To Sum It up: IDS Med Art

My Plymouth State University Interdisciplinary Studies major has never been done before. I am honored to have had the privilege to create something tailored to my needs for education. I study the process of turning complex anatomy into images, practical, but beautiful images to help teach the inner workings of the body. My major is Interdisciplinary Studies in Medical Illustration. I study Biology and Fine Art. My Applied piece was the process of taking images of the body in motion and seeing past the skin to the musculature underneath.I wanted to show them how amazing the body can be, not how sick we can become. I did not want to focus on our mortality.
Chelsea’s musculature: Applied Piece by Trysten Bewersdorf
I wanted to take something that I feel is amazing and is a curiosity, and share it through a window that encompasses my passion for the human body. The ability of the human body should be celebrated, and understood, as there are no limits. I thought when I started my education, that there were a few limits I would have to be wary of, but then I found Interdisciplinary studies, I found Robin DeRosa, who told me, there are no boundaries, just a difficult terrain that will help shape me into the person I dreamed of being. I wanted to share that same epistemology with the world. Shame on those who say you can be whatever you want to be, then tell you to get a job with benefits outside your field. If there is a will, there is a way, and I have both. This being my state of mind, I applied all my knowledge learned from countless lecture, and Lab hours and I put my mind to the task. Paying attention to the directionality of the muscle and the structure and physiology of the anatomy. This helped me understand exactly what it is that I wanted to do. It was a trial run, in a way, of what I would spend the rest of my life doing. I had to apply all the information of the musculature that I had attained in my studies of Anatomy and Physiology. Not only did I have to understand the placement of the muscles; i.e. origin and insertion, but I needed to understand the chemical makeup of the muscles. The four years that it took for me to learn my own hand and its abilities applied to art were put to the test. My understanding of pigment to solvent ratio helped me make definitive marks on the paper. I had to cast my timidness and fear to the eraser shavings and just do what I had been trained to do; to see, and to replicate. I was taught that I should be able to draw a figure falling from a high tower, and be able to recreate its gesture before it hit the ground; this, I had learned, this is how I gained my hand.  Scratching vine charcoal into paper, make the mark, drop the paper, start over. Repeating this process till I felt I had gone mad, but this taught me not to hesitate or question my hand’s ability. The research piece I wrote helped me to become more grounded in my field. I decided to map out the history and evolution of medical illustration. I wanted to understand my roots a little more and shed some light on the field I am joining. I wanted to know the humble beginnings of the people I have idolized like Frank H Netter and Max Brödel. I wanted to know who really was the first person to conceptualize that this muscle does this, and the gallbladder does this. I wanted to share with everyone, a students journey through the evolution of the field of Medical Illustration. I started in the caves of Northern Spain and ended here in the United States, but I tell you I traveled all over the world on my computer and in my mind. I found the hidden gems of antiquity, buried under rubble in what is now Egypt. I discovered that there is a proper appreciation for medical illustration in Art History, but it is mild and can only be found in little niches. The education I found for myself among the copious amounts of research that I had read through is something I could never have learned in any classroom. I learned art history, world history, scientific discoveries, plagues, and quite a bit of respect for renaissance medical illustrators. I learned what disciplines are necessary for my success. Combining all the tools I gained from both my Research Article and my Applied Piece I find that I have opened a path for further education. I have answered many of my questions and found new questions to ask. I find myself heading more towards research and modern branches of medical illustration. I took what I learned from my research and applied it in my applied piece, which I am continuing. I have a group of Interdisciplinary studies students who want to create an IDS art collective for those who incorporate fine art into their degree contract.  
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One thought on “To Sum It up: IDS Med Art”

  1. I can’t greenlight this for you until it includes links to your IDS essay, your AP, and your RA. Please add them and then email me when it’s done! Or let me know if I am just missing them here?

    (Delete this comment!)

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