Picture Wednesday: Biomedical science art | Day 338

Inessa Stanishevskaya is not just an artist – she is a ‘biomedical communications specialist’, and I think that’s just a wonderful job title.

What it means is that she works to “translate and communicate complex medical and scientific concepts through clear, accurate, and compelling visuals”. At this she is incredibly thorough, and I think it shows in her work.

As Inessa told me over email, for her as a medical illustrator “one of the most important aspects of depicting things in the life sciences that we can’t normally see is doing extensive research before you set your pen to paper (or whatever tools you use). This can mean anything from gathering reference microscopic images (if they exist), to reading through research papers, or to finding out about accepted conventions of the subject matter.”

But it doesn’t stop at research: “Once you understand the topic, it’s imperative to keep in mind the purpose and the audience the visualization is intended for – this can have a huge impact on a number of factors, such as the level of detail or simplification and the best media to use for the situation.”

Here's a snapshot from the cover design of The University of Toronto's Department of Immunology IMMPress Magazine | Courtesy Inessa Stanishevskaya
Here’s a snapshot from the cover design of The University of Toronto’s Department of Immunology IMMPress Magazine | Courtesy Inessa Stanishevskaya

“My favorite thing about biomedical communication is being able to get people excited about topics in the sciences,” says Inessa. “Whether that comes from the excitement of clearly understanding something they hadn’t realized before or just seeing something new and interesting, there is nothing more rewarding to me than knowing that I helped facilitate that.”

Inessa’s first love was a graphite pencil, although these days she works in Photoshop, as well as creates complex 3D animations using Autodesk Maya.

Here are a couple of my favourite drawings from Inessa’s sketchbook.


And this one is was what originally drew my attention to Inessa’s work. I bet the final piece will look amazing.


Make sure to visit Inessa Stanishevskaya’s website and Tumblr sketchbook.

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