Cations is a spoof Broadway musical poster about… cations. Science is fun, right?
Okay, so if you don’t get the joke, cations are atoms or molecules with a positive electrical charge. I think.
Once I thought of the title, Cations, I knew I had to make this one somehow tie in to what little I know about chemistry. I couldn’t resist. Should I have? Maybe. I did it anyway.
Since I’m not a chemist, I had to do some research for this one. Fortunately, I was able to find quite a few reference sources on the internet. I bookmarked a couple of lists of common cations and I was on my way.
Cations is a digital illustration done in Illustrator and Photoshop.
I used Adobe Illustrator to draw a new “cat” silhouette for the cations. I wanted to keep it simple, so I just made a circle and stuck some ears on it.
When I was happy with that I brought the silhouette into Adobe Photoshop. I did this image in two phases. For the first phase, I used the silhouette as a layer mask. The white areas on the layer mask are opaque. Black is transparent. In this case, the cat head is white.
I used Photoshop’s bucket and paint brush tools to color the cat head blue and give it some depth. I wanted it to look round, like one of those colored balls that I’ve seen sometimes in science classrooms that represent atoms.
After I was satisfied with the look of the cat head, I turned it into a smart object. I did that so that I could change the size of the cat head more easily. I also added a line of text to the cat head, and grouped the head and text together.
Once that was done I started to clone the cat head and make the copies smaller. I arranged them so that they looked like a group of cats receding into the distance. Then I used the text to fill in the labels. I put calcium up front because it almost spells “cat” (see, there is a reason I’m an artist and not a scientist).
I also used Illustrator and Photoshop to create some eyes for the top of the picture. Then I used some more text for the “pupils”. Don’t look for any significance in the particular ions I used. Don’t try to ascribe meaning to the order of the ions, either. It’s pretty random. I wasn’t trying to spell anything else. I wouldn’t even know if this makes some kind of crazy formula. Honest. I just wanted it to be positively entertaining!
I hope people find it humorous.