"When I tell people that I am a medical illustrator, most have no clue what I do."

“Usually I will explain that I create illustrations as seen in human anatomy books.   But I am more than just that.

Medical illustration is not merely a piece of beautiful artwork.   I’m a professional artist who transforms complex scientific and medical info into accurate images that are easy to understand. I tell stories through pictures.   As cliché as it might sound, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

It’s very exciting to meet medical professionals from different disciplines, listen to their problem, and then help them articulate the information they want to share into an image. It’s often challenging, but when I see my illustration published, I feel a great sense of achievement.

Every project is different and I’m learning new things every day, from exploring new painting technique to learning new areas in medicine and surgery.  While working with some of the surgeons in SGH I even found out that some are quite the budding artist themselves!

I never thought I’d be doing what I’m doing now.  I started out studying veterinary medicine, a field I left to study product design.   After a couple of years, I headed back to school to study medical illustration, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Although my illustrations are digital, I still start every medical illustration project with basic pencil sketches.   It’s not much different from painting with ink and brush, but on a computer I can use the much-loved “undo” button!”

Evan Lim is a medical illustrator with SingHealth Academy.