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MEDICAL ILLUSTRATOR/SCULPTOR: The Merging Of Two Passions - Art and Science

About this video 

Erica, a medical illustrator, spends her days sketching and designing anatomy models. Not only does she get to conceptualize the product, but now she is working on the business and manufacturing end as well. This is a job that has both creative as well as business and sales aspects.

Degree: Medical Illustration and Informatics - Pre-Medicine
Job Title: Medical Illustrator/Sculptor

Job Summary: Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators

Job Description

Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, or other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than a functional one.

On-the-Job Training

Long-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

Some craft and fine artists learn on the job from more experienced artists. Others attend non-credit classes or workshops or take private lessons, which may be offered in artists’ studios or at community colleges, art centers, galleries, museums, or other art-related institutions.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$20,000 - $60,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Part-time, Full-time, Flexible, Irregular, Varies Widely
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Remote, Outdoor, Indoor, Home
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Creativity, Artistic, Technical skills, People skills, Networking, Hand-eye coordination, Likes working with hands

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='210'>My</span> <span m='270'>name</span> <span m='450'>is</span> <span m='570'>Erica,</span> <span m='880'>and</span> <span m='1030'>I'm</span> <span m='1140'>a</span> <span m='1200'>medical</span> <span m='1600'>illustrator</span> <span m='2370'>and</span> <span m='2510'>actually,</span> <span m='2780'>specifically,</span> <span m='3270'>a</span> <span m='3320'>medical</span> <span m='3720'>sculptor.</span> <span m='4410'>So</span> <span m='4740'>I</span> <span m='4830'>went</span> <span m='5020'>to</span> <span m='5120'>school</span> <span m='5660'>as</span> <span m='5920'>sort</span> <span m='6060'>of</span> <span m='6130'>pre-med</span> <span m='6700'>to</span> <span m='6780'>study</span> <span m='7010'>medicine</span> <span m='7460'>and</span> <span m='7610'>anatomy,</span> <span m='8160'>so</span> <span m='8370'>parts</span> <span m='8690'>of</span> <span m='8760'>the</span> <span m='8830'>body.</span> <span m='9940'>I can show,</span> <span m='10570'>for</span> <span m='10730'>example,</span> <span m='11140'>this is a</span> <span m='11360'>skull.</span> </p><p><span m='11800'>So I</span> <span m='12240'>actually</span> <span m='12590'>sculpted.</span> <span m='13260'>I</span> <span m='13360'>took</span> <span m='13730'>bones</span> <span m='14030'>of</span> <span m='14140'>the</span> <span m='14370'>human</span> <span m='14760'>scull that</span> <span m='14870'>I</span> <span m='14900'>had on</span> <span m='15140'>my</span> <span m='15250'>desk,</span> <span m='15630'>and</span> <span m='15780'>I</span> <span m='16550'>sculpted</span> <span m='16730'>all</span> <span m='16840'>the</span> <span m='16920'>parts</span> <span m='17270'>that</span> <span m='17350'>we</span> <span m='17460'>could</span> <span m='17600'>make</span> <span m='17760'>a</span> <span m='17800'>mold</span> <span m='18720'>and</span> <span m='18860'>produce</span> <span m='19070'>this</span> <span m='19210'>22-part</span> <span m='19700'>skull</span> <span m='19780'>that</span> <span m='20170'>actually</span> <span m='20410'>comes</span> <span m='20620'>apart.</span> <span m='22080'>I</span> <span m='22220'>also do,</span> <span m='22680'>for</span> <span m='22800'>example,</span> <span m='23300'>like</span> <span m='23790'>a</span> <span m='23940'>sculpture</span> <span m='24070'>that you</span> <span m='24160'>see</span> <span m='24320'>over</span> <span m='24450'>here,</span> <span m='24830'>the</span> <span m='24900'>head.</span> </p><p><span m='26210'>So</span> <span m='26440'>I'm</span> <span m='26710'>actually</span> <span m='27180'>doing</span> <span m='27510'>the</span> <span m='27780'>illustrations</span> <span m='28540'>or</span> <span m='28630'>the</span> <span m='28760'>drawings</span> <span m='29490'>of</span> <span m='29620'>parts</span> <span m='29970'>so</span> <span m='30030'>that</span> <span m='30520'>doctors</span> <span m='30920'>can</span> <span m='31060'>understand.</span> <span m='31720'>So in</span> <span m='31910'>all</span> <span m='32040'>the</span> <span m='32130'>textbooks</span> <span m='32570'>you</span> <span m='32680'>see</span> <span m='32980'>or the</span> <span m='33110'>illustrations</span> <span m='33690'>or the</span> <span m='33820'>drawings</span> <span m='34175'>of</span> <span m='36260'>the</span> <span m='36340'>body.</span> <span m='36830'>A</span> <span m='36920'>typical</span> <span m='37290'>day</span> <span m='37450'>for</span> <span m='37590'>me</span> <span m='38100'>would</span> <span m='38370'>be</span> <span m='38490'>I'd</span> <span m='38550'>walk</span> <span m='38820'>into</span> <span m='39010'>the</span> <span m='39130'>office</span> <span m='39620'>and</span> <span m='39710'>maybe</span> <span m='40020'>I</span> <span m='40120'>would</span> <span m='41080'>do</span> <span m='41180'>some</span> <span m='41340'>sketches</span> <span m='42320'>of</span> <span m='43656'>some</span> <span m='44140'>system,</span> <span m='44650'>maybe</span> <span m='44900'>the</span> <span m='44990'>stomach,</span> <span m='45460'>to</span> <span m='45570'>explain</span> <span m='46000'>a</span> <span m='46950'>disease</span> <span m='47300'>of the</span> <span m='47480'>stomach</span> <span m='47690'>that you could</span> <span m='48060'>have</span> <span m='48890'>and</span> <span m='49290'>sit</span> <span m='49440'>down with</span> <span m='49560'>a</span> <span m='49620'>team.</span> </p><p><span m='50030'>And</span> <span m='50130'>we</span> <span m='50200'>would</span> <span m='51190'>talk</span> <span m='51380'>about</span> <span m='51530'>how</span> <span m='51590'>to</span> <span m='51680'>make</span> <span m='51850'>this</span> <span m='52020'>into</span> <span m='52190'>a</span> <span m='52230'>model</span> <span m='52520'>or a</span> <span m='52810'>3D</span> <span m='52980'>model.</span> <span m='53470'>And</span> <span m='53610'>then</span> <span m='53900'>I</span> <span m='54010'>use--</span> <span m='54340'>I used</span> <span m='54480'>to use</span> <span m='54850'>clay to sculpt</span> <span m='55750'>and</span> <span m='56020'>we would</span> <span m='56210'>use</span> <span m='56350'>that</span> <span m='56520'>to</span> <span m='56610'>make</span> <span m='56760'>the</span> <span m='56840'>mold.</span> <span m='57160'>But</span> <span m='57300'>now</span> <span m='57460'>I</span> <span m='57550'>do</span> <span m='58020'>digital</span> <span m='58590'>sculpting.</span> </p><p><span m='59070'>So</span> <span m='59230'>I use</span> <span m='59530'>a</span> <span m='59610'>computer</span> <span m='59970'>program</span> <span m='60270'>to</span> <span m='60330'>help</span> <span m='60470'>me</span> <span m='60550'>sculpt</span> <span m='60830'>the</span> <span m='61530'>models.</span> <span m='62160'>And</span> <span m='62350'>then</span> <span m='63020'>I</span> <span m='63120'>would</span> <span m='63260'>send</span> <span m='63450'>the</span> <span m='63520'>file</span> <span m='63860'>away.</span> <span m='64180'>And</span> <span m='64379'>we would</span> <span m='64540'>get a</span> <span m='64709'>3D</span> <span m='64989'>print</span> <span m='65349'>made</span> <span m='65519'>of</span> <span m='65640'>the</span> <span m='65890'>stomach,</span> <span m='66870'>and</span> <span m='67340'>get it</span> <span m='67510'>back,</span> <span m='67900'>review</span> <span m='68260'>it,</span> <span m='68550'>and</span> <span m='68760'>then</span> <span m='68910'>eventually--</span> <span m='69900'>actually,</span> <span m='70360'>I</span> <span m='70470'>just</span> <span m='70650'>moved</span> <span m='70740'>back</span> <span m='70960'>from</span> <span m='71060'>China.</span> </p><p><span m='71600'>I was</span> <span m='71700'>living in</span> <span m='71790'>China</span> <span m='72040'>for</span> <span m='72140'>a</span> <span m='72503'>while</span> <span m='73230'>because</span> <span m='73480'>we</span> <span m='73620'>have a</span> <span m='73670'>factory</span> <span m='74090'>there</span> <span m='74270'>that</span> <span m='74460'>uses</span> <span m='74750'>the</span> <span m='74860'>models,</span> <span m='75760'>that</span> <span m='75910'>makes</span> <span m='76150'>the</span> <span m='76240'>molds</span> <span m='76660'>out of</span> <span m='76860'>steel.</span> <span m='77620'>And</span> <span m='77850'>it's</span> <span m='78130'>injection</span> <span m='78410'>molded</span> <span m='78520'>plastic.</span> <span m='79100'>And</span> <span m='79420'>that's</span> <span m='79540'>how we make</span> <span m='79700'>them.</span> </p><p><span m='79880'>So</span> <span m='80460'>what</span> <span m='80730'>starts</span> <span m='81030'>in</span> <span m='81090'>my</span> <span m='81280'>office</span> <span m='81600'>as</span> <span m='81740'>just</span> <span m='81960'>a</span> <span m='82000'>simple</span> <span m='82480'>sculpture</span> <span m='83560'>will</span> <span m='83790'>then be</span> <span m='84280'>thousands</span> <span m='84700'>of them</span> <span m='85890'>as</span> <span m='86080'>we produce them in the</span> <span m='86330'>factory.</span> <span m='86910'>And</span> <span m='87250'>so</span> <span m='87380'>I</span> <span m='87450'>was</span> <span m='87590'>working</span> <span m='87950'>in</span> <span m='88020'>the</span> <span m='88090'>factory</span> <span m='88530'>to</span> <span m='88690'>produce</span> <span m='90320'>not just</span> <span m='90610'>hard</span> <span m='90870'>models</span> <span m='91290'>but</span> <span m='91950'>skin,</span> <span m='92530'>like</span> <span m='92760'>life</span> <span m='93090'>like,</span> <span m='94030'>like</span> <span m='94340'>a</span> <span m='94805'>stomach</span> <span m='95270'>that</span> <span m='95735'>you see</span> <span m='96200'>here.</span> <span m='97600'>So</span> <span m='98060'>this</span> <span m='98200'>is</span> <span m='98290'>a</span> <span m='98370'>stomach,</span> <span m='98730'>for</span> <span m='98820'>example,</span> <span m='99270'>where</span> <span m='99460'>the</span> <span m='99580'>doctor</span> <span m='99990'>can</span> <span m='100160'>practice</span> <span m='100570'>cutting the</span> <span m='100920'>stomach</span> <span m='101560'>or</span> <span m='101960'>putting--</span> <span m='102950'>I think</span> <span m='103160'>this is</span> <span m='103330'>a</span> <span m='103460'>gastric</span> <span m='103886'>port--</span> <span m='104740'>so a</span> <span m='104970'>feeding</span> <span m='105340'>tube</span> <span m='105540'>into the</span> <span m='105780'>stomach.</span> <span m='106180'>So</span> <span m='106370'>he</span> <span m='106510'>can</span> <span m='106650'>practice</span> <span m='107090'>on</span> <span m='107200'>this</span> <span m='107300'>soft,</span> <span m='108520'>realistic</span> <span m='109020'>kind</span> <span m='109230'>of</span> <span m='109370'>thing</span> <span m='109730'>before</span> <span m='110060'>doing it on</span> <span m='110516'>a patient.</span> </p><p><span m='111430'>When</span> <span m='111650'>I</span> <span m='111690'>was</span> <span m='111860'>younger</span> <span m='112170'>I</span> <span m='112230'>really</span> <span m='112530'>enjoyed</span> <span m='112810'>drawing,</span> <span m='113890'>but</span> <span m='114530'>more</span> <span m='116380'>very</span> <span m='116690'>technical</span> <span m='117240'>drawing,</span> <span m='117860'>so</span> <span m='118100'>detailed,</span> <span m='118500'>kind</span> <span m='118900'>of</span> <span m='119130'>photographic</span> <span m='119490'>drawing</span> <span m='120330'>where</span> <span m='120540'>I would</span> <span m='121020'>draw</span> <span m='121180'>from</span> <span m='121460'>life</span> <span m='122370'>and</span> <span m='123300'>not</span> <span m='123520'>so</span> <span m='123620'>much</span> <span m='123830'>with the</span> <span m='124030'>painting,</span> <span m='124340'>abstract</span> <span m='124610'>painting.</span> <span m='124650'>So</span> <span m='124940'>I was</span> <span m='125300'>very</span> <span m='125540'>technical</span> <span m='125980'>drawing.</span> <span m='126360'>But</span> <span m='126740'>I</span> <span m='126840'>wasn't</span> <span m='127110'>sure</span> <span m='127320'>what</span> <span m='127450'>kind</span> <span m='127630'>of</span> <span m='127700'>job</span> <span m='127960'>you</span> <span m='128210'>get</span> <span m='128509'>if</span> <span m='128650'>you're</span> <span m='128770'>drawing.</span> </p><p><span m='129300'>So</span> <span m='129500'>then I</span> <span m='129669'>was</span> <span m='130509'>also</span> <span m='130960'>interested in</span> <span m='131130'>medicine</span> <span m='131630'>or</span> <span m='131730'>biology.</span> <span m='132930'>And</span> <span m='133140'>when</span> <span m='133290'>I</span> <span m='133380'>heard</span> <span m='133950'>of</span> <span m='134170'>the</span> <span m='134270'>job</span> <span m='134700'>called</span> <span m='135200'>a</span> <span m='135430'>medical</span> <span m='135560'>illustrator</span> <span m='135990'>where</span> <span m='136110'>it's a</span> <span m='136220'>marriage</span> <span m='136650'>of</span> <span m='136750'>those</span> <span m='137010'>two</span> <span m='137480'>types</span> <span m='137780'>of</span> <span m='137840'>skills,</span> <span m='138680'>so</span> <span m='139340'>you</span> <span m='139470'>are</span> <span m='139610'>doing</span> <span m='139750'>the</span> <span m='139870'>technical</span> <span m='140290'>side</span> <span m='140560'>of</span> <span m='140680'>it,</span> <span m='141220'>biology,</span> <span m='142130'>learning</span> <span m='142280'>medicine,</span> <span m='143110'>but</span> <span m='143240'>also</span> <span m='143440'>drawing</span> <span m='143870'>and</span> <span m='143950'>having</span> <span m='144220'>some</span> <span m='144370'>artistic</span> <span m='145770'>influence</span> <span m='146020'>on the</span> <span m='146220'>job</span> <span m='146610'>as well.</span> <span m='147720'>So when</span> <span m='147820'>I</span> <span m='147870'>found</span> <span m='148080'>out</span> <span m='148170'>about</span> <span m='148330'>that,</span> <span m='148600'>I said</span> <span m='149040'>it's</span> <span m='149280'>perfect.</span> </p><p><span m='150630'>And</span> <span m='150920'>then</span> <span m='151090'>out</span> <span m='151220'>of</span> <span m='151310'>school,</span> <span m='151700'>actually,</span> <span m='152700'>it's a</span> <span m='152760'>pretty</span> <span m='153220'>good</span> <span m='153440'>job</span> <span m='153760'>actually</span> <span m='154160'>because you</span> <span m='154250'>can</span> <span m='154370'>make</span> <span m='154540'>a</span> <span m='154580'>good</span> <span m='154740'>amount</span> <span m='154910'>of</span> <span m='154950'>money</span> <span m='155170'>doing</span> <span m='155450'>it.</span> <span m='158950'>I</span> <span m='159060'>think</span> <span m='159200'>most of the</span> <span m='159480'>people</span> <span m='159720'>that go</span> <span m='159830'>to</span> <span m='159910'>school</span> <span m='160260'>for</span> <span m='160550'>it--</span> <span m='160650'>there's</span> <span m='160820'>only</span> <span m='161020'>three</span> <span m='161320'>programs</span> <span m='161670'>in</span> <span m='161800'>the</span> <span m='161950'>country</span> <span m='162400'>that</span> <span m='162600'>I</span> <span m='162620'>have</span> <span m='162850'>it</span> <span m='162990'>as</span> <span m='163160'>a</span> <span m='163760'>major,</span> <span m='164600'>undergrad,</span> <span m='164910'>and</span> <span m='165220'>then</span> <span m='165310'>you</span> <span m='165390'>can</span> <span m='165530'>go</span> <span m='166040'>also</span> <span m='166390'>for grad</span> <span m='166825'>school.</span> <span m='168550'>But I</span> <span m='168680'>think</span> <span m='168900'>the</span> <span m='169510'>hiring</span> <span m='169850'>rate is</span> <span m='170130'>quite</span> <span m='170320'>good.</span> </p><p><span m='170600'>So</span> <span m='171040'>where</span> <span m='171280'>I</span> <span m='171360'>am</span> <span m='171570'>now,</span> <span m='171840'>I</span> <span m='171940'>started</span> <span m='172340'>as</span> <span m='172490'>a</span> <span m='172540'>designer.</span> <span m='173715'>And</span> <span m='174150'>what</span> <span m='175200'>I'm</span> <span m='175280'>here</span> <span m='175440'>at</span> <span m='175510'>this</span> <span m='175660'>conference</span> <span m='176180'>doing</span> <span m='176480'>is</span> <span m='176590'>I'm</span> <span m='176690'>actually</span> <span m='176940'>selling</span> <span m='177330'>the</span> <span m='177410'>models.</span> <span m='177880'>So</span> <span m='178110'>I'm</span> <span m='178270'>talking</span> <span m='178650'>to</span> <span m='178720'>people</span> <span m='179170'>and</span> <span m='179310'>setting</span> <span m='179580'>up</span> <span m='179710'>business</span> <span m='180780'>agreements,</span> <span m='182340'>trying</span> <span m='182550'>to</span> <span m='182590'>get</span> <span m='182750'>purchase</span> <span m='183120'>orders,</span> <span m='183810'>and</span> <span m='183960'>set</span> <span m='184150'>up</span> <span m='184250'>business</span> <span m='184480'>deals.</span> </p><p><span m='185340'>So</span> <span m='186070'>even</span> <span m='186290'>though</span> <span m='186360'>I'm</span> <span m='186470'>very</span> <span m='186670'>happy</span> <span m='187070'>that</span> <span m='187230'>I</span> <span m='187290'>went</span> <span m='187460'>to</span> <span m='187560'>school</span> <span m='188750'>to</span> <span m='188920'>learn</span> <span m='189130'>this</span> <span m='189210'>skill</span> <span m='189930'>or</span> <span m='190020'>the</span> <span m='190140'>design</span> <span m='190780'>capabilities,</span> <span m='191560'>I</span> <span m='191640'>wish</span> <span m='191890'>that</span> <span m='192010'>I</span> <span m='192120'>had taken</span> <span m='192290'>some</span> <span m='193060'>business</span> <span m='193510'>classes</span> <span m='193805'>so</span> <span m='194100'>that now</span> <span m='194370'>I</span> <span m='194470'>can</span> <span m='194620'>apply</span> <span m='194970'>that</span> <span m='195150'>to</span> <span m='195230'>the</span> <span m='195320'>real</span> <span m='195530'>world</span> <span m='195920'>situation</span> <span m='196240'>that</span> <span m='196560'>I'm in.</span> <span m='197426'>And</span> <span m='197860'>I'm</span> <span m='198030'>learning</span> <span m='198340'>a</span> <span m='198400'>lot</span> <span m='198810'>about</span> <span m='199050'>business</span> <span m='199320'>on</span> <span m='199430'>the</span> <span m='199520'>job.</span> <span m='199890'>But</span> <span m='200020'>it</span> <span m='200070'>would've</span> <span m='200270'>been</span> <span m='200490'>nice</span> <span m='200830'>to</span> <span m='200990'>have</span> <span m='201160'>a</span> <span m='201210'>little</span> <span m='201420'>more</span> <span m='201570'>of</span> <span m='201610'>a</span> <span m='201690'>background</span> <span m='202220'>understanding</span> <span m='202690'>how</span> <span m='203350'>business</span> <span m='203710'>deals</span> <span m='204010'>work.</span> </p>","file":{"id":255758,"video_id":"2700097061001","name":"69648219","duration":205162,"thumbnail_url":null}});