We’re on to the next step in the creation of a veterinary medical illustration – the consultation. Let’s begin the conversation!

Somewhere, there bubbles forth a great idea. The light bulb goes off, and you’re ready to go! Seriously? I wish it were always like that. Sometimes, you have an organized plan. But usually, you have parts of an idea. And that’s okay.

The first step to creating a medical artwork is to consult with clients about their projects. Email, phone, text, whatever they prefer, I go over the basic points (Purpose, Audience, Medium, Delivery, Deadline, Budget). I gather all the information and we make a plan. Together.

Sometimes clients know exactly what they want; others need us to guide them. From the plan, we can develop a cost estimate. Sometimes we can develop different plans with different cost estimates that meet a particular budget. If the estimate is approved, then both parties sign an agreement that outlines all project terms. The client provides a deposit and materials, and it’s a go. The agreement is our road map to success.


This improves efficiency and opens communication. We can often answer questions and resolve issues before any work has started. For free.

Can the road map change? Sure! As long as both parties agree. But working out the details ahead of time is the most cost-effective option. In fact, clients should meet as early as possible, so they can plan, too. Medical illustration may not be the only consultation needed for a project. Some clients will have many consultations- with publishers, designers, colleagues, and other vendors.

In our next article, I’ll talk about an important and often overlooked part of creating a veterinary medical illustration with Research: Laying the Foundation.

About Dr. Lauren Sawchyn

Lauren D. Sawchyn, MSMI, DVM, CMI is the Owner and Creative Director of Sawchyn Medical Illustration. Dr. Sawchyn obtained a B.A. in Studio Art, a Concentration in Pre-Veterinary Science, and a Minor in Zoology at the University of Maine in 2003. In 2005, she earned an M.S. in Medical Illustration at Georgia Health Sciences University. Dr. Sawchyn completed Board Certification in Medical Illustration and graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009.