Drawing on a Passion for Art and Science

Somewhere between the pages of a children's book on anatomy, John Daugherty's future as a professional medical illustrator began to take shape.

At the age of eight, presumably to help answer his endless questions about human anatomy, John's parents gave him the How and Why Wonder Book of the Human Body. Fascinated by the illustrated images in the book, he announced to everyone his intention to become a doctor.

John's interest in science and medicine took him through undergraduate majors in chemistry and psychology, and a year of graduate school in pharmacology. During his second semester in graduate school, an exhibit by well-known medical illustrator Paul Peck would change the course of his career. Medical illustration was what he was meant to do.

With his path set, John finished his academic journey with art classes at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and a Master of Science Degree in Medical and Biological Illustration at University of Michigan.

The Art of Modern Medicine - Inspired by the Masters

John's unique style, an elegantly flowing combination of lines and color, present the human body in a sensitive, non-threatening manner. The inspiration for his illustrative technique comes from the "Golden Age of Illustration" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when artists used bold and delicate lines to create different textures in intricate compositions.

It was also during this time that Max Brödel, the father of modern medical illustration, began his career in America. A superb pen and ink illustrator, Brödel proved that instructive medical illustration could be as beautiful as fine art. The extraordinary work of The Naturalists, a group of painters who used color to document everyday life in Europe, and the preliminary pen sketches by the artists of the Renaissance, such as DaVinci, Raphael and Michelangelo, also served to shape John's signature style.

Teaching Through the Illustration of Life

Specializing in anatomical and diagnostic illustrations of the human body for the purpose of educating patients and healthcare professionals, John is sought after by clients who appreciate aesthetic compositions that tell the medical story.

His illustrations have graced the pages of medical and scientific textbooks and journals, as well as national magazines. They can be seen on web sites, posters, wall charts and brochures used in medical clinics and at exhibitions.

A professional medical illustrator for thirty years, John is the owner of Highlight Studios. He is certified by the Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators. A desire to share his talent and passion for the medical arts has led to the position of Biomedical Visualization Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

John has given numerous presentations and workshops to the Association of Medical Illustrators, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and other professional organizations. He has served as a judge for Illustration Salon competitions held by the Association of Medical Illustrators and The Cincinnati Editors Association. John's work has garnered approximately 20 Association of Medical Illustrators Awards, including several Members' Choice Awards for best in show. Other award categories include Advertising, Editorial, Medical Color, Medical Book and Marketing/Promotional.

His work has been exhibited at the New York Society of Illustrators, National Library of Medicine, Rx Club, John Muir Medical Film Festival, Oakland Museum of Art, International Museum of Surgical Science, and Lisboa-Terreiro do Paço in Portugal. His career as a medical illustrator was profiled in Step by Step Graphics Magazine.

During an impressive career that spans three decades, more than 2,000 of John's illustrations have been selected for publication. And just like those on the pages of the How and Why Wonder Book of the Human Body, John's pictures continue to inspire and teach through the depiction of life - imitated by art.

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