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16 medical illustrators are groundbreaking work Design

Once upon a time, working as a medical illustrator was a quirky niche. However, this year everything has changed.

It’s an area that has been developing rapidly for a long time. The demand for highly skilled and trained artists is increasing to explain and promote new medical products and ideas. But in 2020 the Covid crisis has increased the need for clear and unambiguous visual displays to educate citizens about a range of medical concepts like never before.

However, it is not a discipline that an artist can jump into. Medical illustrators are professionals with advanced training in both life sciences and visual communication. Assignments often require extensive background research, reading scientific papers, and possibly observing an operation or laboratory procedure. Working with scientists, doctors, and other specialists can be an integral part of the creative process as they turn complex information into visual images that communicate and convey in ways that photography simply cannot compete with.

In this article, we bring together 16 of the best medical illustrators and animators working today, including some studios that produce cutting-edge virtual reality applications. They can all be found on the world’s premier medical and scientific arts resource – the annual Medical Illustration & Animation Sourcebook and companionmedillsb.com Website made by Serbin Creative for the Association of Medical Illustrators.

Bryan Christie is an award-winning illustrator whose work has been featured in publications such as WIRED, Newsweek, the New York Times, Esquire, and Field & Stream. His medical illustrations cover a wide range of subject areas, from biotechnology to zoology. He is particularly known for his detailed and impactful work on human anatomy, for example for the Scientific American Magazine.

© Bryan Christie

© Bryan Christie

Adam Questell believes that 3D graphics should do more than inform: they should glow. For this reason, he founded A KYU Design to enable the medical and industrial communities to communicate clearly, precisely and effectively through striking illustration, animation and design.

Part of a series of 27 illustrations for the final Merck Manuals Online for Merck and Co. Each image is designed to capture the main body system idea or disease category.  © Adam Questell

Part of a series of 27 illustrations for the final Merck Manuals Online for Merck and Co. Each image is designed to capture the main body system idea or disease category. © Adam Questell

Andrew Baker has worked extensively in editorial and creative environments with clients from The Guardian to Saatchi & Saatchi. He has received multiple awards including Gold for Editorial Illustration from the Association of Illustrators, and his work has been featured in Novum, Creative Review, and the D&AD Yearbook. From editorial illustrations and book covers to infographics, his comic-style medical illustration work is typically clear, colorful, and approachable. Andrew is represented by Début Art.

An illustration for the British Heart Foundation showing some of the effects diabetes has on the body © Andrew Baker

An illustration for the British Heart Foundation showing some of the effects diabetes has on the body © Andrew Baker

3D animator Beth Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of Arkitek Scientific, which creates high quality 3D content including immersive VR and AR experiences. Her visualizations for biotech and pharmaceutical companies, science media and publishers, and higher education institutions help others better understand the dizzying variety of new inventions and discoveries in science and technology.

Brian Harrold, owner of Beru Graphics, has been illustrating and retouching for over 15 years. His precise yet accessible style of medical illustration has been applied to everything from visualizing the coronavirus to deconstructing the basic elements of routine surgery.

Arterial cut © Brian Harrold

Arterial cut © Brian Harrold

Anatomic Groove is dedicated to creating medical animations that surprise, inspire and educate. The topics covered range from biomedical processes in the human body to pharmaceutical videos in which a new product is presented.

Anatomical groove

Anatomical groove

Cynthia Turner’s work focuses on the visual needs of pharmaceutical and biotech research companies and includes large format illustrations for medical conference exhibitions, as well as event and print materials. Her eye-catching images are known for their clear message and dramatic use of color. She is represented by Shannon Associates.

Flora: Stomach Biota © Cynthia Turner

Flora: Stomach Biota © Cynthia Turner

Since 1990 Todd Buck has developed and created medical and scientific illustrations for pharmaceutical and biotechnological advertising and marketing, medical and consumer publishing, and web-based media for patient education. His illustrations have been exhibited in museums in the United States, Chile, and Hong Kong.

Asthma © Todd Buck

Asthma © Todd Buck

Audra Geras is an internationally renowned biomedical artist with a degree in biology and visual biocommunication from the University of Toronto. Represented by the Weber Group, she is dedicated to answering medical and scientific communication problems with clear, accurate, and beautiful visual storytelling via custom illustrations and 3D animated videos.

Melanocytes © Audra Geras

Melanocytes © Audra Geras

Lisa Clark is the President and Chief Creative Officer of Clark Medical Illustration, a full-service medical, biological, and scientific communications company in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. Her background includes experience in medical and scientific illustration for patient and professional education, advertising, web, interactive media design, art direction and technology project management.

Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease © Lisa A. Clark

Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease © Lisa A. Clark

Ella Maru Studio combines PhD-level scientific knowledge with professional art design to create eye-catching scientific images and animations. She has designed cover art and characters for countless scientific journals, including nature, natural physics, natural materials, natural nanotechnology, cells, nanoletters, applied chemistry and JACS.

© Ella Marushchenko

© Ella Marushchenko

Laurie O’Keefe specializes in biomedical illustrations that provide exciting and educational insights into science and nature. She uses traditional and digital methods to create images for a variety of publication formats, including textbooks, pharmaceutical advertisements, museum displays, and medico-legal exhibits. Her clients include Google, Pfizer, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, IDEXX and Purina.

© Laurie O'Keefe

© Laurie O’Keefe

Mesa Studios Principal Artist, Mesa Schumacher holds a degree in science from Stanford and a master’s in biomedical illustration from Johns Hopkins, and has over a decade of experience in the natural sciences. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Cell and Neuron, among others.

Progesterone and receptor molecule scene © Mesa Schumacher

Progesterone and receptor molecule scene © Mesa Schumacher

Bill Graham has been creating illustrations, motion graphics, animations and explanations for the medical and pharmaceutical industries for over two decades. Bill is an Emmy nominated specialist working with clients such as Amgen, Allergan, Merck, Genentech, Astellas, Lilly, Novartis, Shire, Procter & Gamble. Invisalign, WebMD, Cedars-Sinai and many others.

© Bill Graham

© Bill Graham

For 15 years, AXS Studio has been helping customers to clearly and effectively explain the condition of the disease, the mechanism of action of the drug and the function of medical devices through animations and interactive experiences. The team of medically trained animators and illustrators strive to deliver beautiful yet accurate visualizations to their clients.

With over 20 years experience as an illustrator, Oliver Burston works on the cutting edge of digital technology and leverages the latest advances in 3D visualization. His bold and colorful style is a great way to visualize complex medical ideas in a way that a general audience can connect with. He is represented by Début Art.

Doctor Robot © Oliver Burston

Doctor Robot © Oliver Burston

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