ME:120.755 :: Business Policy for the Medical Illustrator

Course Description

Offered: Second and Third Quarter, of the Second Year
Instructors: Virginia Ferrante-Iqbal, Instructor, Lead Instructor
Sandra Gabelli, Assistant Professor
Guest Faculty
Credits: 4 Credits: 3 Lecture hours and 9 Studio hours per week
Experience in analyzing problems of the visual artist and formulating practical solutions. Includes facilities, production scheduling, budget and accounting, personnel relations, ethics, contracts, and copyright law.

Course Objectives

Freelance Practice:

  • Identify the needs of establishing a freelance practice.
  • Set hourly rate charges consistent with regional standards.
  • Understand tax and benefit systems for the self-employed illustrator.
  • Maintain ethical professional standards.
  • Write a contract.
  • Understand copyright laws for self, university, client, or any other purchaser or user.
  • Know principles and legalities of re-use clauses, how to apply in writing a contract.

Department Management:

  • Identify personnel, space, and equipment for establishing or maintaining a medical illustration facility to meet specific institutional needs.
  • List with source; materials and supplies needed in a department of medical illustration.
  • List the components of a departmental budget.
  • Know and be able to compare a cost-accountable production department and a subsidized in-house service department.
  • Identify budget and salary guidelines and apply them to a given situation.


  • Copyright Forms
  • Contract Forms
  • Studio Equipment List
  • Department Library
  • Names and Addresses of Suppliers and Art Organizations
  • Legal Guide For The Visual Artist, Tad Crawford
  • Graphic Artists Guild Handbook Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
  • Manuscripts and Illustrations
  • Course Assignments

The student will be given a journal manuscript requiring an illustration. He or she will meet with their art director (Neil Hardy) learn the requirements of the assignment, negotiate a price and due date, and prepare a contract. Sketches will be prepared and discussed with the art director. After approval final art will be prepared and delivered on schedule. After completion copyright forms are prepared.

Course Evaluation

  • 1:1 faculty-student interface
  • Interim class critique
  • Role playing
  • Completed project evaluation
  • Final class critique
  • Final grade


Course dates will be announced.

All students with disabilities who require accommodations for this course should contact Catherine L. Will, Disability Services Coordinator for Graduate Biomedical Education ( or 410-614-3781) at their earliest convenience to discuss their specific needs. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.


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