Hi, my name is Azuravesta Rastan! But you can just call me Avesta. I’m a Scientific Visualization Specialist from Vancouver, Canada, currently residing in the urban jungle of Toronto.

I use art direction, animation, and design to visually communicate complex science. I love the challenge of breaking down tough topics into understandable visuals. It's been said that "science is not finished until it’s communicated," and I couldn't agree more.

I have both freelance and industry experience in the field of Medical Illustration, most recently working as an Associate Art Director at Real Chemistry. You can find my previous freelance work published online at NASA, BBC, UNESCO, and Discover Magazine, as well as in high-impact journals including Nature, Cell, and JAMA.

I was professionally trained at the Biomedical Communications (MScBMC) program at the University of Toronto – one of five accredited medical illustration programs in North America. Previously, I earned my BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences at Queen's University with a minor in World Language Studies.

Outside of work, I’m a creature of many hobbies – you can find me rock climbing, abstract painting, scuba-diving, attempting astrophotography, or attending too many concerts!

Interviews & Speaking
Loyla Univeristy (2022): Let’s Talk SciComm
BiomedX SciComm Panel (2022): Alternative careers in science
Pfizer Lunch & Learn (2021): Visual storytelling for science communication
Max-Planck Institute (2020): Science Visualization Workshop
PreparationTech Interview (2020): Communicating Complex Science
University of Toronto (2020): Effective Academic Poster Design
University of Toronto (2019): Intro to Science Visualization using Adobe Illustrator 
People’s Choice Award, 'The Social Determinants of Health' - AMI* (2023)
Award of Excellence, 'The Complement System' - AMI (2023)
Award of Merit, 'Illuminating Medulloblastoma' - AMI (2020)
Top Talent, 'Planetary Satellites' - Adobe Design Achievement Awards (2019)
Award of Merit, 'The Cancer Paradox' - Association of Medical Illustrators (2019)
Stephen Gilbert Award for Excellence in Biomedical Visualization - University of Toronto, Biomedical Communications Program (2018)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship for Academic Achievement and Research Potential - University of Toronto (2018)

*AMI = Association of Medical Illustrators
Creative Services
While my background is in medical illustration, I love branching outside of the field and getting involved in creative projects that push me to think outside the box. Don't hesitate to contact me with any project requests or questions! Currently I'm seeking projects with a strong focus on editorial illustration (infographics, journal covers, graphical abstracts) and creative 2D animation (science explainers, motion graphics). My skills include:
• Science Communication
• Art Direction
• Motion Graphics
• 2D Animation
• Illustration
• Graphic Design
• Medical Writing
• Data Visualization
• 3D Art

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