“Dickinson has such a deep commitment to the liberal arts and interdisciplinary study that they allowed me to create my own major in biomedical illustration. I was able to develop my skills in fine art while building knowledge in biology and comparative anatomy. ... Dickinson enabled me to work in my dream field on my own terms.”
—Devon Nykaza Stuart ’01
Devon Nykaza Stuart has run her own medical illustration and animation business, Devon Medical Art, for almost 15 years. As part of her day, illustrator and animator Stuart might be found drawing virus particles, immune cells and various bodily organs. When Medscape TV needed animations showing how the mRNA and adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines work, she was there. And the Mayo Clinic commissioned the 3D animation “The Ross Procedure for AVR,” which describes heart surgery for a patient audience.
Tell us a little more about what you do.
My days are terrifically varied. This week I sketched nasal bones for a textbook, negotiated to retain copyright on a 3D animation contract and painted several digital portraits for cardiology infographics. To be competitive, I have to keep my traditional and software skills sharp. Through my clients, I learn about the latest medical innovations.
What was your Dickinson experience like?
Dickinson has such a deep commitment to the liberal arts and interdisciplinary study that they allowed me to create my own major in biomedical illustration. I was able to develop my skills in fine art while building knowledge in biology and comparative anatomy. During my junior year in Norwich, England I rotated through a UEA lab and took life drawing at the Norwich School of Art and Design (then spent the summer oil painting in Toulouse, France.) Along with a rich, formative four years, Dickinson gave me lifelong friendships and a husband [August Stuart '00].
How did Dickinson help prepare you for where you are today?
While my Dickinson classes helped me meet prerequisites for medical illustration graduate programs, I didn't apply right away. I’ve always needed to work to support myself. A wonderful Dickinson administrator helped me find work in the pharmaceutical industry. Today I’m so grateful to know how to write a proposal, issue an invoice and run a professional meeting. Directly and indirectly, Dickinson enabled me to work in my dream field on my own terms.
Published June 13, 2022