Space is something I’ve been extremely passionate about since I was a very young child. I vividly remember being obsessed with an old space encyclopedia my mom bought me when I was a kid. I would look through it every day and try to comprehend exactly what I was looking at. Back then I was so sure that I knew that when I grew up I wanted to study science and astronomy.

As I grew older I realized that working in the field of science was growing increasingly unlikely as I didn’t actually like school in the traditional form and couldn’t bear the thought of spending additional years in school. I absolutely love learning and consider myself a life-long learner and autodidact, but when I realized that being an artist and designer was my actual calling in life, I never let my deep interest in science and astronomy fade away.

The only reason I became a designer in the first place was because one day I was using a computer at the library at my high school and came across an art gallery on DeviantArt that was full of space art by various artists from around the world. I wanted to learn how to make stuff like that so I began researching and found out most of them used Photoshop to make those works of art. So I decided at that point I was going to teach myself how use Photoshop and make space art. (Here are some of my latest digital space art pieces I’ve done) Eventually that all snowballed from there and I began doing design work for bands for the next few years. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Back in January I came across a tweet from @NASAJPL that said they were accepting applications from content creators to participate in the State of NASA social event that was taking place across various NASA facilities across the country on February 10th.

I was told about this type of event by a friend a few years ago who encouraged me to apply. I was reluctant at first since I felt like I didn’t have a large enough audience to get accepted. So I left it alone and didn’t bother applying for the past few years. But every year I would see a tweet pop-up about it and would get the urge to apply but would ultimately decide on not doing it.

I’m not sure what changed this time around but when I saw the tweet come up I asked myself “What’s the worst that can happen? That I don’t get accepted?” So I submitted my info and was actually really surprised and excited when I got the email a few weeks later saying I was approved.

Overall, visiting NASA JPL was an amazing experience. It was something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid. Getting to see the facilities where actual science and engineering happens and getting to hear directly from the incredible minds that work on those projects was something I never knew could ever be possible for me.

Also getting to meet some really cool like minded people from all walks of life was a major highlight as well. I wish I had more time together to actually sit and chat with everyone and learn about them.

Below is a select gallery of photos I took during the event. Just click on any image to bring up the overlay gallery. A video of footage I recorded of the whole experience is coming soon!