Comic Books Magazine

Skin as Armor. Skin as Soil.

Posted on the 06 March 2022 by Matteofarinella
Skin as armor. Skin as soil.

If you know me, you have probably noticed I’m endlessly fascinated by scientific metaphors. I love to think of how they may shape scientific understanding and public perception of science.
This illustration was inspired by a metaphor I have read in Losing Eden by Lucy Jones (attributed to the environmentalist Paul Shepard):

“We imagine our skin and our bodies to be an armor, or a shell, impenetrable to the outdoors. But the human epidermis is more like a pond surface, or a forest soil.”

I found it quite beautiful, and also very useful. It encourages us to stop thinking of human bodies as ‘machines’ that can somehow be maintained independently from the rest of the natural world. Instead, each one of us is a complex ecosystem, populated by hundreds of different species which both rely on us, and on which we rely. As we are learning, our skin is a very porous boundary.
On a technical note: this was done entirely in Procreate, based on an early sketch on paper. Not sure I like this style but I’m trying to work without thick black outlines for once.

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