Emily Adams has worked as a Graphic Designer at the Institute for Childhood Preparedness since April 2019. She has an undergraduate degree in Biological Illustration and recently finished her Master’s in Medical Illustration. While working for the Institute, she has created over 100 informational graphics on public health and safety topics and works to upkeep the Institute’s website and marketing materials. You can see more of her work at emadamsinc.com or follow her on Instagram @e.m.adams.inc.
The Institute team sat down with Emily and asked about her design background, achievements, and her interests:
Tell Us About Your Recent Experience With the Journal of Natural Science Illustration.
In April 2020, I responded to a call for COVID-19 Visualizations released by the Journal of Natural Science Illustration; they responded to my submission and asked if I could write an article about my work with the Institute. They were specifically interested in the audience, early childhood professionals, how the graphics were used on social media, and how I had come to work for the Institute. I wrote up a timeline of my work at the Institute and how the COVID visuals were initially created starting in January before more information was known about the coronavirus.
The graphics were created using a pop art style that I had learned about during a recent medical comics workshop. The Institute flu graphics were the first visuals I used in the pop art/comic style. Initially, the COVID-19 visuals were created in Adobe Illustrator, but they were later moved into the online graphic design software called Canva so that the whole Institute Team could easily edit the content. The first round of graphics was created in English and Spanish. Later, graphics on mask safety were created with children and early childhood professionals in mind. Most recently, a similar illustration on the long term health effects of COVID-19 was created. Some of the COVID-19 visuals are also used in the Institute’s coronavirus online training courses, which have been taken by over 65,000 participants in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
The full article can be found in the Journal of Natural Science Illustration Vol. 52, No. 2, which is set to be published and printed before the end of 2020.
How Did You Get Started in Medical Illustration?
I got interested in medical illustration in my last year of high school. I knew I was interested in medicine and anatomy, and I was planning to major in biochemistry/pre-med. As a part of my electives, I had taken a lot of visual arts classes. I always focused my work on things like hands and anatomical hearts. So when I found out that my interest in anatomy and drawing could be combined, I decided to pursue a degree in biological illustration. I had learned that if I wanted to continue in medical illustration, I would most likely need a master’s degree. I had only known about medical illustration by chance from a friend 3 - months before I graduated from high school, so it was one of the most last-minute decisions I have ever made.
How Does Graphic Design Help You Achieve Your Goals?
A large part of medical illustration is visual communication and effectively laying out information that is easy for an audience to follow. Learning at least basic principles of graphic design helps to display illustrations and information more effectively. So when I started to notice that the basics of graphic design were not present in my coursework, I started looking for alternative ways to become familiar with it. I got lucky enough to get a part-time job doing graphic design at a church, where I first started getting familiar with design. Then, I pursued an independent study in layout with the journalism department to fill what I felt was a void in my education. Once I was more familiar with design, I started integrating text and graphic elements into my biological illustration work.
What Have You Learned While Working For the Institute for Childhood Preparedness?
Through my work at the Institute, I have had the opportunity to experiment in various visual styles, mainly in Adobe Illustrator, one of my favorite soft wares. Because of the quick turnaround times on many projects, I have had the opportunity to increase how quickly I work. Also, because of the content of the materials I create and the different organizations that the Institute works with, I have learned a lot about public health and safety that I did not know before I started.
What Are You Most Proud Of? And What Are Your Greatest Accomplishments So Far?
Right now, I am most proud of my thesis project. I was able to integrate a large number of my interests into it, nerve anatomy, 3D modeling, surgery, and bioethics, so that is exciting.
Process Work and Final Output (Visit: https://skfb.ly/6TXKL to see the 3D Model)
Emily, thank you so much for sitting down with us and discussing your exciting degrees and work in biological illustration. Emily Adams is a great asset to our team, and we cannot thank her enough for her hard work and dedication, and her enthusiasm for helping early childhood professionals. You can check out all of Emily’s graphic design work on our Resources page, as well as on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness has a special training offer! Book a HYBRID OR IN-PERSON training by December 31, 2020, and receive a FREE $50 COVID supply kit. Training can be scheduled for 2021. Schedule training today: Click Here.
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