Disney Did Medical!

And I'm not talking about The Fantastic Voyage! I was listening to Chicago-based current events-based radio show, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!, while working on my graphic design project and they stated that Disney created a short about the menstrual cycle years ago. Not gonna lie, I couldn't believe it! So what do I do when I want to find out something? That's right, google it! There it was: The Story of Menstruation. Made in 1946, this informative animated cartoon reminds me of Cinderella with the narration, the illustration, and the typical stereotype of women at that time. Some of the absurd taboos that were thought to be true, wow! Not taking a shower during the time?! Gross! Oh, and avoid constipation? Does anyone ever purposely get constipated?! Oh and the end reel, yeah, that doesn't always happen that way. I guess times have changed, you can totally see it through this video. You have to check it out to believe it; I personally thought it was hilarious. What do you think?

School has been interesting of course. I had great reviews on my logo design (I will post the finished piece next week), really need to work on my animation, and I have a Pathophysiology exam this Friday that I should probably be studying for now. So on that note, I'm out!

Video courtesy of youtube.com. The Story of Menstruation. Educational animation by Disney. 1946.


Flashy Halloween

Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, was fantastic this year in Chicago once again. Though there weren't as many crazy costumes in Wicker Park at there was in Boystown last year, it was still pretty entertaining. We had a quite the plethora of characters at our BVIS party though! Some characters from Law & Order SVU, My Little Pony, Rick James, a jockey, the wolf from Little Red Riding hood, a lobster, Dr. House, a knight, bumblebee, a pimp, Lady Gaga, a Black-Eyed Pea, Adam Lambert and some groupies is just an overview of everyone that attended. Of course, there was me of course as Lady Flash. I liked the costume because of all the red and it was one of the most covered costumes at the costume shop. I know Halloween is a time to skank it out, but newsflash: IT'S COLD IN CHICAGO! Plus, I just didn't want to do that since all of them are short.... don't quite have the thighs for that.... but I compensated with the costume by using hair extensions and hot rollers. Anyway, it was still a hit. I don't know what it is; I wasn't going for sexy at all, but it worked out that way. I'm not complaining at all, but still kinda unexpected for me that night. I have curves and I guess people like it.... I could probably make a potato sack hot. :D

I have to say my fave costume that night was Glambert as shown with me above. That took some effort and research and I think it turned out fantastic. I'm surprised that I didn't see any other Adam Lamberts that night, which makes it even more great. Great job dear! Gaga was pretty amazing too. Almost all of the costumes I saw were pretty much easily recognizable. It was great to hang out with almost everyone in my class since most of the time we just go to class and don't have time to hang out as much as we did last year. It must have been a good night though since I lost my phone... and accidentally left my camera at the party.

Yes, it was a good night, and I tend to have a little bit too much fun since I am not able to as much as I did before. Plus, it doesn't help when your tolerance is down at the same time. I didn't get sick and I didn't feel that bad the next day though, so that was nice. But now I'm on the quest for another phone, since that was a whole story in itself (someone found it in the leaves in front of my apartment and was supposed to drop it off with a friend of mine, but never did), but I have a Blackberry Tour in the mail right now and I can't wait to play with it! I wanted an iPhone, but being a very happy US Cellular customer, I did not want to cancel and go to AT&T which I heard has the worst calling, 3G, and customer service. We will see if I like it!

Photo courtesy from Jessica on Facebook.com. Adam Lambert, groupie and Lady Flash. October 2009.


Tradgedy in the Loop

As I sit watching the news last night, which I rarely do, I heard about a delay of the Blue Line in the Loop because of a death of an individual by being struck by the incoming train during the early afternoon. Thinking it was such an unfortunate situation and how it happened, I was confused, but I left it at that. Today, I noticed many posts from some of my friends from undergrad on Facebook about a fallen friend. Wondering what exactly happened, I texted some friends while at work to find out. I wasn't expecting to hear what I did. After an answered call, I quickly realized I knew the individual who was killed. I was enveloped in a state of shock and was even more confused with the situation than the night before. Billy was in a fraternity which was really close with the sorority I was in in undergrad and every time I talked to him he was in a good mood, positive and energetic. It is very unfortunate to hear something like this so close to home in more than one way. Every time I pass the Monroe stop on the Blue Line, I will think of Billy.

An article on the accident.

Rest in peace buddy.

Photo courtesy of Jack via Facebook: Brothers: Jack and Billy. New Years 2008.


Frank Armitage Lecture-Day 1

Well today was the day - the beginning of the 2009 Frank Armitage Lecture that our Biomedical Visualization graduate program. It seems like just yesterday I was building the website for the event. I swear, this semester has to slow down! Anyway, I wanted to be prepared for the morning and be on-time and put-together for the event so I picked out my outfit the night before and everything else was ready to go for the smoothest morning possible.... of course that didn't happen. When my alarm went off in the morning, I realized it went off too early so I set it for a later time.... too bad I turned it off and ended up waking up at 8 instead of 7. Well, I guess I will just have to take a cab again. Annoying, but still on time. I hop in the shower and get ready to look presentable-professional and I'm out the door with coffee-in-hand on-time. To my surprise, even with living right off of Clark Street in the heart of Lincoln Park, there are no cabs to be seen... and it is raining. No, not today, just not today. After hoping to see a vacant cab for 10 minutes, I decided to call for one. The operator said it would be less than 5 minutes. Okay, I can handle that. Well after another 10 minutes, I said screw it and I finally was able to hail a cab. The cab I called for called me 10 minutes later... not quite the time they gave me. Oh well, I got another one. Later, when I was about to be dropped off they cabbie figured out I was in school and stated that I was too beautiful to be in the medical field... whatever that means, but I took it as a compliment. Public compliments seem to be my thing; I can't go anywhere without someone noticing me even though I don't feel like I stand out. Oh well; there are much worse things that could happen.

Needless to say, I was late again by 10 minutes. Even though I attempt to be as prepared as possible, there is always some unexpected variable that destroys the plan. I just can't seem to catch a break. I walked into the lecture to Noah Lowenthal, Vice President of Abelson-Taylor. He discussed working in pharmaceutical advertising, more specifically working with the client, different animators and companies to create the product, as well as the working team. The drug, Kapidex, was the example the he discussed. Abelson-Taylor needed to build a booth for a convention that was promoting the drug. The A-T team decided that interactivity was key to captivate the audience, in which they decided to utilize Microsoft Surface. The work that A-T did was very impressive, especially as this was the first time that the company was working with this software.

Greg Blew was next, in which he discussed Emmi Solutions and patient education. More specifically, he started with the beginnings of the company, the significance of patient education for the patient as well as the hospitals, planning, budgeting, and survey scores from patients. Since Greg is also a professor for our program, he has discussed some insider info with us prior, but nothing like this. It was great to see even more of such a beneficial business.

After lunch, we had our last, and main, lecturer, David Bolinsky. Starting out with prehistoric art and man's ability to create artwork and evoke movement. Bolinsky went on to bring this idea into his own life and his progress to where he is today. Starting out in med school and doing pen and ink illustrations on the side, he was always interested in animation. Taking a leap of faith, he decided to drop everything and follow his dream. Can you believe this man started his company XVIVO, a 3D medical animating company, without ever owning a computer? They started off small and not well-known, but after submitting a short on the process visualizing the process of extravasation at a Siggraph conference and getting rave (yet unexpected, or so XVIVO thought) reviews, the company was jet-set to stardom in an instant. It was amazing to see the success that he had through his hard work and following his dream, which were his words of wisdom for the audience as well.

I couldn't believe what a success the first day of the lecture was this year. Usually, the talks, other than the main lecturer, are attended mainly by Biomedical Visualization students and faculty. This year, all the seats were full for every talk. It is fantastic to see how more people are becoming aware of what we do. All of the speakers were captivating, interesting, and the work they showed was just incredible. I don't think our program could have asked for a better day. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

Video courtesy of youtube.com. Inner Life of a Cell.


An Animator From Down Under

Today the Biomedical Visualization program hosted professional biomedical animator, Drew Berry. He held a talk during the day today discussing his rise to success by hard work and self-promotion as well as his process in creating his animations. Drew works at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, a prestigious medical research establishment, in which they have received an Emmy for DNA documentary series in 2005.

My approach is the opposite tack to simplifying the science,” says Berry. “Rather than dumbing it down, I set out to show the audience exactly what the scientists are talking about. By building accurate visualizations founded on real scientific data, the animations come alive of their own accord, engage the audience, and go a long way towards explaining what the science is about. The science is rich, detailed and fascinating, and if you can watch it in action you will intuitively get to know how it works.

It was a pleasure to get to see, listen and meet with a professional in our field yet again and this man was stellar and this is just the first one this week! Stay tuned for a recap of the Frank Armitage Lecture later this week!

Photo courtesy of cgsociety.org. Still from animation of the malaria life cycle in human hosts. Drew Berry.
Animation courtesy of youtube.com. Molecular Visualizations of DNA - DNA Chromosome Wrapping. Drew Berry.



Just a little bit of advertising since I have been pretty sick recently (I have been sleeping almost constantly for the past 3 days). Nip-Tuck season premier is tomorrow if any of you watch it, otherwise, here's an interesting promo ad that plays on fashion, luxury, femininity, and of course, plastic surgery. The official TV show website is pretty cool too; check it out here. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy from oliv3r.net. Nip-Tuck season 6 premier advertising. 2009.


I-con do it!

Above are my icon designs for my Advanced Graphic Design class. Now many of you are probably thinking "What is the difference between an icon and a logo?" Here it is: A logo is a graphical element that, together with its logotype (a uniquely set and arranged typeface) form a trademark or commercial brand. Typically, a logo's design is for immediate recognition. An icon, on the other hand, is defined as an image, picture, or representation. A sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it either concretely or by analogy; in simpler terms, a symbol. (Thanks for the definitions wikipedia!) Pssh, a symbol? How difficult could this be? Why were we given weeks to do something that is supposed to be so simple? Though we had to choose three different medical fields (which if you didn't notice, chose optometry, orthopedics and neurology), seriously, how bad could it be?

Again, surprised. You have to take every aspect, shape, line, weight, color, etc into consideration. I have to say, the hardest part was breaking down a complex medical field (let alone three) and make them cohesive with each other. I wanted them to be bold to evoke confidence of each field and use the more basic elements of anatomy that each field chosen works with every day: optometry with the eye, orthopedics with a broken bone, and neurology with the neuron. The colors are chosen for a reason too. Yellow is known to be the most visible color in the spectrum, red was used to evoke the blood from marrow, and blue is used as it is known as a calming color. I could go on with all the little aspects, but if you want to know, ask. Again, I liked how they turned out and I liked the project. This assignment made me think even more about the meanings behind an artist's actions. Meaning in art makes it all the better.
Medical field icons. 2009. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator.


Olympic-Sized Shock

The race for the 2016 Olympics is over. Rio de Janeiro was selected this morning, October 2, 2009, as the city to host the summer games of 2016. Being a Chicago resident, I was shocked to hear that we were the bottom and were out before the end announcement. With all the effort and pull that was going on for and in the city, the excitement turned into jaw-dropping shock. However, in my eyes Rio definitely deserved this honor. They have attempted in 1936, 1940, 2004 and 2012 and failed. Persistence worked in their favor and now they will be the host of first Olympics in South America. The Olympics is a world event is it not? Shouldn't every continent have the opportunity to host something like this (Well, maybe except for Antarctica)? With these reasons, I am still a proud supporter of the games. I just may have to go to Brazil now and check out what it is all about. :D

This loss for Chicago may be a good thing though. Think about it: the city already has the highest taxes in the US at 10.25%, the criminal behavior doesn't cease to exist (though I haven't experienced it really and I don't care to) and the El could use a little revamping in many locations. By not receiving the bid for 2016, we are able to use the money to work on the city and the things that truly matter rather than for two weeks seven years from now. The city needs to regain their focus and work to make this place even better that I think it all ready is. Stop the violence in the South and West sides, bring back the compassion, work to make Chicago as a whole a more peaceful place and who knows? If we attempt again (which Chicago should consider; we Americans can't expect to have everything instantaneously), we may have an even bigger influence than we did this time.

Photo courtesy of blog.pinkergreen.com. Candidate city logos for 2016 Olympics.


It is up!

The 2009 Frank Armitage Lecture website is finished! This little gem has been my pride and joy for the past two weeks and I am happy to say that it is now finished. It had its ups and downs, just like every website, but it worked in a way that it was a good review in CSS and html for me. I received some great images from all the lecturers except for one, so instead of making that one stick out like a sore thumb and underrepresented, I decided not to use them except for our main lecturer, David Bolinsky and the artwork from the individual in which the lecture is named after, Frank Armitage. However, I believe the use of these images create a cohesive and clean look to the website, which tends to be my aesthetic. I also enjoy that the images I chose work with each other well with the colors and of course the subject matters, contrast at the same time. The traditional style of Franks Armitage's artwork reflect on the history of medical illustration and the beginning of UIC's program, whereas David Bolinsky's style is future-forward, with bright contrasting colors in a 3d style. Take a look at the website here and let me know what you think!

Splash page portion of 2009 Frank Armitage website with artwork from David Bolinsky. 2009. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop.


I'm a Wanderer

You have all probably wondered about exactly what I am doing in school this semester since I never really put it out there. What is this girl doing? What are some of the things she is talking about? Does she even take classes anymore since I hear so much about her social life now?

To be honest, the many distractions have to be cut in half. I love it, don't get me wrong , but yes, it must (unfortunately) slow. I am in the beginning-ish of a full-time graduate status, but I have the least amount of classes that I have had since starting this program. I am taking Advanced Graphic Design with Donna Hughes, Animation with Greg Blew, two credits of Project Research, and an online Pathophysiology course that will be starting soon. I need to start working more on the Project Research more before it is too late, and I will be this upcoming week at least that is the plan. I want to graduate on-time (aka this May) which means I really have to get my thesis project moving. Ugh.

Otherwise, my favorite class is of course, Advanced Graphic Design. Donna is so good at what she does and during our individual discussion about our progress with our work she shows the insight and creativity she possesses. It is incredibly inspiring to get to know more about reasons behind colors, shapes, type, etc. I finally received my book 1000 Symbols: What Shapes Mean in Art and Myth, and I immersed myself in it right away. I have always been fascinated by any form of art, but more so I was interested in the meaning behind it, the personal history behind the individual who created the work. When you know those components, it is not just a pretty picture anymore, it is more relevant and I hold a much greater appreciation for the art. Masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo (my Classical favorites) have this deeper meaning in their work and I am just in awe on how they did it. Though I will mostly likely never be honored like these two, I strive to hold meaning behind my art. Though I may not have the ability to do this in much of my medical illustration, I can in my graphic design which is probably why I love it so much.

We are working on creating symbols for three different branches of medicine in the class presently. The kicker is that each symbol has to be distinguishable, but at the same time, all be cohesive as a group. When I looked at the syllabus, we had 4 different preliminary meeting where we had to be at certain points in the process, but not officially completed for an entire month. An entire month to dish out three basic symbols? That's a piece of cake. Well, when I started, I was shocked at how difficult it was. First you have to break them all down to the basics and then you have to make sure that they look similar enough at the same time. Quite a challenge, but I am finally at a place where it all just came together in what I wanted so it is well on its way. I just have pages of crude sketches and some Illustrator files that I have been working with at the time, but nothing finished. In a few weeks, I post like always.

What I have above are the symbols of the American Hobo that we talked about in class a day during a symbols and icons lecture. Never would I have thought about this but it makes complete sense for a roaming, free-spirit community, would have a way to communicate. Very easy to identify and able to be written with a simple piece of chalk or coal, these symbols did the job and kept many hobos out of trouble and able to survive in their lifestyle. I thought it was interesting and worth the share. I images have the meanings underneath them; take a look for yourself!

Photos courtesy of vinci.org. Hobo symbols.


Drink Your Brains Out

Drink your body's every dysfunction away with Neuro Drinks. What the company has to say:

Neuro is an innovative beverage company dedicated to developing the highest quality functional beverages available. Our products are designed specifically to improve your overall health and wellness and help you achieve your goals and ambitions.

Product innovation is led by a team of scientific and nutritional experts across the country. Each formula features a distinctive and truly breakthrough formulation bringing true innovation as well as style and sophistication to the functional beverage category.

Not only are there 7 different flavors with clever names to go with its purpose and a fantastic anatomically-based logo, but the package design is quite unique as well. The sleek shape, clean design, bold colors and clever names make me want to take a closer look at this product. This notewothy package design could be the reason why Neuro Drinks have been in the celebrity spotlight. With cameos in Funny or Die with Lindsay Lohan and Lady Gaga's Paparazzi music video (If you haven't seen this video, you should... very artsy) and taking strolls with Hayden Panettiere and many other famous faces, this drink has star factor. I would love to go out and buy some, but Neuro Drinks are presently being distributed only in California. However, their website gives everyone else the option of buying online with free shipping.

Talking about California, I am officially celebrating New Year's in California with my bestie. I bought my plane tickets so there is no turning back (not that I ever would). In undergrad, I would go and visit my best friend from high school about two times a year. According to those statistics, I am pretty overdue and I couldn't be more excited to get out of the chilly winter winds!

Photo courtesy of Drink Neuro Blog. Drink Neuro Blog Logo. and Product Placement Blog: www.e-basel.it/. Still from "Paparazzi" music video by Lady Gaga.


A Little Anatomical Design Gem

Perusing the web as a procrastination tool has become vital to my sanity. However, I find some great artwork and learn a few tips, pointers and inspiration on the way so it can't be all bad, right? While working on the Frank Armitage website (which will be up soon!), I took a little breather and found this piece of creative graphic design. Loic Sattler of [LSD]Lysergid, a Berlin-based art director, illustrator and rich media designer created this Cover design for the Big Up Magazine, March 2009, issue 3. Of course, I love the use of anatomy in this piece, but all of his work is just incredible. The contrast, the colors, the geometric shapes mixed with organics, and the creativity = love, love, LOVE! Check out the rest of his work here.

Photo courtesy of www.lysergid.com. Cover design for the Big Up magazine March 2009 issue 3. Loic Sattler. 2009.


My What Dirty Hands You Have!

Above is my final design for creating awareness to the public about the H1N1 virus (aka Swine Flu) for my Advanced Graphic Design class with Donna Hughes. Like usual, we were required to create three different concepts and choose one to refine. I didn't want to do the typical (dealing with pigs) so I played with the ways to prevent it. After a bit more research, I found out that the H1N1 flu virus symptoms are very much like the normal flu. This made the project a little more difficult to work with since I didn't want to do anything with porkers. I decided to work with a play on hand prints and the potential transfer and uptake of the virus through normal tasks with the poster fitting in the larger bus/El car advertising locations. This would give the viewer the potential to look and read the poster, so it could have more content on it than say a billboard.

My concept was pretty different from the final (the text wasn't fit into the hand), but the recommendations were exactly what I initially wanted to do with it (ran out of time for the concept crit). I was happy with the suggestions geared toward what I wanted to do in the first place and came up with the finished product. My favorite part of doing this was when I used the "envelope distort" tool with the grunge text to fit the content in the tell tale lines of the hand. The hand behind the skewed text in a flat light color indicating a clean hand with the dirty text as everything that one picks up (with the potential of picking up H1N1) during a day. The most disturbing dirty place that I found was using the remote (home and hotel). It makes sense, but it is one thing that I haven't thought about. Ewww. I disinfected my remote as soon as I found that little fact.

I'm happy with the end product. What do you think of it?

H1N1 Public Service Announcement - Dirty Hands. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. 2009.


What I have been doing for the past two weeks..

Sorry, I have been a busy girl, so here's what I have been doing since the beginning of Labor Day weekend.

  • Saw the Harry Potter Exhibit (nerdy, but cool. I was selected to try on the Sorting Hat and I'm a Hufflepuff!)
  • Went to a White Sox game against the Red Sox (White Sox won, and they were in the best seats I have ever been in. Right behind home base only 15 or so rows up!)
  • Hung out with my cousins downtown and in Oak Park
  • went to my first drag show
  • Grilled out at my cousin's place
  • Took a walk by the lake with my cousin's pup (look at photo below. Lucky after the walk.)
  • Did some homework
  • Finished my first assignment of the semester
  • Worked my 20 hrs
  • Spent two days working on a hard-copy of my portfolio
  • Went to my cousin's house again to do laundry (5 weeks worth!)
  • Remembered, and cried for, September 11th
  • Went to Lincoln Park Art Festival with cousin to see one of her friend's band play
  • Went out to eat with my cuz and her friend at Charlie's Ale House in Andersonville and saw an old man pass out and spew at the bar and taken out by an ambulance. (Ew. Plus it was only 8 pm)
  • Attended a "Bachelorette" party all decked out
  • Went to Hogs and Honeys for it
  • Rode a mechanical bull
  • Went to Wicker Park to continue the night with dancing
  • Became much closer to a friend in my program
  • Checked out Renegade Craft Fair
  • Did/doing some homework (my head hurts)
  • and presently watching the Bears-Packers game (GO PACK GO!) with a bet in tow drinking coffee, though I wish it was a beer.
So there you have it, now you are all caught up! Unfortunately, my social life will have to slow down now otherwise, nothing will get done. Boo... :D


Sexy Surrogates

These ads have been popping up all over Chicago in the form of billboards and bus stop posters for the upcoming movie Surrogates. Coming to the big screen September 25th, the films stars Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike, and Radha Mitchell in a sci-fi thriller. I don't know if I will see the movie, but I think the ad campaign is impressive. Though I think it is a little odd that some look like Angelina Jolie and David Beckham (though they can be considered almost perfect), I love the metal and industrial vertebral columns working with the organic form of the human body. With the blonde, it is odd that the ribcage is not there (it isn't shown in the others either like it should be to be more anatomically accurate, but more obvious here). Nonetheless, the advertising delivers, but will the movie?

PS: I am unable to find the design firm the envisioned this campaign. If readers have any idea, comment me up!

Photos courtesy of movieviral.com. Ad campaign for Surrogates film. 2009.


Not an Ad, but Anatomical Design Nonetheless!

Searching the web tonight before bed looking for some inspiration, I tripped over this site and I couldn't help but be amused at the image and the explanation. I just had to post it.

Anatomical mens brief in black from new brand Australian Obviously - UK exclusive to DGU Fabric: Cotton Modal/Lycra mix

Anatomical design

Obviously's revolutionary design forms the basis for what makes our underwear so comfortable. All Obviously for Men underwear products have an anatomically designed pouch into which you place your package. The U shaped seam that forms the base of the pouch is designed to sit directly behind your bits, up against your body. This ensures a snug fit for all your bits and provides the separation necessary to eliminate all the discomfort of regular underwear and provide the benefits listed above.

Photo courtesy of posmena.blogspot.com. Obviously brand anatomical design mens underwear.


And Finally.... My Interactive!

Now for the end of my summer work. What I put in the most time and effort into this summer was my Flash class. To say the least, the class started out rocky. I was not understanding the logistics of basic functioning for some reason. Then to make things worse, we were learning action script on top of that. There is something with coding that I just cannot wrap my head around sometimes. When the semester was coming to a close, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to deliver a fully-functional interactive and then, a week before it was due, everything finally clicked. After that, I was able to enjoy creating the interactive.

Our assignment was to create a health-based interactive on the subject of our choice. As you can see from the image of the interactive, I chose the effects of obesity on health. This little interactive comes equipped with rollovers explaining the effects of obesity on numerous organ systems for different stages of obesity. Furthermore, I created a BMI calculator so you can see where you are with your weight as well. The calculator took up the most time but it was the most rewarding part to make in my eyes. I am happy with how the completed interactive turned out with the artwork and its functionality. I made myself crack up numerous times when creating the silhouettes. I started with the normal weight image and manually pushed and pulled vertices to make "him" carry more weight. Yes, I did have to search for references to make the "men" accurate and somehow I didn't get sick though I was pretty grossed out at times. All in a day's work of a medical artist I say. To play with my interactive, please click HERE.

"Obesity and Your Health" Interactive. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator and Flash. 2009.


Give 'Til It Hurts

Though it may be early for Halloween, I just found out that every year, Lionsgate promotes the Red Cross and its new SAW (VI, if you aren't familiar) film with the "Give 'Til It Hurts" blood drive. And as part of the ad campaign tradition for this event, they include the SAW nurse... yikes!

This year's ad campaign was created by Ignition Print and was photographed by Co-President of Marketing Tim Palen - and is considered the wildest yet with the SAW nurse sporting a uniform you won't see at just any old doctor's office. The corset, designed by The Blonds, looks pretty sharp to me if you know what I mean. The Blonds have been designing and outfitting celebs such as Britney Spears, Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry.

Though the image may be uncomfortable to look at, it does the job grabbing attention and getting the point across. Furthermore, you can see the craftsmanship and quality of the garment, the makeup and the lighting to make this an incredibly striking and beautiful image.

Oh, and of course I can't forget to let everyone know this too: Happy 19th birthday little brother!

Photo courtesy of current.com. "Give 'Til It Hurts" 6th Annual Halloween Blood Drive advertisement. Ignition Print - Tim Palen. Syringe corset by The Blonds. 2009.



Echolocation is a complex process and an even more difficult one to illustrate since most of the mechanism works with air, sound waves, and nerve impulses. However, I wanted to do something with my favorite animal in a biological illustration, so I was determined. Working with my newly experimented graphic style was much easier this time so that wasn't much of an issue like last time. Another factor that made this illustration difficult was the lack of accurate bottlenose dolphin anatomy; most of my findings were schematic in nature. This was why my initially-planned first illustration became my last. I needed to do lots of research to find what I was looking for.

What do you think?

Echolocation mechanism of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. 2009.


Do you have LowT?

Hint: Only males go through this! Now there is a reason behind the mid-life crisis. Yes, decreased levels of testosterone in men create a "male menopause" more formally known as andropause. I was intrigued by this more recent finding so I wanted to create a print PSA dealing with this subject. Since there are many physical and mental changes when men undergo this time in their life, I decided to play with the idea of the "spice of life". I am satisfied with the idea, but it was difficult using numerous images and making them cohesive in one image. Yes, each one of those bottles are different images, as well as the shelf and the reaching hand. I used a few techniques in photoshop to create shadows to make the bottles seem close together and "grounded" on the shelf. Creating a homemade set-up and shooting the image and tweaking in photoshop afterward would have been a better solution in my eyes. If only I didn't have a budget (or maybe a high-end camera)!

"IsItLowT?" print PSA. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator. 2009.


You find out a lot about someone.... on a bus

On my way home from work, I always take the same route. There are two sets of buses that pick up and drop off at the same location after I get off the Pink line so I don't have to wait long. However, I usually end up on my way home during the rush hour so the bus usually has standing room only. I'm fine with that, plus I don't want to wait any longer than I have to since it is approximately an hour commute. The bus that came up first was more packed than usual, like I mean me and 2 other people where the only ones that could get on. I thought it was a little funny, especially since being crowded in a bus bring out the best, and worst in people. There were plenty of complaints on why people were still trying to get on, there wasn't any room, couldn't get off, but seriously people? Everyone is trying to get home just like you. And if you are tourists, well welcome to Chicago on a weekday at 5:30 pm. Plan accordingly next time. All I could do is smile and pretend to not pay attention.

On the other hand, I found out some great things about people too. People sacrificed their seats for others, were very polite in this uncomfortable situation and I even was able to strike up a conversation with a woman that I was standing by (She was right by the driver so I was trying to give her some more space... yeah, it was that crowded.), and I think doing the same people watching that I was doing. Sure there were a few more complainers and the snobs that wouldn't move for the elderly, but I was impressed by others even more that were positive in the situation. Who would have thought that a bus ride could be an eye-opening experience? Life's little experiences and lessons happen when you least expect it.

Photo courtesy of mctavish.eu.


And the Beat Goes On

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago just replaced their old, yet cherished, walk-through heart with one that holds interactivity in a modern fashion. This new 14-foot steel wall hanging has the image of a human heart beating projected onto its surface. Place your hand on the pulse station's hand grips and the animated heart will match your pulse. More interactivity of this heart displays the inner anatomy and the electrical function that will keep education entertaining. This technological wonder is part of the new, 15,000-square-foot permanent exhibit pinned "You! The Experience". Scheduled to open October 8th, the exhibit is designed to showcase for visitors how the human body works and how to make better decisions regarding health and mental well-being.

Tom Hennes, president of the New York design firm Thinc, is the new exhibit's primary designer. Furthermore, the "Inner Life of the Cell" creator David Bolinsky, and his team, XVIVO, were involved in creating this new exhibit. Wait, there is one more part: David Bolinski is visiting our program and in the main guest speaker in this year's Frank Armitage Lecture which is presented by the Biomedical Visualization to show new technologies in our field.

The UIC Biomedical Visualization program not only has ties with the new heart installation, but the old one as well. The 8-foot wide, plaster of paris heart built around a pillar was designed and created in our department by past faculty and others, including Professor A. Hooker Goodwin, the director of from the 1950s to 1976. Because of the construction, the walk-through heart had to be broken into smaller pieces. Some of the pieces have been given as mementos to the people or the families that have worked on the installation, so I'm assuming our department will have something somewhere. In our hallway, we have photographs of the construction.

I personally look forward to taking a look at this new exhibit when it is open to the public. I hope you do too!

Photo courtesy of msichicago.org. Heart in "You! The Experience" permanent exhibit. 2009. Museum of Science and Industry. Chicago, IL.


Oh Dura!

Here is my first illustration completed for Advanced Illustration for this past and long gone summer semester. This illustration depict the dural membranes and sinuses of the skull, which are vital to take waste products and extra fluid away from the brain (sinuses) as well as helping the brain stay put (membranes). I wanted to work with my new graphic style of line and transparencies in medical illustration. Needless to say, it was more difficult than I would have expected in the way that I had to practice my restraint in creating too much detail. Plus, the view is very different angle compared to typical anatomical illustrations and photographs, so finding references was a bit of an issue too. Osirix became an essential tool for obtaining an accurate view for the illustration. In the end I am happy about the end product and I like the clean lines and subdued color palette. It is a very different style than what you see in most anatomical illustrations today.

Dural Sinuses. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. 2009.


I'm Back!

It is so unfortunate that I have to take my little "vacations" from blogging when the end of the semester is near. Instead, I work on assignments until the wee hours of the night non-stop and then wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Let me tell you, like always it was intense. I blame myself for some of it, but you know, that happens when I want to have a bit of a social life. Well, it is all done and over for now, for a week now (Sorry, I needed to get some R&R too!). In the next week you will be seeing what I did over the past summer session of 10 credits in 8 weeks. Again, it was well worth it. I received my grades yesterday and did another stellar job and I am very happy about it.

This last week was pretty good as well. I hung out with my cousin in Madison last Friday and Saturday as well as drunkenly calling a college friend to come out at bar close; she did, (I had a great time and I couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if I went to Madison instead of St. Norbert College for undergrad (no regrets at all though).) , went home for a couple days, went boating (My brother bought a pontoon. Yes, he is only almost 19!), did a ton of reading (I finally succumbed to the Twilight series.... addicting! Plus, it is a lot more fun when you can read for pleasure.), and visited a hometown friend. Plus, our final assignments weren't due until this past Monday, so I saved just a little bit to work on for the past weekend as well. Needless to say, I kept myself busy. And just like that, I'm back in Chicago and back to work. Though I still have another week of no classes, I will be updating a website, as well as working some more of my project research (I didn't quite do what I was supposed to and now I'm making up for my negligence.... ugh Lindsey!)

Now to reminiscing a few weeks back. The images that I have here are for my Surgical Orientation class. We had plenty of lectures in the class, mostly with speakers and surgical protocol; we even had a lecture/demo on surgical instruments by Autosuture working with foam intestines and stomachs that was really fun and interesting. The assignments that we had to do was research a surgical procedure and do a few sketches as well as illustrating 3 surgical instruments in different categories in pen and ink: I chose cutting, grasping, and clamping categories and used a digital pen and ink process. The surgical procedure is not finished or course, but it works for what we were asked. Initially, I wanted to do the Whipple procedure, but yeah... way too many steps. Therefore, I decided to do laser varicose vein removal instead since my I have family that are having issues with theirs. Take a look yourself!

Surgical Instruments. Lindsey Pionek. Adobe Illustrator. 2009. Surgical Procedure on Laser Varicose Vein Removal. Lindsey Pionek. Graphite and Adobe Photoshop. 2009.


Matthew Holt

A couple days ago we had a UIC Biomedical Visualization Alum, Matthew Holt, come in and give us a presentation of his lifestyle and work process. He is a freelance medical illustrator that lives in Wisconsin close to the Illinois border. He knew he wanted to do freelance right after grad school and he has been doing that ever since. From what he said, freelancing seems like quite the lifestyle; never knowing when a job will come around or busy for a bit and making a lot of money in a short time frame and then not having work for awhile, working from home, being there with your children, pursuing other passions, being your own boss, etc. It was interesting to hear about the life of a freelancer, but I would not want to do that unless I had to. I would be a stressful little person constantly; I'm the kind of person that likes more routine in my life than not (even though I'm always up for a surprise). At least he loves what he is doing and it makes me appreciate that there are all kinds of people that have to opportunity to find their own niche that works for them.

What amazed me with his talk is the speed that Matthew can finish an illustration. He showed us one of a profile of the face completely rendered and from start to finish he said it maybe took him two and a half hours! Of course, he didn't start out this fast, but still that just blows my mind! I guess it is all in practice and when you have been doing this for so many years and you have your technique down, it reduces the time. Take a look at his website for more work by Holt and to see what else he does when he isn't illustrating.

Photo courtesy of bodyrender.com. Small Joint Replacements. Matthew Holt. 2008. Photoshop.


One Thing After Another

My intention was to get this one out earlier, but I have been a busy person (not like that's anything out of the usual) with a lot of great and memorable experiences. It all started at the end of last week when our class finally had the opportunity to visit Abelson-Taylor, one of the top pharmaceutical ad agencies in the US right here in Chicago. Since this is exactly the direction that I would like my career to go, I was not going to miss it at all. To do this, I had to reschedule work that day which really wasn't a problem. That morning, however, was another story.

What should have been a 25 minute max commute, quickly turned into 45. The bus did not come the time it said it should have been on BusTracker and then waited for the Blue Line for 10 minutes and when it finally came, it was not going its normal speed at all. Awesome. I'm visiting a potential employer and I'm late. That just looks fantastic. After dashing up the stairs and elevator and sulking into the conference room where the visit was at the moment, I was pretty embarrassed. I do not like to be late; it stresses me out so I prevent it as much as I humanly cane. Gladly, it was okay and the visit was fantastic. It was more than I expected and was obviously pleasantly surprised. After the class left, I stayed after for awhile to get a deeper look at the company and meet some talented people with Vanessa Ruiz, who went through UIC's Biomedical Visualization program as well. It was a great experience that greatly validated my passion to go into this field and makes me very excited about the future.

The weekend was a entirely busy as I moved this weekend to a cute little place in the heart of Lincoln Park. My family came down to help, of course, even though they hate moving me. (Hopefully this will be the last time for awhile!) If you don't know anything about Lincoln Park, it is a great area; I am only a block away from the park, the conservatory and the zoo. However, parking is a bit of a problem, especially when you are moving with a full-size truck that takes up almost two parking spaces. That was an experience I could have done without! Surprisingly, we ended up getting one for the beast right in front of my building. At first, I was really disappointed in that apartment. Needless to say, there was no security deposit, therefore, there is not motivation for it to be cleaned. Also, some of the electrical was not the best shape. I was pretty upset that I moved in two weeks after my lease officially started and some of the stuff that was promised to me that it would be completed before I moved in still was not done. It is done now, so it wasn't too much of an issue (I think the building engineer could tell I was a little ticked when I officially moved in), but still pretty disappointing. After the fixing up and the cleaning, it has turned into quite the little pad I think!

After all of the non-homework responsibilities I have been back at the thing called "schooling". However, it has become a little overwhelming and I really need to catch up. (How many times have you heard that from me! Ha ha!) Like always, it will get done and done well. I work better under pressure and deadlines and they are coming up!

Photo courtesy of hi.baidu.com. Abelson Taylor Reception Space.



Getting back into school from a great weekend was tough, but I think I have a handle on it now. I was doing a bit of research online pertaining to my subject for my Flash interactive that I have to do for class. At the moment, we just have to create a little outline of what we want to include and how we are envisioning the layout. I am planning on doing mine about the different stages of obesity, particular health hazards, and BMI. While researching, I was thinking about adding the anatomy of an adipocyte, an individual fat cell, and I ended up finding this little guy. Though I have seen these critter, creatures, whatever you want to call them, I thought I would present them anyway since I didn't know that cells were included.

The stuffed cell is from a brand named Giant Microbes by Drew Oliver. Drew Oliver was initially a lawyer educated at the University of Chicago Law School, but creating cute stuffed microbes and cells and being his own boss was more up his alley. Started in 2002 to be an education tool for children, his small business attracted national attention a year later and the rest is history. The Giant Microbes collection contains Health (microbes like the kind that cause the common cold and the flu as well as cells), Critters (such as dust mites), Calamites, (such as those that are responsible for black death and ebola), and Exotics. Each stuffed microscopic 'critter' comes with information and illustrations about the real thing it is symbolizing. Get one for your sick friend or family member (they have a new Swine Flu one as well!), or as a little reminder to keep that waistline!

Photo courtesy of giantmicrobes.com. Giant Microbes Fat Cell (Adipocyte).


Independence Day in Chicago

I have to say that this Independence Day was one of my best. My parents came down not only to bring me some of my huge packing bins, but to spend some time in the city and enjoy the festivities. I was so excited that I started planning right away for their visit, since they really haven't seen much of the city other than what is close to my apartment. I also planned and booked a little surprise for them by booking a Fireworks and Architecture Cruise from Shoreline. The day after I booked it, Mom gives me a call mentioning the cruises. She's not supposed to be looking into that stuff! I always do the planning when they come down! Crap! I quickly say that I saw that and called all of the places and they are all booked; the websites must not be updated yet. Being as stubborn as she is (that's where I get it) I was almost expecting her to book them anyway and not listen to me. I was just hoping she would just drop it and not look further the rest of the week.

Of course, when I planned everything initially, it was supposed to be a beautiful, warm and sunny day, but that's not what it turned out to be..... stupid weather. That didn't stop us though! Even through the annoying drizzle and rain, we started our day of fun at the Taste of Chicago. At least we had umbrellas, but we still ended up pretty soaked. All I was thinking through the whole time was "Please let the rain stop before 7 pm" while convincing my parents that we had to be to Navy Pier to get nice seats for the fireworks. While we were waiting at the bus stop to get to Navy Pier, one bus just completely flies by. AWESOME! We need to be there in 10 minutes to get the tickets before we board! Thankfully, another one came (and stopped) soon after. For some reason, the Ogden Slip dock where we had to be is not well-known or really well-documented on its location, so I'm still scrambling while my parents are probably wondering why the hell I was spazzing. We finally got there with enough time to spare and I announced my surprise. Mom was tickled pink and was so excited, and I think Dad was too (he tends to control his emotions more than Mom).

I recommend the Fireworks and Architecture Cruise to anyone. Considering being a Chicago resident, I learned a lot about the buildings that make Chicago the place it is. It was interesting to hear the thoughts behind the designs as well and all the little details that are often looked over. The cash bar was pretty awesome too being cheap (to Chicago standards) and high quality liquors. Needless to say we took advantage of that. Lastly, the best place to view fireworks are on a boat, hands down.

Afterwards, we headed to Navy Pier and ate and drank at Charlie's Ale House since we had cravings for a good burger. Yum! When we were done there and ready to head back we took public transportation back.... I was a little squeamish since it was at night and unfortunately the most interesting people come out of the cracks later at night. We did it anyway, I mean there were three of us so it wasn't a big issue. But when we were waiting for the Blue line with my parents sitting and me facing them and not paying attention, a man approached us, and being startled, I just automatically turn around and put my hand on my purse that was on my shoulder. I didn't notice what I did until the man kept on telling me that I was "insulting" because I did that. I'm sorry, but I would have done that to anyone, any time of day, anywhere in Chicago. He continues on calling me insulting, but then starts to ask us for money. Again, I'm sorry, but you think that I am going to give you money after you were just rude to me? Don't think so! I apologized, but he wasn't taking it. So he leaves, but then a minute later he starts on his rant at my from a distance. Great. "Welcome to the El at night Mom and Dad, this is why I don't travel by myself at night," I say. It was fine, but it still bothers me a bit. Whatever, I'm a young female in Chicago, what do you expect me to do with my purse?

Other than that little situation, the time with my parents was excellent. I am so happy that they had a great time and I was able to surprise them. They deserve it since they have done so much for me. They are the best parents I could ask for.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com. July 4 -- Fireworks Over Chicago, Guy Flaneur, 2008.


Panoramic Views To Say the Least

This week has been full of ups and downs for me. I obtained by keys for my new place yesterday, and I have been attempting doing projects for my classes, however, that has not been easy. I had to re-open 3Ds Max again to do a couple touch-ups to a piece that I am submitting to the AMI Salon, which, of course, did not come easy. After failing at working on that yesterday, I moved to using Osirix (mind you, I haven't used it for at least 8 months) to find a skull and position it in a way that will help me with accurately illustrating the skull at downward lateral view. Couldn't get that to work for me either. I threw in the towel and watched Flash CS4 tutorials on Lynda.com. Well, at least I attempted at doing something.

Today has been a better day and I have been able to work on both of the projects that I could not for the life of me get to work yesterday. At least they are kind of working today. Things are looking up for me, at least hopefully.

Something else has people looking up (and down) in Chicago. Just in time for the America's birthday, the Sears (soon to be named Willis) Tower has added a new addition.... glass. More glass you say? Yes, glass that you can stand on 103 floors up. The Sears Tower added "The Ledge", a glass balcony to their Skydeck so visitors can get a panormic (yes panORMic) view of the city out of America's tallest skyscraper. Though I am a fan of the Hancock Observatory, I may have to take a look at this new addition!

Video courtesy of The Today Show on MSNBC.com. Sears Tower Opens Glass Observation Deck.


My Inspirations

Oh man, I have been a pile and I'm not quite sure why. Sure, I have been doing research on all of my projects I have to do and working, but I just cannot get myself to get any farther than that. I can always find plenty of other things to do/have to be done. I don't know, but I need to get out of this little funk soon. It will come back to me though, I will make sure of that.

One of our assignments for class was to find artists that inspire us to encourage our own style to come out in our illustrations. Here are mine:

Photo courtesy of drawingsofleonardo.org. View of a Skull. Leonardo da Vinci. c. 1489.

Leonard da Vinci
The Renaissance man, Leonardo was always not only painting and sketching, but discovering and inventing. His painting are beautiful and finished, but I always was more fascinated with his sketches. Even though they are just sketches, the detail and line work in them just blow me away.

Photo courtesy of ghostco.org. A Tree With Roots. Matthew Woodson.

Matthew Woodson
A local Chicago artist that graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, Matt Woodson has a more graphic style. His use of line, blocks of color and patterns gives the illustrations movement and whimsy, yet have a strong sense of realism. He also uses some inner anatomy in some of his works.

Photo courtesy of muchafoundation.org. Summer 1896. Alphonse Mucha. Decorative panel. 1896.

Alphose Mucha
Always being a fan of Art Nouveau, Alphose Mucha has been one of my favorites for years. His decorative style, muted color palette and use of outline is very well done. Simple, yet ornate.

Photo courtesy of iamgabz.com. Personal project inspired by Miami Ink episode. Grzegroz Domaradzki. Pencil and Photoshop. 2009.

Grzegroz Domaradzki
Also known as Gabz, Grzegroz is a polish freelancer who creates paintings, commercial art, graphic design and storyboards. His style varies depending on what he is working on which can sometimes be quite a feat. My personal favorites are his drawings and illustrations. Once again, his use of line is what gets me as well as the heightened contrast. He also uses anatomy in many of this drawings.

I hope that I will be able to take something from these amazing artists and be able to create my own style to put towards my anatomical art.


100th Blog Post!

There you are ladies and gents! If you have kept up with my blogging from the beginning, thank you and continue to read on, and if you are newer addition; welcome and I hope you obtain some knowledge as well as a chuckle from my life in the past 10 months, the present, and the future as a graduate student at UIC in the biomedical visualization program.

Now that I'm done with my little 100th-post celebration, I would like to talk about one of my newer fave artists who was saved for this special post. Plus, he also drew some medically-inspired art finally (well kinda)! Juan Fransisco Casas, 31, is a Spanish artist that works on huge photo-realistic works of are created and rendered with a blue Bic ballpoint pen. Trained as a traditional artist, he started doing these huge drawings 4 years ago as a joke to make something look like a photo but was far from it. It wasn't until he won 2nd place in a national art competition that he took these pieces seriously that he based on nights out with friends and sexuality. At the present, my new personal favorites are the ones above named Eating Vesalius and Licking Vesalius in ode to the tattoo first illustrated in Andreas Vesalius' book De Humani Corporis Fabrica. Check out more of Juan's art here! Now it is back to working on my thesis project proposal and Flash tutorials on Lynda.com!

Thanks again everyone!

Photo courtesy of juanfranciscocasas.com. Eating Vesalius (detail) and Licking Vesalius. Juan Fransisco Casas. Bic ballpoint pen. 2009.


Letting it All Hang Out

The first week of our 8 week summer session is over and though I am trying to keep up with things the summer keeps on tempting me to relax, hang out, and to put it bluntly, just chill. I haven't quite stepped back into the class mode yet. It is nice in a way that our course load isn't that intense, so I still feel like I am in the clear.... I just don't want it to get out of hand, you know, since all of my weekends are already books for the entire duration. That will happen.

Though I say I have been a bum, I have:
  • Checked out artists that I admire for my advanced imaging techniques as well as choosing my scientific subjects to illustrate.
  • Taken my first Flash class and rewrote my crazy-messy notes (I swear, in the past month I forgot how to write.)
  • Gutted my room of unnecessary things that I don't want to move in less than a month.
  • Worked 16 hours and did my first tech help email and phone call. :D
  • Caught up with friends.
  • Watched Horton Hears a Who. (The animation is great and the humor is not just for kids.)
  • Worked on my online class, which thankfully has only one more week.
  • Talked with my thesis project committee chair and advisor about where I am going and what I have to do.
  • Went grocery shopping at my favorite cheap (but good) ghetto grocery store
  • Made a large amount of black bean salsa and chicken fajitas. (I missed having fresh produce.)
  • Sat and took in a wonderful summer storm.
So there, I can say I have done something with my life. One thing I'm glad I didn't do is what these little characters are up to. This anatomical imagery is from Tom Giesler, an illustrator and entrepreneur in the San Fransisco Bay area. His ties with the graphic design and medical devices industry, as well as his humor, can both be seen in these clean and simple illustrations, made to look anatomical charts. Take a look at his website as there are more anatomically-based images there!

Photo courtesy of tomgiesler.com. The spirit of sharing and Brimming with enthusiasm. Tom Giesler. 17 x 22", acrylic & digital, 2007.