Sunday, July 29, 2012

Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI)

Yesterday was the last day of the annual convention of the Association of Medical Illustrators in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I attended the gathering as a guest lecturer and workshop presenter.


(Above: Bert Oppenheim) The AMI includes professional visualizers who create artwork that shows what is going on inside the body. The artwork must be scientifically accurate and clear in its explanatory purpose, for people's lives often depend on it.

The images appear in textbooks, magazines, courtrooms, museums, digital readers, and doctor's offices. These days, most of the work is digital, including 2D, 3D, and animation. About half of the 2000 trained practitioners are self-employed.  

The field also includes paleoart and art for the veterinary sciences. Above is AMI member Dino Pulerá, MSc.BMC, sketching from a dinosaur fossil, photo courtesy Science Magazine.

Members have traveled from as far away as Russia to attend this convention, but most hail from the USA and Canada. The handful of universities that offer accredited graduate programs in biomedical illustration include Georgia Health Sciences University, University of Illinois, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and the University of Toronto.

The training includes rigorous work not only in traditional and digital rendering techniques, but also in dissection and an array of life science studies. It's a very interesting field for young artists to consider if they are looking for something that combines art and science.

Thanks, AMI, for inviting me and for being such great hosts and workshop attendees!
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Association of Medical Illustrators.
AMI's FAQ
List of graduate programs
Read about how Dino Pulerá turned his zoology major into an art career.
Previously on GurneyJourney:
Frank Netter's Medical Illustrations,
RIT Illustration,
Guild of Natural Science Illustration

9 comments:

Ankats Art said...

Ah, so nice to see that kind of information :)
I am currently following the Master Programm Scientific Illustration in Maastricht (Netherlands). Last year I could take part in the AEIMS (Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques) congress in Strasbourg. There were also had lecturers from Canada :) They have a great study programm over there!! This year I start my second ( and final) year and I can agree that it is more than just interesting and it combines art and science in a wonderful way.

Anonymous said...

That's not just a dinosaur fossil, that's Bistahieversor sealeyi!

Rich said...

Any Brushes (however large or small) or Pens needed in this segment of illustration anymore?

Or do we have here an ideal field for advanced and furtherto advancing computer-graphics?

Whatsoever: "Accurate Impression" won't do in this case;-)

Ankats Art said...

@Rich: It depends on the programm you are following. In Maastricht traditional work is prefered (pencil, colourpencil, ink, aquarell, guache...whatever you can think of). Our docents have the point of view that you have to learn to draw by hand first. After you mastered that you are allowed to develope your digital portfolio. That most of the other programms (France, Switzerland, Canada, America ...) prefer digital work (or at least don't mind if you choose traditional or digital) is that most of the CLIENTS ask for digital work nowadays.

James Gurney said...

Ankats, thanks for the perspective from Europe.

Anonymous, I'm impressed that you recognized the fossil.

Rich, most of the artists told me that they keep in practice with their traditional techniques, but they have to keep up with advances in 2D and 3D computer graphics, since most of their clients call for that.

banh trung thu 2012 said...

This is exactly what i've found out for a long time

K_tigress said...

I did something like this.
I designed giant blood cell interactive balloon or something like that. All I can say is it wasn't my most favorite thing to do.

Kind of like sketching popcorn and then adding little bits of colour all under the watchful eyes of the boss.
I couldn't dare to take a break unless it was a toilet or lunch break.

Your eyes starts to strain after awhile. :(

That was a bunch of years ago and thankfully I have moved on since then.

Mau said...

I was at your talk and workshop, they were wonderful! Since then I've started carrying my sketchbook and washes with me. Thanks for signing my copy of Dinotopia too (and including a raptor drawing =))

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