Admissions Blog

April 4, 2017

Thesis Presentations 2017 – April 14th, 3:00-5:00 PM

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Thesis Presentations will be held Friday, April 14th at 3:00 PM in the Chevy Chase Auditorium on the main level of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Zayed Tower. This is an opportunity for our faculty and guests to view research in the art of communicating medical and biological science. We invite you to attend and welcome your input on the content and clarity of the scientific research and the educational and teaching value of the images presented. Convenient garage parking is available for a modest fee in the Orleans Street Garage with elevated bridge access to the Zayed Tower of the Hospital.                                             
December 20, 2016

A Close Look – Color Media

Great places to start learning about our Portfolio Categories are the Sample Portfolio page – and the Admissions page – Let’s take a look at the Color Media category. In the Color Media Category, the faculty are looking for “an accomplished use of transparent watercolor, opaque paint media, and colored pencil. Landscape and still-life subject matter rendered in a representational manner should demonstrate accurately matched colors creating form and depth. The main aspects are the understanding of light on form and the skill of direct observation from nature.” Notice in the Color section of the Sample Portfolio a variety of media and distinctive personal styles are shown, yet all examples also accomplish the goal of the category – accurately matched colors creating form and depth. Most are still life and landscape, but we occasionally also see wonderful portraits, animal studies, and figures rendered in color. In addition to good proportions and accurate perspective, these pieces have cast shadows and reflected color adding to the illusion of three dimensional objects depicted on a flat surface. All also were created while directly observing the subjects/objects depicted avoiding photo reference. While the faculty like to see watercolor, opaque paint (oil or acrylic) […]
November 2, 2016

A Close Look – Figure Drawing

The best places to start for learning about our Portfolio Categories is the Sample Portfolio page – and the Admissions page – Let’s take a look at the Figure Drawing category. We consider Figure Drawing to be the advanced study of the human figure drawn from direct observation of the model. Examples should include both long and short poses and may be rendered in a variety of media. We ask for a minimum of 5 Figure Drawings, a majority of which should be long poses but please include a couple of short pose drawings as well (see below). Your Figure Drawings should include the full figure, head to toe. Portraits and hand and foot studies are considered General Drawing. Short Poses Short poses are demonstrations of quick gestural sketches from direct observation ranging from 1 minute to 30 minutes in length. These drawings are intended to capture the essence of the figure’s mass, gesture, weight bearing and balance Take a look at these short poses. Both capture the full figure. In the first, with only a few seconds, the artist captured good proportions and perspective. The cast shadow adds depth and weight to the quickly outlined figure. In […]
November 1, 2016

Portfolio Submission Program – Now Open

Today, November 1st, is the first day applicants can begin building their Portfolio and answering Applicant Profile questions to apply for 2017 admission to the Medical and Biological Illustration graduate program. Here’s a link to our SlideRoom portfolio upload website:       The submission site is intuitive, but there are also wonderful resources provided by SlideRoom to help applicants with the technical side of the site. Just today, I received an email from the SlideRoom team about their tips pages. Take a look at the page – Tips for Getting Started as a New SlideRoom Applicant. As we don’t use the Common Application and don’t take references through SlideRoom, those sections won’t apply. However, there are some helpful sections like “Create and confirm your account,” “Begin your application” and “Add media.” You might also take a look at this page of SlideRoom Support about File Sizes and Types or this blog post also discussing file sizes and types. As you begin making your selections for your portfolio, I recommend reviewing the Sample Portfolio page and this blog post about what to include and what to avoid in the portfolio. I’m also in the process of looking closely at each […]
October 24, 2016

A Close Look – General Drawing

The best place to start is the Sample Portfolio – The faculty describe General Drawing as “[demonstrating] a wide variety of technique and styles. The main aspects are the understanding of light on form and the skill of direct observation from nature. This may range from landscape studies to still life, animal or plant subjects, and hand or foot studies.” Notice that many pieces show attention to detail, display good draftsmanship, and are tightly rendered. The amaryllis root bulb and the peanuts falling from the paper bag in particular show close observation skills. There is also a distinct light source, showing good form and atmospheric perspective, a focus point of tighter rendering and a background that begins to fade away. Some examples may show a distinctive style but not at the cost of good form, proportions, and perspective. The landscape in particular has several distinctive marks yet conveys a believable depth and sense of space. Some examples may have been drawn quickly but most probably took some time to complete. A hand and/or foot study is encouraged. When building your portfolio with examples of the five portfolio categories, our Sample Portfolio page can help you determine how many from […]
October 19, 2016

Step One – Art Portfolio and Applicant Profile

The last post discussed the science prerequisites to the program and why they’re important. Now it’s time to begin looking at the Admissions process, the Art Portfolio and Applicant Profile, and what the faculty look for in sample artwork from each category. Step One – Art Portfolio and Applicant Profile The faculty invite you to share examples of your art from the five portfolio categories: General Drawing, Figure Drawing, Color Media, Graphic Design, and Digital Media. You’re allowed up to 20 pieces of art with up to 4 detail images. For a discussion on detail slides, take a look at this blog post. For a discussion on what to include and what to avoid, take a look at this blog post. We use a SlideRoom website to share the portfolio art with the faculty on our Admissions Committee. The website is user-friendly, and the excellent support staff at SlideRoom are very helpful with technical questions about their site, types and size of files, etc. Our program upload period runs from November 1st to January 15th. All portfolios should be submitted by January 15th to be considered by the faculty for matriculation in early August of the same year. The website […]
October 11, 2016

Prerequisite Sciences – any advice?

The first-year Medical and Biological Illustration students just took their last exam in the med-student Human Anatomy course on Monday! This is likely the toughest course in medical school anywhere in the world, and, unlike the medical students who earn pass/fail marks, our students earn letter grades. Because the Hopkins Human Anatomy course starts within the first month of classes, it is essential that incoming students enter our program with a firm foundation in preparatory sciences. To help best prepare applicants for the challenging sciences taken during our program, the Admissions faculty have selected 4 sciences that will offer incoming students the minimum preparation for success at Hopkins. All applicants are required to complete all 4 prerequisite sciences prior to enrollment in the program (August, 2017). At least 2 must be completed prior to submitting your portfolio by January 15th. Taking more than the minimum can offer better preparation and a better knowledge base for a future career in medial illustration. Vertebrate Anatomy with dissection lab A strong Vertebrate Anatomy lecture class combined with a hands-on dissection lab is essential preparation for the science classes taken during the program at Hopkins. Artists who have hands-on experience with dissection develop a tactile […]
October 10, 2016

Admissions season approaching

The faculty and staff of Art as Applied to Medicine are looking forward to Admissions 2017. In just 12 days, on November 1, 2016, the Step One – Portfolio and Applicant Profile website opens for the 2017 admissions year. Applicants will then be able to login and begin building their Portfolio and answering the Applicant Profile questions for the 2017 “Program” in SlideRoom. That means now is the perfect time to review the admissions requirements for the Medical and Biological Illustration graduate program, to double check your transcripts, and to take another look at our Sample Portfolio. We encourage applicants to login early and review the website, questions and info requested for each portfolio piece. This can be helpful when planning ahead for the January 15th, 2017, submission date. As always, if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us – or Request Information. More posts on the Admissions Blog.
February 5, 2016

Thank you to all of our Portfolio Applicants!

The Program Director, Admissions Committee Faculty, and I appreciate everyone who submitted their portfolios for admission in 2016. The last of the Step-One-Portfolio response letters were sent out yesterday. For the next couple of months, the faculty and I will be quite busy with Step-Two-Application and Interview. If you didn’t get the response you were hoping for from Step-One, and you’d like more information about next steps, please contact us again in April or May. We can chat with you then about faculty evaluations of your submission and any continued preparation for a future submission. In the meantime, take a look at our Sample Portfolio for inspiration on the art the faculty hope to see in an admissions portfolio. Again, thank you for your submission! Dacia More posts on the Admissions Blog.
January 13, 2016

Last minute Portfolio Advice: when to add a “Detail” slide

In the Portfolio, the faculty ask for 20 pieces of art, and they allow up to 4 “Detail” images. So, you’re already limited in how many extra images you can include. For the vast majority of the art submitted in all our admissions Portfolios, nearly 99% of it, a detail slide is not necessary. However, there are some rare Portfolio pieces where a detail image is effective and useful. For example… Here’s the Full image of a Hawk, created under direct observation of a preserved specimen, and a detail of the face (hint: use the web browser Back button to come back to the blog after opening each image).     Notice that the detail slide is a new optically zoomed-in capture of the detail area. This is NOT a re-sampling or cropping of the full image. So this “Detail” area maintains high resolution and isn’t blurry or pixelated. Extensive work was put into the face of the Hawk. Highlights, line-work, different textures (beak, eye, short sharp feathers, longer fluffy feathers, etc.), all appear natural and realistic even with a distinct artistic style. The artist is demonstrating an accomplished use of Watercolor.   Here’s another example this time a city-scape […]
January 8, 2016

SlideRoom Support – A Great Resource!

I’ve had a few questions about the image size of Portfolio art, and I found this great page in SlideRoom Support – Generally, image files (5MB max) are easiest to view in .jpg or .png formats though SlideRoom also permits .gif, .tif, .bmp, or .tga. Videos (250MB max) work best as a .mov or .mp4 though SlideRoom also permits .m4v, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, and .mkv (linked files from Vimeo or YouTube are good alternatives as well). Likewise, .pdf is best for documents (10MB max). What SlideRoom says about image size: “Images do not have to be a particular size as our servers will process them to fit our system. Our processors will resize anything larger than 1280 x 1280 x 72 ppi to fit within those limitations.” Here’s a paraphrase of one of the Hopkins faculty discussing image size for the Portfolio: (In Photoshop) use the “Save for Web” function and save your image as either a high quality JPG or PNG file. …Don’t be concerned about the small file size. PS is good these day at compression. SlideRoom also has other help pages – For questions about other aspects of the Step One – Portfolio part […]
January 7, 2016

Deadline Fast Approaching

Happy New Year! The days leading up to the January 15th Portfolio due date are growing fewer. If you haven’t yet begun your Portfolio for the Medical and Biological Illustration – 2016 admissions season, today is a good day to get started. Though the questions are few, getting all the data into the Form and your artwork fully identified in the Portfolio can take time. I’ll be available for questions right through Friday, January 15th. Let me know how I can help! Dacia – More posts on the Admissions Blog.