Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

AMI Conference – Part 3

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Wrapping up this recap of the AMI conference, I suppose I should come back in with Saturday morning.  The first lecturer was Leon Speroff, MD who spoke about the beginnings and history of oral contraception, focusing specifically on Gregory Pincus and his work in creating the birth control pill.  The talk was really very positive, but I couldn’t help thinking that I am so glad not to be one of those women that fell into the trial and error portion of learning about the pill.

After that Graham Johnson and Brad Marsh got up and spoke about their work visualizing the pancreatic beta cell with the use of electron microscope tomography.  The big finale is that they are putting together this really extensive 3D atlas of an entire cell by collecting data from smaller scans which can collect better data than anything you can view an entire cell under so far.  This was some really cool work.

Then Scott Fassett got up and spoke about Illustrating for the animation industry.  Most of his work was with Disney.  Beautiful work, but I have to admit to being a touch burnt out on the magic of Disney from my time in LA.  The techniques he discussed were not ones I am likely to use myself, but it was a nice introduction to them.

I would say I found myself the most interested in the panels which followed next.  First on the list was “From Concept to Completion: Real World Development of High End 3D Medical Animations (Part 1 of 2), and then the continuing panel discussion which was part two.  these really brought home for me the value of having a full company from which to do business.  They seemed to have found ways around some of the pitfalls I myself hit in trying to do freelance work right out of college the first time, and a lot of it came down to having the staff, resources, and clientele base to allow a client lots of time to make decisions or change their mind while you are simply working on something else.  That ability to have multiple jobs going at one time struck me as a matter of key importance.  It just isn’t possible to juggle like that while marketing yourself and arranging for new clients when it is just you doing everything.

After that there was another panel discussion that fed right in to the same momentum, called “Your Future as a Self-Employed Medical Illustrator: Starve, Survive, or Flourish?”  This brought out a lot of concerns amongst self-employed medical artists, some of which became rather heated as the discussion continued.  From concerns about marketing, to the increasing outsourcing of jobs overseas, to reinventing ourselves into more complete service providers and resources, there was a lot to take home and process from this discussion.  Business has clearly changed in the last decade or so, and a lot of people are struggling to find new ways of doing business to keep on top of those changes.  I really heard reiterated again and again throughout the conference in it’s entirety, that the push is to offer a more complete service, rather than marketing our work as a final product.  For one thing, we tend to be better at using our illustrations and animations than just anyone putting things together, but we also become more useful to employers when they can hire us to provide a more complete solution to their needs rather than just another piece of the puzzle that needs further management to bring it to it’s audience.

I had to duck out of the  panel discussions just a touch early to get back to the room and dress for that night’s banquet and awards ceremony.

I was signed up to work this one, so I needed to be there a little bit early.  This was a lovely event where everyone dressed up and we had a nice dinner catered while the awards from both the salon entries were given as well as the larger awards recognizing life long achievement and such.  Being so new to the crowd, I think I was most excited to see our very own Matt Cirigliano‘s work take an award.

Congratualations Matt!  And thank you Josy Conklin for the pictures!

If I find out it’s posted anywhere, I will come back here and edit this post to provide a link, but Matt put together this fantastic comic book to teach young students about cell biology.  The parts of it that I have seen look phenomenal.

After the awards ceremony people milled about a bit longer and had those last chats and goodbyes before we all went off to whatever the night held.  I believe for some of my classmates it was karaoke, but for me it was Bridgefest.  I was told a few days prior about the 100th aniversary of the Hawthorne Bridge, and some very lovely friends of friends wanted to take me to the celebrations.  I missed the big band and party on the bridge itself, but made it out to the celebration afterwards just at the end of the bridge featuring live music, beer sales, and fun people all around.  I was even so lucky as to get a comfier room to sleep in that night and an early ride out to the airport with my new friends in the morning.  Not a bad way to end my Portland tour indeed.

Written by Sara

August 15th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

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