Well, so much for nightly reports. Friday night was alumni night, so that was shot, and then after getting home last night I was way too tired to update. So I'm going to very briefly summarize the last two days of the convention.
On Friday I took the exam to become a CMI (Certified Medical Illustrator). The exam was in three parts: anatomy (labeling and multiple choice), business questions, and a drawing section. Once I get my results, assuming I passed, I'll submit a portfolio in order to get those three letters after my name!
I finished the exam after four hours (five were allotted) and had time to go to the silent auction.
There I picked up an illustrated book of poems called Darwin is my Hero by Craig Gosling, who is my new hero. I met the man, he signed my book, and we had a nice (albeit short) chat about medical illustrators, atheism, and the Center for Inquiry. A thought occurred to me and I asked if he knew who was portraying Darwin on the following morning and he cryptically said he shouldn't say.
Friday night was also alumni night, and I joined the University of Toronto staff, alumni, and current students at a downtown bar. It's interesting how the dynamics change when you're no longer a students. My old profs are way cooler than I remembered.
Day 4: Saturday
I missed the first talk on Saturday, and instead checked out of the hotel and dragged all of my stuff down to the parking garage, ate a couple donuts (with the stress of the exam gone my appetite suddenly seemed to quadruple), and waited for the 9:45 talk, "A Conversation with Charles Darwin." And it was indeed Craig Gosling, in full-character!
He seemed a bit confused a bit by the laser pointer. 'Darwin' talked about his voyage on the Beagle and the two illustrators he had known then, Augustus Earle and Conrad Martins. Earle was an American and a humanist, concerned over the plight of those under British colonial rule. His view of the world had a huge influence on Darwin. Darwin also emphasized the importance of thinking scientifically and skeptically, especially in our field of science illustration. He said that an illustrator must always search for truth, even if they don't like what they find, and be accurate in their representations, otherwise all they are left with is what he called "graphic fiction" or "illustrative myth."
Elizabeth and John Gould were other artists Darwin considered especially important, for the bird illustrations they produced of Darwin's ornithological collections from his travels.
After that was the Futures Forum, where each year a panel discusses the future of the field of medical illustration. Hot points right now include down-pricing of stock art and selling over the internet, as well as the Orphan Works act and the whole mess with changes to copyright policy. Then we had another fantastic lunch at the Bistro. All of the food the entire week was just fantastic. I felt terribly spoiled.
Next, the Vesalius Trust winners gave their presentations. They made the wise choice of making it a plenary this year instead of a concurrent talk, so that everyone could attend. My classmate Diana Kryski presented her master's research project. Then two of my former professors had a talk on designing information for healthcare, and I went to a very informative and rather entertaining one on anatomical mistakes in anatomy atlases. Not many audiences would erupt into laughter when an incorrect illustration of the human heart appears on the projected screen. I love the AMI.
I decided to skip the BBQ and the talks on Sunday and head home before it got dark. It was only a two hour drive but it absolutely exhausted me. Or maybe it was the four days of so much activity and very little sleep.
This has gotten a bit long, but I have a lot more to say about Gosling's book and presentation, but those I'll save for another post.