Herein we celebrate our graduating BPMI seniors! They have worked very hard to complete a rigorous curriculum of science and art, including courses which are truly interdisciplinary integrating the two areas. These students now look beyond ISU to apply their skills as scientific illustrators, instructional designers, exhibit designers, and visual translators in research, discovery, and all facets of science, or to continue to build on their educational experience in workshops and at the graduate level to become biomedical visualizers. We are sorry we cannot celebrate in-person during this challenging time, but please join us in congratulating this class! BPMI sends heartfelt best wishes to all as they journey on! Virtual hugs, all around! Scroll down to see their terrific work!
Future Plans: In order to determine if grad school is the right path for me, I will take a gap year(s) to continue working on my portfolio and take the steps to apply when I feel prepared. During that time, I plan to search for internships/jobs to gain working experience in the field of either illustration or biology.
Highlights: The highlight of my BMPI experience was the 395 Field Illustration trip to the Bighorn Mountains. I was able to visit awesome museums and dinosaur dig sites, collect fossils and reference photos, and develop stronger connections with others in the program. I loved being immersed in the beautiful western environment, being able to hike in the mountains, and draw in nature!
Future Plans: After graduation, I will be moving on to work at BodyViz, a biomedical edtech company in Des Moines, Iowa. I plan to apply for graduate programs next cycle and will be developing my portfolio. Beyond that, I also want to focus on making art that I am passionate about! My goal is to always be creating and learning, even out of school.
Highlights: I loved being surrounded by a cohort of people who I can really relate to. The creativity and kindness in BPMI is really unmatched. I learned so much from everyone in BPMI, especially after late nights in the design lab!
Advice: You have the power to make everything in college “yours”. Sometimes classes will be boring. You can turn that project into “your” project; you have the power to spin things in a perspective that you think is interesting and that serves you. Find ways to imbue excitement into your studies and everything else will fall into place. Everything is so much more fun that way!
Inspirational quote: The most inspiring thing I have heard has to be from my mom - “All you can do is your best,”. Whenever I felt discouraged in college, I remembered that phrase and repeated it to myself. All I can do is my best!
See more of Grace's work here: www.herzillustrations.com
Future Plans: I have huge interest in interactive and 3D media, both physical and digital. While I would one day love to attend graduate school for digital interactive media, I do not have plans to attend in the near future. In the next year I will apply to positions within my field but also cherish the first time in 17 years I am not in school. I plan to continue with my own passion projects—gouache paintings, 3D modelling for interactive games, teaching myself to code in various languages, and of course learning to bake desserts and various breads.
Highlights: The best course I could have taken in BPMI was most definitely field illustration. For this course we journeyed to Wyoming over the summer of 2019 and explored the flora and fauna of the Bighorn Basin. For one, it was the first time in years my allergies did not flare up, and for another, I thought it so cool to see millions of years of history all exposed in one area. It is not everywhere that you get to see bison roaming in the same town that has beautiful preserves of fossil deposits.
Advice: My advice for BPMIers in-the-making is to take it slow, this will allow you to focus and put your full effort into the projects that you really care about. If you spread yourself thin, you may have many okay pieces to present, but you might wish you were able to produce some masterpieces.
Inspirational quote: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Adam Savage. But I looked it up and apparently, he took it from either a 1974 episode of Dr. Who or a 1988 film called the Dungeon Master. I took it from Mythbusters.
See more of Jordan's work here: https://joralexgon.wixsite.com/gongoraillustrations
Future Plans: I hope to work in the exhibit design and am currently applying for entry level jobs. I may possibly take a gap year or two while working and then go to grad school.
Highlights: A highlight of my BPMI experience was taking some classes with field labs, including Herpetology and Ornithology. It was really cool to get out and get some hands-on experience and it helped informed my artwork those semesters. My other favorite experience was taking Gross Human Anatomy, it’s a really unique opportunity to work with cadavers (even when it’s cut short by a pandemic).
Advice: take as many opportunities as you can, but make sure you plan in time for self-care. Our major has lots of cool things to do, however it can also be really intense and you can’t do the fun stuff if you are exhausted all the time or having a breakdown. So take care of yourself and do the things you are most excited about!
Inspirational quote: “What is done with love is done well” ~Van Gogh
Future Plans: I plan to find a position working in the field for a year or two to save up and prepare my portfolio before applying to grad school.
Highlights: A highlight of my BPMI experience was being the peer mentor for the incoming BPMIers this fall. I really enjoyed getting to know them and working with Elizabeth to run the learning community.
Advice: do not get too caught up in competition. The most joy I have had during my time at ISU has been with friends I have made in the program, there is no one better to vent with or ask for support.
Inspirational quote: "Be the person you wish you had."
Future Plans: After graduation, I'll be working and in my free time, adding to/revising my portfolio. I'm still up in the air about career options, but I'd love to pursue biomedical illustration in the future and focus on microbiology/cell biology.
Highlights: A highlight of my BPMI experience was actually finding the BPMI program. I switched into BPMI my junior year and have loved getting to study both art and science.
Advice: figure out what you enjoy (medium, classes, projects, etc.) and lean into that, but also don't be afraid to try something new.
See more of Chloe's work here: https://chloep277a.myportfolio.com/home
Future Plans: I will be taking a gap year to spend time working in the field and building my portfolio, mostly focusing on practicing figure drawing. After, I plan to apply to graduate school to continue my education to become a medical illustrator.
Highlights: Some of the greatest highlights from my BPMI experience were the trips. I got to visit the Mayo Clinic, attend the Frank Armitage Lecture Series in Chicago, and visit South Dakota and Wyoming for BPMI 395.
Advice: Being in BPMI, projects are going to take a considerable amount of time. Manage your time and make a schedule when you want to get things done and estimate how long each part of the process will take.
See more of Kayla's work here: https://kehoag.myportfolio.com/
Future Plans: I am hoping to land a job in the natural sciences, at parks, museums, and gardens. While grad school isn't in my plans right now, I can see going at some point in the future!
Highlights: A highlight of my BPMI experience was being the Figure Drawing Chair for two years. It was the best way to get to know everyone in the major and see different techniques.
Advice: remember to enjoy college. No one is joking when they say college goes by quickly, so be present for it!
Parting Words: Thank you to everyone I have met in these last 4 years!
Future Plans: I plan on building up my portfolio and experiences and eventually attending graduate school.
Highlights: Frank Armitage Lecture Series
Advice: Get involved as soon as possible
See more of Kayla's work here: https://kvasquezvisuals.wixsite.com/website
Future Plans: After graduation, I will continue working at Exile Brewing Company as a graphic designer. I plan to continue adding to my graphic design skillset while gaining experience in marketing and branding with the goal to become a creative/art director in the future.
Highlights: Being in a major that is so small has many benefits, including really getting to know your classmates and building great relationships with your instructors. I’ll cherish my time in the major and all that it taught me in both my personal life and my professional life.
Future Plans: This fall, I will be pursuing my Master’s degree in Crop Sciences at the University of Georgia. During my undergraduate years in Iowa State, I minored in BPMI because I wanted to combine my passion in both arts and in biology. I felt that BPMI is a perfect combination of arts and sciences that allowed me to explore and learn academically as well as through my dual interests in drawing and biology. BPMI provided a great platform for me to present my interests in biology (especially on plants) via my illustrations.
Highlights: One of my highlights in BPMI is that people have told me that they not only enjoyed my illustrations but they have also learned new things through them.
Advice: My recommendation to future BPMIers would be to always crave feedback from others. The critiques that you will receive from both inside and outside the classroom, will be extremely useful to improve and further develop your illustrations. Admittedly, there might be times that I dreaded listening to the comments of others on my pieces. However, the truth is that we need to listen to the viewpoints of others in order to improve ourselves.
Inspirational quote: I would like to end by sharing a quote Tim Fargo once said, “Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.”
Future plans: Planning is kind of tricky during the current situation, but I'm going to be looking for a job in an art-related field to build up my portfolio and experience before I start thinking about grad school.
Highlights: BPMI 327 was a blast and I got some really good pieces out of it.
Advice: Don't overload yourself. Shoot for like 15 credits a semester.
Inspirational quote: John Dorn's "cheat where you can" has actually been really helpful advice for getting things done!
See more of Victoria's work here: victoriacicha.com