time in and around the beach, whether it’s my daily beach walk with my dogs, swimming or wandering the rockpools.

I am also kept busy with my teenage son who has various sporting interests which gets us out and about around the coast. When not at the beach, I head inland to spend time with my horse to a more rural area, which we’re so lucky to have as well as the ocean here on the coast. I love being busy, but need regular yoga sessions to balance it out, and love spending some downtime wandering art galleries or sitting in the hammock reading a good book!

MY BACKGROUND:

Mango SEA is all about ocean and environmental art and education. I have a background in art (graphic design) and science (marine biology) and a Masters Degree in science communication. I have worked as an Environmental Educator for 14 years but decided to pursue my own art and education adventures, and so Mango SEA was born. My artwork is not just about aesthetics, but also has underlying environmental meanings and/or educational messages. Mango SEA is about doing my part for wildlife conservation and sustainability of our natural environment for future generations. My aim is to make learning interesting and fun.

ABOUT MANGO SEA:

I started my business because I have many ideas for scientific art and education projects that I couldn’t implement via other employment. I like creating projects that fill educational needs, while being able to work flexible hours that can fit in around other commitments and events in my life.

Mango SEA is a culmination of skills that have been in my life right from the start. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil … And what did I draw? ... Animals! Art and science were subjects I did well in at school, which I then went on to study at university. In art I majored in illustration and photography, and in science my major was marine ecology. Education was the focus of my science communication studies. So, my business is a combination of all these loves and skills.

I have many moments that make me proud in my business so far, but the best is the feedback and comments I receive from my wonderful customers and students. If someone tells me they love my artwork and send photos of it on walls in their home, or a child tells me they get to see my artwork in their bedroom every day, or an art class student learns something new and creates their own beautiful artwork, or a child presents me with their illustration of a shark after talking to me, or people return to my market stall just to have a chat about their own ocean/wildlife stories … These all make me very happy.

I think my set of skills is a fairly unusual combination, although art and science are more interlinked than you may initially think. As Mango SEA is all about infusing art into science and science into art, an/or overlaying it with an educational perspective, I think this makes it unique.

I am a solo operator in my business. I do use some contractors for particular business needs, but at this stage, it is just me … apart from my teenager who reluctantly becomes my helper sometimes.

My aim to grow my business in which I will employ others passionate about scientific art and education to create and deliver educational artwork, products, resources and programs.

For anyone starting out, I would say, if you love what you do, even when the going gets a bit tough, then you are on the right path. Passion and enthusiasm of what you do will keep you on track.

Margot Hislop

Mango SEA Science Education Art

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