I am constantly amazed at the human body — the interconnectedness of its many layers and parts, its mechanical marvels and beauty, the way it grows, changes and repairs itself. Even after 25 years of drawing human anatomy, I am still moved by its wonder and mystery.
My first real exposure to anatomy was drawing nudes in a life drawing seminar my freshman year at Otis Parsons college. Drawing nudes in that class, I immediately felt like I was doing exactly what I was born to do. I didn’t know it then, but I had found my calling. As I studied and drew the human body, I was amazed at the way skin moves over muscle and bone, the way light changes and reveals the human shape, and at the differences in each of our bodies.
Fast forward four years. The need for a “practical career choice” had caused me to switch my college major a few times and I was about to graduate with a degree in marketing with a design emphasis. I didn’t feel the passion for marketing that I did for fine art, but it seemed like a compromise that would use my artistic talent while still earning a paycheck.
And then the most fortuitous event of my life occurred: I was introduced to a friend of a friend who was applying to grad school for medical illustration. Medical illustration? I had never heard of it before. I was fascinated by the prospect of a career that combined medicine and anatomy. I started taking the prerequisite science classes for a medical illustration graduate degree and was accepted into UT Southwestern Medical Center’s medical illustration program. I knew I had found my passion.
In the years since graduating with my Masters in Biocommunications, my career path included detours in the world of graphic design, art direction and project management, but I kept being drawn back to the thing I love the most — drawing the human body. Running my own successful medical illustration company has been challenging, but I’ve also found it deeply rewarding. Best of all, I get to do what I love every single day. How many people can say that?