Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Program in Public Health

About the Cover Artist: Ellen Weiss

NPHR Summer 2016 Journal Cover

Cover artist's statement

The field of medical illustration combines two seemingly disparate disciplines: medical science and naturalistic art. After entering this field, I was able to appreciate how powerful such a combination can be. It is for this reason that I was attracted to Dr. Amy Schwartz's article describing design as a tool for public health, and how powerful this pairing was, is, and could be. When the goal is to encourage healthy behaviors by making them more intuitive or attractive, design can aid by gently guiding the viewer, simplifying the complex, and creating beauty.

In my illustration, I juxtapose literal tools from each field. The viewer's eye bounces back and forth between the two desks, seeking out the parallels between shape, color, and function. Recognizing the relationship between health and art tools easily relays the utility of connecting design with a message of health. All of the tools are laid out and accessible, ready to be picked up and used, much the same way the article advertises design as a resource ready to be called upon. 

Return to Summer 2016 Table of Contents

About the artist

Ellen Weiss 

Ellen Weiss is a Chicago-based medical illustrator. Originally from Kansas, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking with minors in Biology and Art History from Emporia State University in 2013. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago working on a Master of Science in Biomedical Visualization, a field that allows to her communicate complex science and biological topics through the power of illustration. In her free time, she enjoys being in nature, cooking, and painting.