August 1, 2014

Last week, BMC forced me to relinquish my keys to our computer labs. I was facing my first long weekend off in a very long time. Conveniently, a free pass to the Ontario Science Centre had been burning a hole in my wallet. After taking Curating Science last fall, our teacher, Hooley McLaughlin, gave each of us a free pass. It was like elementary school all over again, when you got your last report card and a ticket to the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition, a summer agricultural fair) was enclosed. I was really excited to finally see the newly opened Human Edge exhibit. I was even more delighted to discover all their anatomical specimens, including an elephant heart! I immediately regretted leaving my sketchbook at home.

July 28, 2014

What made the AMI 2014 meeting even more special was that the program was filled with speakers a little bit outside the usual AMI roster, expanding the scope of the conference, and demonstrating just how broad and interdisciplinary our profession can be. I would like to introduce you to two artists who I actually got to interact with, and whose work inspires me to create.

Photo credit (top): Lisa Nilsson; (Body paint, bottom left): Danny Quirk
July 28, 2014

I am so inspired by this year's AMI meeting. Held at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, it naturally attracted many fantastic local speakers from this world class hospital. Even the Clinic itself was inspiring. We also heard from many talented speakers from out of town, including me!

May 29, 2014

Earlier this year, when I learned that one of Nick Woolridge's head sculptures was up for auction at the BMCAA silent auction, I just had to have it. This week, Nick held an informal workshop on using Super Sculpey, and I was determined to sculpt a head. After an intense afternoon, I think everyone's pieces look amazing!

May 27, 2014

When I released my blood flow simulation tutorial on Vimeo this Saturday, I thought it was going to be interesting to future BMC students, and maybe wouldn't get much exposure further than that. By that night I had a few followers. The next day several people started liking various modules. Then on Monday, I got an exciting request from Lester Banks, a collector of online tutorials for modelers and animators. When asked about name credit for my tutorial, he offered to set me up a password to write a guest post.

May 16, 2014

The best thing about being named a Vesalian Scholar is that you are automatically invited to speak at the annual meeting for the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) . What makes this year even more special is that the format for the student presentations has changed, and now they are each a full 20 minutes, and they are dispersed amongst all the other talks. I will get to show my master's animation to a packed room! We will also be at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), which is going to be an amazing experience all on its own.

April 27, 2014

Last April, our entire program packed up and drove to Baltimore for my first ever student exchange. After all our end-of-year deadlines and lost sleep, I don't even remember being on that bus. All of that changed once we arrived at Johns Hopkins University, and met the students there, as well as delegates from Georgia Regents University. Student conferences are so valuable as places to network and learn, and I couldn't wait for BMC to host it the following year. I started making plans with our program director, Nick Woolridge, on the bus ride home. This week, all of those plans came to life, with the help of 18 other BMC student organizers. We had a lot of ambition going into this meeting.

You can view our full program of events here.

Photo credit: Priya Panchal
March 19, 2014

The BMC program has ties to two different worlds. There is the downtown Toronto campus, where we learn with the anatomists and pathologists, and then there is our real home base on the Mississauga (UTM) campus. While sometimes it feels like we struggle for visibility on the downtown campus, presenting a poster at UTM Research Night made me feel right at home, where everyone knew about our program and embraced it, and we just fit in. Ironically, I had decided to present a poster to promote the program, and spread awareness about what we do.

Photo credit: Andrew Q. Tran
March 15, 2014

This year, BMC was invited to judge the Peel Animation Festival. It was great to see so many high school students actively working at the interface between science and art, and a treat to be the first person to introduce them to 3D software. I created a workshop to build a simple solar system model in Cinema 4D. We used primitive spheres, texture maps, parenting, and keyframes to animate a rotating planet orbiting the Sun. I hit them with a lot of information, and at times they were concentrating so hard I wasn't sure if they were enjoying themselves - but once they rendered their animations and played them back, there was a lot of satisfaction in that room. You will find PDF instructions in this post.

Photo credit: Jodie Jenkinson
March 14, 2014

I was intrigued immediately by his concept: an astronaut's insights on how to best live our lives here on Earth. Col. Chris Hadfield even wrote the book on it. I want him to be my friend. Chris Hadfield's lecture was perhaps the most inspirational that I have ever seen. He is insightful, gracious, and kind. Of course, he opened his talk by speaking about what it was like to go into outer space, but his actual message was so much more.

March 1, 2014

Every once in a while, it's nice to get a little bit of positive reinforcement. Just a few weeks ago, I found out that I was named a 2014 Vesalian Scholar! This merit-based scholarship is awarded on the basis of thesis research proposals, and this scholarship level means that I ranked in the top 5 applicants. Then I was also invited to present this work to the AMI Board of Governors when they visisted Toronto.

There is a sneak peek at my preproduction animatic in this post!

January 20, 2014

It's a new year, and the BMC alumni association hosted a gala in the beautiful Hart House Music Room. It was a sold out event and a great time to catch up with alumni, and battle it out over a silent auction in support of the Nancy Joy Fund. Not only did two necklaces from my online shop sell to the highest bidders, but I also got to take home the coveted head sculpture. Doesn't he look right at home here?

September 15, 2013

I have been fascinated with the idea of 3D printing for years. It started with a fascination with the 3D printed jewelry from Nervous System, a pair of artists who use simulations to auto-generate unique designs based on biology. I was also quite taken by recent news of a 3D printed cast for broken bones, based on a patient's own x-rays and 3D scans. Then I stumbled upon Hot Pop Factory, a local company that combined both 3D printing and scanning into a single workshop. By partnering with Draft Print 3D, participants were also given the chance to print a small 3D object to bring home. I rounded up a few friends and we registered for the next one.

September 5, 2013

After an intense year, I'm amazed by how far I've come with a pencil and paper. I was so excited today when Dave Mazierski finally brought me the raccoon skull he reconstructed last year. I was dying to borrow it to sketch! But that wasn't all - turns out he has an entire collection of skulls from all kinds of animals squirreled away in storage bins in his office! It would be difficult to describe how excited I was at this realization.

August 12, 2013

This summer I got to spend ten days in Chicago, one of my favourite places to kick back and take a break. My best friend, Catherine Kang, lives there. Like me, she is a huge fan of science, and especially anatomy. Naturally, we carved out a special day to spend at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) so we could sketch at the North American premiere of the Animal Inside Out Body Worlds.

July 19, 2013

I am ecstatic to receive an Association of Medical Illustrators Award of Excellence for my editorial journal cover! This is my personal favourite portfolio piece, and I'm looking forward to making many more 3D scenes. Check out all the winning pieces in the AMI gallery.

July 17, 2013

After months of sketching, rendering, and adjusting layout, my two entries are finally on display (starting today!) at the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) Salon in Salt Lake City. It was such a thrill to see them professionally printed and mounted and on their way! Even if you didn't make it to the meeting, you can still view my human retina illustration and my editorial journal cover in my online gallery.

Illustrations printed and mounted for AMI salon