Some of you asked for some behind-the-scenes tales of how things work here at Guts HQ, so here’s a peek at my drawing process (minus the forehead slapping and self-flagellation that goes with it). It is a messy process!

These are sketches for new art for our testicle plush hangtag. I usually begin with my nose in an anatomy text book and sketch out the bare bones of what makes an organ — or in this case, gland — tick. I draw it as completely as I possibly can before moving to the computer.

Next, I’ll write the text to go with it, pretending I’m explaining things to an 8-year-old to get it as basic as possible, as I only have a 3”x 3” square to work with. Then I either scan the ink drawing or redraw it on the computer in Illustrator.

Next up, I inevitably hate the drawing and have to go back to my sketchbook — either the visuals don’t explain the organ’s process well, or the text doesn’t fit, or it’s too complicated (spermatogensis is crazy!), or I end up liking the first drawing I did after wasting tons of time moving things around on the computer. Then I tear my hair out, want to punch a wall and wish it was 5pm so I can have a glass of wine. 🍷 Then I’ll procrastinate by thinking about other things I’m avoiding — usually inventory or taxes or cleaning the toilet. Next I have to give myself a hard deadline: “This is due in 24 hours now FINISH IT no matter what. Go with with what you got.”

Then I hate myself a little bit more, then I think I’m being too hard on myself. After I get though this emotional roller coaster, I’ll wrap it up and I send it to an editor to make sure nothing is misspelled and then to a doctor to make sure it’s all accurate. That reminds me — anybody know a nice urologist willing to look over the final testicle drawing (if I ever get it done)?

New hangtag artwork for next batch of lung plush! We are expanding each or our 8-page hangtags into 12-page hangtags to include more info, photos and details about how each organ functions. A tiny and fun book o' biology that comes with each of our organ plushies.
PPP  j5317 043How many people can say they do professional medical illustration and make chocolate brains? Illustrator and Visual Anatomy founder Tina Pavlatos can and does draw the human body and also makes edible versions of these same drawings for her human body boxed chocolate sets. You can get an entire box of chocolate ears, or a 16-piece variety pack, entirely up to you. I wish I had loads of dough so I could give these out to trick or treaters.
How badly do I want these adorable puffy medical stickers? Pretty bad, it turns out. Also, check out these and these on Etsy, which, more and more, is expanding from handmade to just good stuff all around, including vintage and hard-to-find stuff from abroad.