The Artistic Astronaut


Dear Nicole Stott,

I imagine there are few experiences more existential than looking back at Earth from space. The problems and politics of the terrestrial world must shrink away to feel so very insignificant when all of humanity fits within your window on the International Space Station. The perspective must be overpowering.

Isn’t perspective, in both senses of the word, essential for creating art? Creating art is to express your personal perspective on something, anything. So I imagine (again) that creating art in space removes you from the “noise” of everyday life and focuses your expression in that moment. Although, after being in space for over 100 days like you were, that was everyday life! Amazing.

Some recent projects at my job have reinvigorated the “space kid” part of me. I’ve been learning and relearning about the past achievements of NASA and what is still to come for human space exploration. When I see an image of the Space Shuttle, it brings back that same excitement and wonder I felt when I was 9 years old checking out books about NASA from the library. I hope kids today are still amazed by space and astronauts, but now it’s probably focused on SpaceX.

Which brings me to the #dearMoon mission! A very noble idea in the name of art as much as science, which I think is totally refreshing. You’ve said you would be interested in going on the mission. If you were chosen and it becomes a reality in 2023, how do you think your artwork would be different than what you created on ISS? Would you stick with painting, or maybe something more transportable like charcoal? Just a thought!

However it plays out, wishing you the best!

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