Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too Much Information

For the first week of the twelve week challenge I just joined (see previous post), we were given the seemingly innocuous question "what do you want to illustrate?" But it is a question I have struggle with a lot as I try and pin down my personal style. To try and answer it, I have kind of been thinking over where I was headed in the past and what that was pointing towards in the future.

(Like I said in the title, this kind of rambles on and is probably pretty boring for anyone who isn't me- feel free to skip it if you want.)

So, first of all, I had graduated from college with a degree in biology. I had started to take a few art classes for fun, and I had the vague idea I could combine the two interests by going into scientific or medical illustration. I was lucky enough to live near a college that offered a major in scientific illustration and I was able to take some of the classes they offered.

Here are some of the pictures I did:

I really enjoyed the classes and would still like to do this kind of work (although I abandoned medical illustration partly because I lacked some of the requisite classes and partly because, ew, cadavers). However, I was sort of struggling to find work and make it a full-time career.

While I was figuring this out, I met a woman who was working on a children's book. So I ended up illustrating a children's book, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. People seemed to enjoy seeing funny cartoon animals more than they enjoyed seeing, for example, a drawing of a spleen, so I headed in that direction for a while.

Here are some children's book illustrations:

Finally, most recently, I took an illustration class which focused on print illustration for newspapers and magazines and the like. It was a bit of a shift in subject matter, for instance, here is a series of illustrations for an article about a brother with schizophrenia who fell through the cracks of the health care system:

I really enjoy the process of coming up with ideas for these stories (finishing them is another matter of course), so for the 12-week challenge I think I am going to to try and push myself to do some more editorial-type illustrations do develop that section of my portfolio.

Whew! That was way longer than it needed to be. Thanks for bearing with me!


  1. As a big bee lover I really enjoyed your illustration, plus the other nature illustrations. Have you considered applying to publishers of nature themed books? Books to identify plants, animals & insects? Or working for researchers who specialize in these areas?

  2. Thanks Jody! I am definitely keeping that in mind as I try to get together this week's list of contacts!

  3. Hi mate, love that second one with all the light, nice stuff