This week I thought I’d tell everyone a little bit about the background of the Axon artists/designers, including myself (Tabby), and talk about a recent event we participated in.
Kristina, Albert and I all graduated from the Biomedical Communications Master’s program at the University of Toronto, back in 2010. Cool, you’re thinking, but what the heck is “biomedical communications”? We like to tell people we’re medical illustrators – meaning we are proficient in textbook, particularly anatomical, illustration – but that really only scratches the surface of what we do (and has very little to do with our roles at Axon).
Literally the first assignment is a medical illustration.
The BMC program is divided into 2 streams. Kristina and I were in the first stream, interactive media, while Albert studied the second, 3D animation. Everything we studied focused on visual communication for medicine and science, but we go about it differently. For our Master’s Research Projects, Kristina and I designed and programmed Flash games (hers was about arthropods, meant for a museum kiosk, while mine focused on food-borne illness and was directed at teens). Albert made an animation describing axillary lymph node dissection, a surgical procedure. In the interactive stream we studied web design, information design, UI/UX, and educational design. Meanwhile, the animation students learned about cinematography, compositing, scriptwriting, storyboarding and 3D modelling and animation.
Screenshots of our MRPs (L to R: Kristina’s, Tabby’s, Albert’s).
With our technical art backgrounds, you can see why our focus at Axon is on designing visual solutions, mostly for medical education – it’s our specialty!
…But we also have a whimsical side. After all, that’s why we’re making Quench.
Whimsy is triangular!
Yesterday Kristina and I got together with about 20 of our BMC colleagues at Bento Miso to have an “Art Attack”. Basically we made a triptych of collaborative art pieces to be put up for auction at the BMC 70th Anniversary Gala later this spring (so if you thought biomedical communications was a newfangled area of study, boy were you wrong!)
We voted on making forest-themed images in 3 broad colours: red, blue and green. Kristina and I were sitting near the “red” canvas, so that’s what we stuck with.
But, being creative people, a simple forest was not good enough for us. We wanted to make something weird. Something… anatomical.
Turns out we weren’t the only group that had interesting ideas. The “green” group ended up doing caricatures of all of our old/current profs (including reimagining the program coordinator as a centaur) and the “blue” group decided to eschew forests altogether and draw an underwater scene instead.
All together now!
All in all, it was a great night, and a fun way to celebrate Earth Day. We’re really looking forward to the gala, and I’ll post an update if “Forest Creatures and Anatomical Features” ends up coming to live at the office!