My First Publication

Yep, that's right. My first medical illustration is officially published. I received my copy of the April 2009 Vol 44 #2 AANA Journal (American Association of Nurse Anesthetics) in the mail today. I am happy with the illustration focusing on the Triangle of Petit (AKA lumbar triangle) even though I did it without any formal training from a certified medical illustration program at the time. With that in mind, I can find flaws and I am finding ways that I could have done it much better if I created it now since I have almost a year of training under my belt. It just proves to me why this program is so beneficial. Nonetheless.... MY ILLUSTRATION AND NAME IS PUBLISHED! When the article is put online, I will post it, otherwise look for a hard copy!

Also, I went to a thesis project presentation for a fellow student yesterday to find out more. Her project involved the creation of an interactive providing size relationships with microscopic structures. The project is called Micro/Macro and she did a great job. I looked through the interactive site a week ago and thought it was great, however, during the presentation, she demonstrated all parts of the site even parts that I missed which impressed me even more. She created something complex, informative and spectacular and it provides a great resource to our field as well as provides me with even more inspiration and knowledge of creating my own thesis project.


3D Revisitation #4

Sub-surface scattering, also known as SSS, is a mechanism in which light penetrates the surface of a semi-translucent object, is scattered by interacting with the material, and exits the surface at a different point. The light will generally penetrate the surface and be reflected a number of times at irregular angles inside the material, before passing back out of the material at an angle other than the angle it would reflect at had it reflected directly off the surface. Subsurface scattering is important in 3d for giving the ability to render skin, marble, milk, and jade. Have you ever noticed when you put your hand up to a light that it turns reddish? Yep, that's SSS.

This exercise was all about creating realistic skin texture as well as playing around the idea to give objects more depth and realism through a more fleshy appearance. Some people talk and work with this technique frequently and are fantastic with it. Check out this thread to see some great SSS models in the process.

At the moment, I am trying to work more with this technique with my villi for my final 3d assignment of the semester. This will take a lot of tweaking. Wish me luck!

SSS Exercise, Lindsey Pionek, 3D Studio Max 2009.


Revisited #3: Syringe

Here's my syringe with the modeling, textures, and background. Happy with it, but mostly happy it is done! At least for now it is.

Syringe, Lindsey Pionek, 3D Studio Max 2009.


3D Revisitation #2

This time is was the fun RBCs if you can't tell. I guess I didn't realize that we had to put them in a vessel, so I had to go back and work things around again for class. I really wanted to work with depth of field and blur on this piece and it was rather fun after I stopped worrying about the vessel texture too much!

I think I spend too much time on these exercises, but I'm relatively happy with all of them. More to come!

Red Blood Cells in Vessel, Lindsey Pionek, 3D Studio Max 2009.

Hemostat: Revisited

Well here you are ladies and gentleman. You have seen this before, but now you can see what I have really learned through the semester by revisiting the exercise. I would like to come back to this later and snazz it up a even more with a few more tools, but with everything else I have to do at the moment, I think it works for a re-do of an exercise!

Sorry, the posts are going to be short, but frequent this week! Almost done with the semester, yay!

Hemostat, Lindsey Pionek, 3D Studio Max 2009.


Max Brödel

Max Brödel is an incredibly important person for an individual going into medical art field. Actually, he is so important that he is known as that father of medical illustration. Max came to the US from Germany in 1894 with no formal medical education and initially illustrated for a gynecologist, Howard Kelly, at Johns Hopkins University. There, he started the first medical art department in the nation. His illustrations are detailed, intricate, precise and informative through his use of pen and ink or carbon dusting; two of his most well-known techniques. It only makes sense that a budding artist learns through copying the pros which is exactly what we were asked to do with an update.

Instead of working like Brödel did with carbon dusting (aka "painting" with tiny graphite shavings in layers, we were asked to copy his art using Photoshop. The first illustration is my rendition of Parovarian Cyst Between the Ampulla of the Tube and the Outer End of the Ovary (what a mouthful!) and the second is the original piece (not a very good scan; in the book the illustration is darker). Though I feel like I have done well, I don't think I am able to compete with the master... at least not yet. Ha ha :D I learned a lot about painting in Photoshop to create the best continuous tone and texture and I am even more impressed with this man's talent. This assignment solidified the reason I am studying biomedical visualization as well as opening my eye to detail to create beautiful, yet informative medical art.

After looking for some interesting photographs for ovarian cysts, I found this blog called Tumors Galore! Quite an interesting name and subject for a blog. Caution: if you are the type of person to get queasy with this stuff, do not venture, but if you are interested it is quite a find!

Parovarian Cyst Between the Ampulla of the Tube and the Outer End of the Ovary, Lindsey Pionek after Max Brödel, Adobe Photoshop*

*Image used as reference is from the book Operative Gynecology, 2nd Edition by Howard Kelly © 1906.


Happy Earth Day!

In celebration of honoring Earth Day, we had a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry since admission was free and we were able to talk with an individual about the history of the museum and exhibit design. Our professor and head of the department of biomedical visualization, Scott Barrows, has worked with the museum and had a few exhibits that he created a few years ago. There is quite a process that goes from concept to design to the actual exhibit and everything that goes with it. Unfortunately, all of the medical-based exhibits were under construction, but the rest of the museum was still awe-inspiring. It was a good educational break, but now it is back to the grind.


What to do with those Easter Leftovers

Ok, I know this is random, but I just fell over this blog called: 100 Ways to Kill a Peep tonight when working on one of my assignments and I think it is hilarious! To be anatomy-appropriate, the one above is labeled "Beating Heart".

Photo courtesy of 100waystokillapeep.blogspot.com, Beating Heart

Knotty Ad and Billboard

Another aspect for my graphic design assignment which was due last week. This time, we needed to create an ad and billboard pertaining to the subject chosen and make them cohesive. I wanted to play with typography in my ad and create a bold and eye-catching look. I really liked how that turned out, but then I had to figure out how to create a billboard since it is not advisable to have a lot of text on them.... for some reason. Ha ha. Therefore, I worked with a small part of the ad in tandem with a bold and interesting knot image. To make even more eye-catching, I chose to make the knot spill over the black typical billboard area. I like how it turned out and I think the class did too!

I am now in the process for the next assignment: package design. I like to choose things that are recognizable to everyone, so I chose a generic brand of clear bandages. It has been going well so far, but the bandages are transparent so I wanted to focus on that and make the package see-through and create an appealing design on that. However, there can be issues ahead when getting this printed at Kinko's for a comp instead of a high-quality printing company. I may be biting off more than I can chew, but I really like this problem-solving... I learn much better going through that process.

Ad and billboard design dealing with Crohn's Disease, Lindsey Pionek, InDesign and Photoshop, Spring 2009.



Well I have been sitting on my butt all day working on a mock business plan for my business practices class. For some reason instead of just working on the part that is due a week and a half from now I decided that I want to get the whole thing done this weekend. So far so good, I am very close to getting that done, but trust me I have plenty more to do. Weekends are interesting for me. Every time Saturday comes around I can tell I am sleep deprived during the week. This Saturday I slept until 12:30 my record.... not good, but at the same time I guess I needed it.

I do have something pretty cool to share today. While waiting to my printer to print many contract and copyright forms, I found this website called radiologyart.com. Artist and medical student, Satre Stuelke, decided to take CT scans to a different level. Instead of peering into the human body, he took a look into toys and food.... and diagnosed them. Who would have ever thought that you could discover an entire other way of viewing your favorite toys from days past? He also used Osirix software to visualize the objects. Make sure you check out the website and read the "diagnoses" of the object; they are quite entertaining!

Photo courtesy of www.radiologyart.com. CT scans of a toy elephant and small stuffed bunny, 2008, Satre Stuelke.


Jammin' at AMA

Today for Business Practices we had a field trip to the AMA, the American Medical Association. How awesome is this city to have the headquarters right here?! The building was beautiful and we learned a bit about the profession of medical illustration in the real world. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Their journal, JAMA, is issued every week and the company does all images and graphs to be as cohesive, informative, and clear as possible. It was good to take a look at another option in the medical illustration field with an internship opportunity.

After talking about internship opportunities, it was off to my internship. I will be done at the National MS Society at the end of this week and though it will be good to have an extra 20 hours a week to do homework, I have gained valuable experience and feel great about what I have learned and I will miss the people that I have made connections with.

Photo courtesy of ama-assn.org and jama.ama-assn.org.


2016 Hopeful

It was quite a week for Chicago. Everything was beautiful and it was warming up (other than that freak snowstorm a couple days ago). I also noticed lots of Olympic flare going up around the city but didn't think anything of it. It was all for a good reason. The IOC (aka International Olympic Committee) was in town sizing up the city to see if it could be suitable for the 2016 Summer Olympics. I have to say that Chicago did a pretty good job promoting themselves. Their branding is impeccable; you can't help but look at the stimulating white space with bright ribbons of color simulating graceful movements of all of the sports. The website is amazing; I can't help but take a look at it everyday now. My favorite ad promoting the city is the swimmer over the Chicago River downtown... very appropriate and clever. I can't find it anywhere that I can post it, but you can check it out here.

The logo in itself is beautiful and with meaning. I don't want to sound biased, but I think Chicago has the best logo (even though it messed up the first shot). It's clean and sophisticated.

The IOC inspectors are now going to visit competing cities; Tokyo, then Rio de Janeiro and finally Madrid. Keep Chicago in your hearts for the future bid...if not only for the athletics, for the design.

Photo courtesy of chicagosuntimes.com, chicago2016.com, and blog.pinkergreen.com.


Body Furniture

The body is rather beautiful and intricate. As a medical illustrator, I appreciate what our bodies can do and I make images beautiful, informational and appealing (at least I hope so). If you have some great self-esteem and a little bit of a geeky side, this is a piece of furniture for you. This lamp, created by Sture Pallarp from Sweden, enables you to add your own x-rays to display your medical history for you and your guests to see. A great way to use past x-rays and a great conversation piece! Learn how to make your own from scratch here.
Photo courtesy of www.gizmodo.com. Recycled X-Ray Lamp, Sture Pallarp.

If you want to go with something more than an accent piece, check out these anatomical chairs created by AK-LH aka Aksel et Le Helloco. This chair design has seven numbered limited editions. They have a few other anatomically-inspired designs as well. Check them out here!
Photo courtesy of www.ilovebadthings.com. Fauteuil Tante Wera Anatomical Art Chairs, AK-LH aka Aksel et Le Helloco.

Looking for more of a shock from your guests? Buy these creative (and a little creepy) bloody bath products. The Blood Bath shower curtain and bath mat are great complements to each other or can be bought separately and will for some reason, hold their own. I don't know what that could be! Pretty cool, but not quite my style. I think I would drive myself crazy with being paranoid if I bought and used these last two products.
Photo courtesy of www.spinninghat.com. Blood Bath bath mat and shower curtain.

Off to work on some 3D compositing!


Concept Art and the Copyright

I have been a little off lately; this semester has been busier than I would have ever expected it to be. My life has been crazy recently even during Spring Break which was supposed to be a bit of a break, though I should have been working on stuff more. Therefore it is catch-up time as usual. This week was special in the way that I am starting some great big projects. Above are three concepts for what I would like to do with one (actually two) of them. Two of my professors are collaborating together to create an assignment in which we have to digitally visualize a physiological process: one to be 2d used for print and the other 3d for viewing in HDTV. I chose to illustrate intestinal villi absorption. I tend to be pretty enamoured with intestines this semester (if you haven't noticed, look for yourself here, here and another on the way) and it's not even intentional! I've always been interested on how the food we eat is transferred to energy, so I jumped at the opportunity to create this piece.

I found out quickly that this whole assignment was going to be a tough one. Medical illustration is all about accuracy and working at the cellular level is even more of a challenge to do that since we don't know exactly what histology look like when living and in situ. Creativity and accuracy in structure and proportions is what I was struggling a bit with while coming up with the concepts, but I am aware of that now. But that's what concepts are for: they are just a starting point to present issues and a potential final project. I had a great time painting in Photoshop to give my bland pencil sketches some color and character and creating concepts are really helpful in the thought process instead of just jumping in and it helps with creativity by working on more than one. I'm thinking making these concepts will save me a lot of precious time. The concept I will be working with is the topmost image.

I also added a © and year to my watermarks. Why you say? During my Business Practices class a local lawyer named Eric Scott Swirsky came in to give us a presentation dealing with copyrights and contracts. In the art field, creators can be taken advantage of from individuals using images made by someone and using it as their own; I guess it can be related to as plagiarism of art. Therefore, medical illustrators have to educate and protect themselves to evade this situation. It was a very informative talk and I learned a lot of essential information that I will be able to utilize now and in the future.

All in all, a good and busy week.

Concept designs for intestinal villi absorption, Lindsey Pionek, Photoshop, Spring 2009