Why hire a medical illustrator? Hasn’t everything in the human body been illustrated before?
It was a cool saturday evening when a close friend asked me this question. It seemed very obvious to me: You hire a medical illustrator to create accurate scientific illustrations about the human body, diagrams about diseases, something that not just any illustrator or a graphic designer can tackle. However, it was a perfectly sound question to anyone outside this field.
What does a medical illustrator do?
I told her that as a medical illustrator, my job is to read scientific, medical and anatomical information, interpret it and communicate it in a visual way, in order to facilitate education (making it look beautiful, not just a chum of meat where it all looks the same), but at the same time, keep everything accurate.
Hasn’t everything been done before?
Fair enough, she said. But, hasn’t everything been done before? I mean hasn’t the human body been drawn in all those textbooks and atlases? Like Netter’s?
Well, no. Even though anatomy and medical concepts have been illustrated for centuries (think of texts in ancient Greece that date back 2000 years), there’s always new research coming out that needs to be communicated visually. But that’s not all, already known concepts are also re-interpreted, illustrated in new light or presented in a different way that suits the need of the medium or the purpose of communication. New books are coming out every day, magazines, posters, infographics, you name it.
Illustrations from the internet
Yeah, but when I was in school, I’d put images of the heart or brain from the internet, why don’t they do that instead of commissioning a new artwork?
While the internet is a fabulous tool for research and education, there are copyright laws and those images floating around the internet from textbooks and atlases aren’t yours or mine to simply steal and use them. You could hire a graphic designer or an illustrator that doesn’t know much about anatomy.
You could reach out to publisher and license them, which for famous books like Netter’s could run for thousands of dollars and it might not be the exact point of view that you need for your project.
Or you could easily commission a medical illustration from a professional, who will do the due research, know that they are doing and present you with a custom-made artwork to suit your needs, with licensing included, for a fraction of that price.
What clients could hire a medical illustrator?
The most obvious answer would be publisher or authors of medical textbooks, but this isn’t limited to just books, it can be online courses, science papers to be published on science journals, class or dissertation presentations or online videos.
Doctors of any specialty can hire a medical illustrator to present diseases of their own fields. A surgeon could commission artwork depicting a new procedure they have developed or an anesthesiologist could want a brochure to explain visually what will happen when the patient undergoes a certain kind of anesthetic. A physical therapist or a trainer could make use of a series of illustrations to teach their patients/clients how to do certain exercises, which would be hard to imagine from just a bunch of text.
With accurate, affordable and high-quality medical illustrations, professionals of healthcare and related fields can reach existing and potential patients and clients, so that they can better understand their services and potential benefits of procedures, educating and assuaging possible doubts and concerns in a visual way.
Are you in need of a high-quality and affordable medical illustration? Check out Artomedics Studio services.