The Artists' Corner

Artist Featured in IJMS Volume 4: Yimeng Zhang


Volume 4, Number 3: 134-135

Art and Medicine: Insight Into our Cover Artist

We had the pleasure of introducing four wonderful covers this year from one of our very own student editor. Who knew that one of our very own IJMS members, Yimeng Zhang had such a wonderful and creative talent? When the editorial team was shown a few samples of her work, I was captivated by the level of detail and realism that was represented in her work. My interpretation of her work has been very thought-provoking, complex, and moving all at the same time. I know that it made my neurons fire in ways that it has never done so before by bringing out emotions, ideas, and beautiful imagery. Her works inspired and incorporated medical ideas into a single overarching theme weaving several topics together. We wanted to know more about the creative process, so we interviewed Yimeng to find out more about her story, inspiration, and artwork.

Figure 1.

Cover IJMS 2016, volume 4 issue 1.

1) What's your background?

I was born in China and I currently call England my home. After completing a physiotherapy degree, I moved to Malta to study Medicine and I am now in my final year of the 5-year degree. I aim to return back to the UK to start work as a doctor when I finish. I am not a professional artist by any means and I was not taught art past a basic schooling level.

Figure 2.

Cover IJMS 2016, volume 4 issue 2.

2) What do you think an artist's role should be in medicine/science?

I think artists can have a very important role in medicine. Artworks can portray themes and emotions many people would not have otherwise noticed or understood. Obviously, artists have always been extremely helpful in the learning of medicine as well, from the anatomical sketches by Leonardo da Vinci to the illustrations in the textbooks today.

3) Where do you obtain your inspiration for your artwork?

I spent a long time thinking of a theme when I was asked by the IJMS to perhaps focus on a disease which interested me. However, I realized that as future health professionals, our emphasis should be focused more on preserving health and celebrating good wellbeing rather than tackling diseases when often it is too late. I therefore wanted to do a series of paintings which represented body organ systems looking, as well as functioning at their best, with bright colors to highlight the beauty of it all.

4) Are there any artists that have influenced you?

Throughout schooling I have studied many artists and mimicked their ideas and styles. I'm sure that I have taken a lot of influences along the way, but as a hobby, I don't particularly look into the works of others anymore and I just do what I feel like at the time.

5) What types of drawings/paintings/artwork do you most enjoy doing?

Typically, I enjoy doing pencil drawings and acrylic paintings of animals and portraits. I am not very good at any abstract work and these covers are the first even slightly abstract art pieces I have done since leaving school. This is partially because I don't like to think too much about what I create as I use this time to give my mind a rest.

6) Why art?

Following on from the last question. As a medical student it is easy to get carried away with all the books and sometimes it is nice to have an escape from that. Since I am awful at sports, I enjoy art as something completely different as an escape.

Figure 1.

Cover IJMS 2016, volume 4 issue 3.

7) How do you do your work? What's your ideal environment?

I enjoy sitting in front of my laptop with a tv series or film playing and I can stay there and work none stop from dusk to dawn. However, it has to be something I've seen before, otherwise it would be hard to keep my eyes off the screen!

8) What's your favorite artwork?

I don't really have a favorite artwork either way, but I enjoy very traditional art styles in general.

9) Any final comments?

I would like to add that as a medical student, I notice a lot of people give up their hobbies and extracurricular commitments for medical school or throughout their life as a doctor. Of course, it is extremely important to be the best health professional you can be, but I think we can all sometimes forget that we are human too and occasionally we need to allocate some time to heal ourselves first.

The IJMS would like to formally acknowledge and thank Yimeng for all of her cover contributions over the last year. We are extremely grateful to work with such a talented individual and hope that her artwork continues regardless of where she practices in the future. Thank you and we wish you all the best.

Figure 1.

Cover IJMS 2016, volume 4 supplement 1.

Cite as: IJMS Executive Board. Artist Featured in IJMS Volume 4: Yimeng Zhang. Int J Med Students. 2016 Sep-Dec;4(3):134-135.

Copyright © 2016 Executive Board of IJMS

International Journal of Medical Students, VOLUME 4, NUMBER 3, December 2016