Maya's blog.

Peek inside the life of a medical animator and illustrator.

i work for myself now

Who's out there in cyberspace?  I'm happy to report that I am now my own boss and I have a big announcement coming out Monday, concerning said boss-ness, which I will post here.  I need to get a bunch of people to see it.  So please come back and look, and bring friends!  Thanks my loves. mitochondria

art lessons

I am going to teach some art again this summer!  I've missed it since I closed down my art store, where we did classes, workshops, private lessons and general mess-making.  Time to open up my home and try it out again. Come one, come all!  And please let me know if you have other ideas; I consider this only my first offering.   Summer Programs Schedule

photoshop CS4 shortcuts

Do you need new photoshop CS4 shortcuts? Perhaps Adobe stole your "R" and gave it to Rotate? Here is how you take back control! Photoshop > Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts

Here is access to pretty much everything! If you need to change a shortcut for one of your tools, click on the drop down menu called "Shortcuts For:" and you can pick "Tools" there. If you choose a key command that is already taken, Photoshop will warn you that the other function will no longer have a shortcut... which in my case, was fine and dandy!

I don't have to rotate my canvas a thousand times a day, but smudge and blur I must.


I haven't written much about medical illustration lately, so I thought I would just check in.  I have been very busy at work.  Mostly with very good stuff - interesting projects - but just a lot.  Without giving away any proprietary information, here are some of the things I am working on:Short product animations are being created for monitors we display at our trade show booths.  When finished, they can also be used on the corporate website, in presentations, and on mobile devices.  I storyboard and plan them out with my bosses, and get approval from various product managers to make sure we are showing off the product correctly.  Then I use 3Ds Max, Photoshop, and After Effects to put together a "short clip".  For the volume I can't handle, we have been getting help from David Killpack, an excellent medical illustrator and animator in the Dallas area who builds animations in a similar manner (although I suspect he is faster than me) following our direction and boards.  Dave will also offer feedback and advice if he thinks we need to consider an alternate solution.  It is very nice to have this resource, although of course I am limited in how much I can send out.  At the moment, there are about 10 of these (15-30 seconds each) in various stages of completion, and each one is more urgent than the next, so I am looking forward to getting them finished.Another large project has been doing some 3d illustrations for a couple of operative techniques.  The process is pretty enjoyable - I manipulate the view in 3d and then take still renders for print, which I touch up in Photoshop before handing them over to a designer.  The challenge here is that the product  I am depicting has a million little pieces that I assemble for each shot.  I can't wait to do these for some of our simpler devices!On the illustration front, I have a couple of slick, nicely rendered pieces to do, that will be used for ads and sales sheets.  These are what I most enjoy.  I hope that after the show season finishes (we exhibit a lot from October-March), I will have time to do a lot more of this type of work.  I begin with a sketch, then make a nice pencil drawing to scan in, or alternatively make a 3d still rendering, and then do my painting work in Photoshop.  Sometimes I will blend product photography into the final as well, depending on the desired outcome.Finally, I have some line illustrations on my to-do list.  These are to fill in gaps in an update to an existing operative technique.  They will be satisfying in their simplicity.

short post

A super-exciting LEGO® anatomical specimen exhibit is in full planning mode.  NSF funding?  Other grants?  Participants are Dave, Clint, Maya.  Ovarian cross section, heart, kidney, blood vessel, etc. in the works.  YAY!

happy father’s day

PapaThanks to all the fathers out there, especially my Papa.  Thank you for encouraging me.  Thank you for your support even when I wasn't interested in normal career paths.  Thank you for respecting me as an artist and a quirky drawer-of-body-parts!  Thanks for letting me eat raw spaghetti and marshmallows when Mom wasn't looking.

images from argosy

I thought I would reminisce tonight and share some work from my last job in Newton, Mass.  While at Argosy, I worked on these pieces for two "coffee-table" anatomy books.  I had a good experience there and remember it fondly!  I will miss the soft-tissue renderings, although I am excited to do the more bony drawings I have coming up.

If you enjoy ultimate frisbee and don't mind a shorter summer (AND you happen to be an animator) you should check out a 3D animation position Argosy has recently posted!

backside of heartimmune responsetonsilitis

“biocommunications multimedia specialist” = me

In February I moved back to Texas with Clint (and of course Ed the cat).   We are now in McKinney, which is a bit north of Dallas, and I work as a medical illustrator at Orthofix.   I’m in the marketing/communications department doing illustrations and animations.  It’s my first time in marketing and my first time with a medical device company too!  The work is fast-paced as always, but a more internally driven kind of fast-paced, and the focus – marketing and documenting the stuff we sell - is different than anything I’ve done before.   My subject matter almost always involves bones, since we make orthopedic, spine, and bone stimulation products.  

McKinney is much more of a fit for Clint and I than Newton, MA was.  The Boston area was fascinating and great to explore, but did not suit our thrifty ways!  Other things we like about Texas are the wide open spaces, warm weather, and friendly people.  And McKinney has a lot of green trees too.   In one year we will be moving again (!) a few miles down the road, because Orthofix is getting a new building.   We’ll try to buy a home in that area.  I never thought I'd be a Texan - and loving it - but I guess I am!


hello again, blog!

I write from a new part of the country with a newish job and a new fiance! Here's what's going on: In Jan 08 Clint and I moved to Newton Upper Falls, MA and I started working as a full-time medical illustrator for Argosy Publishing. I have really been enjoying my time there - how many people get to draw all day long, and draw anatomy at that? The east coast has taken some getting used to, but it's very charming and we have had some wonderful times, especially outdoors. wedding shoes!

Over Labor Day weekend, Clint proposed to me at my parents' house in Michigan. "About time," most people said, but it was the perfect timing, and very sweet. We will marry next September in Lansing, Michigan and then live happily ever after.

To back up a bit, I DID finally finish my thesis in March and I graduated from UT Southwestern in May. I am a diploma-carrying-Master-whatsit! I hope to become a CMI, Certified Medical Illustrator, and will be working on that over the next couple of years.

Currently, my outside-of-work project is a Holiday Art Sale of sorts! I have been painting since the beginning of October and now I just have to finish up and post the rest of my work. I've set up on online shop on etsy, and I'm pretty excited about the "opening" of my sale - it should happen in the next few days! After the holidays, I'll keep putting new work up, probably one piece at a time. Painting over the last month and a half has been SO good for me in every way, so I'm thinking I should do my best to continue.

hole in boatmountain fanmaple leaf