Todd Buck, CMI, FAMI 

We as illustrators and educators have a unique opportunity to promote inclusiveness, empathy, and compassion through the people we represent in our illustrations.

“Another WASP! Where is the ethnic diversity?”

This was written on one of my sketches in big angry red letters by the author of an anatomy and physiology textbook I was creating illustrations for. It was 1991 and my first year out of college. I was horrified. I have always considered myself open and inclusive to people of all race and background. My offense was that I was not taking into account the global audience of my illustrations.

How many of us have used friends, spouses, and relatives as models for an illustration? It is convenient. It is comfortable to not have to explain what you do and that you are not a creep. The problem is those closest to us often look homogenous.

This talk will discuss developing a network of models to portray a more accurate representation of the population and creating illustrations that will speak to a variety of audiences.

I will also briefly discuss a class assignment I give illustration students at NIU that requires accurate representation of other cultures in their artwork.


Speaker Bio

Since 1990, Todd Buck Illustration, Inc. has been developing and creating high quality custom medical and scientific illustrations for medical and consumer publishing, pharmaceutical and biotech advertising and marketing, and web-based patient education media. Todd is Professor of Illustration at Northern Illinois University School of Art and Design. He has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Biological Premedical Illustration from Iowa State University. Todd is a Fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators, has served on the AMI Board of Governors, has presented workshops at the AMI national conference and Guild of Natural Science Illustrators conference, and is a Board Certified Medical Illustrator (CMI). Todd’s illustrations have been displayed at Chicago’s International Museum of Surgical Sciences, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the National Library of Medicine in Maryland, The Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago, Chili, and the Hong Kong Science Museum.