Saturday, February 20, 2010

"A Nurse's Shift" for The University of Chicago Magazine

Theresa Brown began her professional life as an educator, but made a change. She now belongs to the nursing profession, enjoying the new and personal fulfillment that comes from facing its uniquely intimate and deeply human challenges.

It's always a pleasure working with The University of Chicago Magazine, and this 2-illustration job was no exception.

One of the illustrations depicts the compassion shown between a health care worker (Ms. Brown) and one of her patients. Compassion, in my view, is a unique must-have skill set for a nurse. Individuals that possess it to a nurse's degree are saints, also in my opinion.

When one is in the vulnerable position of being sick and in a hospital, under someone else's care, there is no more important person in his or her life than a nurse. Their compassion means everything.

This illustration began with an ideation session -- coming up with all sorts of ideas that both tell the story of shifting careers from academic to nursing, as well as convey the human nature of the nursing profession.

Next step was a photo session. My enthusiastic model, Melodie, stepped into her scrubs and did an excellent job posing for those ideas.

On a side note, I'm stumbling upon some interesting lighting effects. I think it's adding a beautiful and extra-moody element to my work. I can't divulge what they are, or everyone would be doing it. (just kidding)

After approval of my sketch...

...I took it to the final.

Composition is always foremost in my mind. So, when shooting, I'm conscious of capturing the scene from different and unusual angles to make the scene fresh, and to reveal unexpected shapes and potential compositional elements.

Lighting is also important. It's a powerful tool for revealing those shapes and patterns that help define the composition. Color is obviously important, too. Warmth in this palette echoes warmth of the moment, and the blue provides just enough cool to balance the warms.

Check out the full story of Theresa Brown's career change, here.

Many thanks to Melodie for her assistance.

Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
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