Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

This site is archival. Please visit the current MIZZOU magazine site for up-to-date content.

Alumni Profile

Illustrating medicine and science

mark miller

Medical illustrator Mark Miller, BFA ’82, draws his art digitally and by hand. Photo by Rob Hill

Mark Miller has been a medical illustrator for more than 25 years. Whether he is illustrating a canine heart or a surgical atlas for a skullbase operation, Miller has his art down to a science. But he didn’t know such a job existed until his junior year at MU.

Miller, BFA ’82, came to MU as a pre-med and art student. He took several pre-med courses from the late Robert Breitenback, professor emeritus in biological sciences. “Breitenback knew I had one leg in science and one in art, so he asked me to illustrate a biology lab manual he was writing. I worked on it for more than a year,” Miller says.

The lab manual sparked his interest in medical illustration and led him to the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After graduating and working for Johns Hopkins, Miller moved to Kansas City, Mo., where he is now a freelance illustrator.

The veteran artist has seen medical illustration move into the digital age. “When I started there were no computers in our field,” Miller says. “I’m old enough to bridge the two eras.” All of his illustrations still start as sketches on paper, but he then scans them into a computer and uses Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop software to complete the project.

Miller also enjoys drawing editorial illustrations. Every year he creates multiple covers for FP Essentials, published by the American Academy of Family Physicians. “It allows for complete creativity,” Miller says. “I can use artistic license to design a cover and summarize the featured topic.”