Medical Illustration FAQ
During the last few years I got asked several similar questions by clients. So I collected the most frequently asked questions and answers:
Why would I work with a medical illustrator?
With an illustration, you can achieve the most efficient education of your audience. Custom illustrations are always perfectly tailored to your needs. Professional visuals build trust and credibility by showing your audience how your product works and benefits them. Illustrations help you present your research ideas in a visually compelling way and convince your backers to invest your idea!
What do kind of information do you (the illustrator) need from me (the client)?
The more precise you phrase your request, the more targeted I can tailor an offer to your needs and calculate the amount of work. The way an inquiry is proposed is usually a good indicator of how good a cooperation might result to be. It’s important to provide me with a clear briefing. That way I'm able to meet your expectations and probably even surpass them. Take your time and consider what the visuals should stand for, what the look and feel should be and what kind of target audience you want to reach. Also, you should think about the budget, you can afford to invest. The following questions should get you on the right track for a good briefing:
Idea & Content What’s the topic of the the project?
What do you want to achieve with the illustration?
When do you need the finished illustration?
Do you need text or a layout?
And if it’s an animation; will there be sound, music or even a voice-over?
What kind of audience do you want to reach?
What kind of budget are you able to invest?
Where will the illustration be used?
How big should the illustration be?
Depending on the way you're going to use the illustration, there are different file-types I can provide you with.
Who owns the copyright to the illustrations?
In the same way that musicians control who can reproduce their music, medical illustrators control who can reproduce their artwork. Under U.S. and international copyright laws, ownership of creative works is the property of the author (illustrator) from the moment it is created in a tangible form. Ideas and facts are not copyrightable.
How does working with you look like?
I created a page on my website that shows all the steps of my process in detail.
Which styles of illustration do you offer?
I have 3 distinct styles that I offer:
1. The medical 3D-Look: This style is created by modelling a 3D-scene, texuring it, lighting it and rendering it. After I usually work on the illustration some more with Adobe Photoshop.
2. The "painterly"-Look: I usually gather loads of reference photos and then create a sketch. After that, I paint of that sketch with the software Photoshop.
3. Graphic Illustration: This look resembles images that are created with the software Adobe Illustrator. I however, prefer to create these types of illustrations pixel based and in an more intuitive way that you would by creating vector points.
Can you draw comics, caricatures or children's illustrations?
I do not draw comic or caricatures.
I do however have experience with children's illustrations. In fact I was represented by a agency for this specific field in the past but chose to focus on medical and scientific illustration for the time being. If your project incorporates science, medical topics and education for children I am definitely interested in hearing about it.
Which file types can you provide?
Depending on the way you're going to use the illustration, there are different file types I can provide you with. I offer the following:
JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group
A JPG file is a compressed image file that does not support a transparent background. The level of compression in JPG files can vary in resolution with high quality for desktop printing, medium quality for web viewing and low quality for email. When compressed repeatedly the overall quality of a JPG image is reduced.
PSD: Adobe Photoshop Document file
The PSD file format, usually a raster format, contains graphics and photos created in Adobe Photoshop image editing software. Most commonly used by designer and printers. PSD files can only be opened using Photoshop and may be created in layers.
PDF: Portable Document Format A PDF is a universal file format that preserves/embeds the fonts, images, layout and graphics of any source document, regardless of the application used to create it. PDF files can be shared, viewed and printed by anyone with the free Adobe Reader software. Some PDF files can be used for commercial, digital, and/or desktop printing.
TIF: Tagged Image File Format The TIF/TIFF file format is most commonly used for storing images, photography, or art. TIF files are most commonly used in professional environments and commercial printing. The TIF format is the most widely supported format across all platforms. It is the standard format for high quality images. Though large in size, TIF formats are considered to be the most reliable format for high quality images.
PNG: Portable Network Graphics The PNG file format is most commonly used for use online and on websites due to their low resolution. PNG files are bitmap images that employ lossless data compression, and like GIF files, PNG files can be created with a transparent background.
I usually do not work with vector files (AI and SVG). My Illustrations usually are created either with 3D Software or pixel-based with Photoshop.
Can we meet?
I usually don't meet clients in person because I simply do not have the time resources. For big projects there are however exceptions but the duration, journey and expenses will have to be compensated.
Can we phone or Skype?
For briefings and corrections I prefer the written form via E-Mail. This way there are less misunderstandings.
What happens when the project gets cancelled?
I usually bill the hours worked until that point. But it also depends on the magnitude of the project. I have planned and maybe even cancelled other projects to work on your project there will be a cancellation fee also known as kill fee of approximately 20-30%.
If your question not answered here, please feel free to email me your question and I'll be happy to answer.