Friday, June 10, 2011

Living Lungs

Scientific American called me for a illustration about new treatments for Cystic Fibrosis, a horrible illness that can cripple the lungs with mucus and gunk. These latest findings show evidence of cleaning up the lungs and making breathing easier.

Our last assignment, about the structure of the internet, was a fun problem, because it had to be metaphorical and accurate. As the magazine is geared towards the analytical, they feel a certain responsibility to making an illustration that is both true and beautiful, an exciting challenge. I was doodling during the graduation ceremony for Washington University, where I teach illustration, and came up with a couple good nuggets.

So, the sketches I showed focused on the feeling of being set free, finding new breath. I added a lot of gremlins and evil demons inside the gunk, but the art director felt those might be a bit distracting this time around.  Ultimately, the one with the actual lungs was the best fit for the article. But they were concerned that the gunk seemed like liquid and not mucus, so I had to do another sketch (with thanks to Basil Wolverton) that had more goop in it.

A few details of the final art.... perhaps I'll go back and add some demonic piranhas anyway.


Andi said...

OMG- this is so gross. I LOVE IT!!!

Teri said...

This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!