torrey schaefer


My interest in illustration started in the woods outside of my hometown, Helena, Montana, where I quickly became fascinated with the wildlife in my backyard. When I was younger, I would sit for hours drawing and labelling the structures of animals. Today, my interest in animal and human physiology has become the forefront of all of my interests. In addition to pursuing a career in scientific illustration, I have an interest in both Wildlife and Integrative Biology and am even considering pursuing a Masters or PhD in the Biological Sciences.



My illustration thesis includes 30 sketches, studies, drawings and illustrations and examines the importance of scientific and medical illustration the multiple facets of this career. Scientific and medical illustration are needed for many biological and medical fields to educate professionals in the field and the public. The goal of a scientific illustrator is to create simple and concise images that visually explain very complex systems.

My work includes simple animal studies and complex physiological illustrations. Although the medical sciences have used illustration for many years, there is a lack of physiological illustrations of animals.

The panels shown in this exhibition represent the physiology of a North American Brown Bear and render the internal systems–the muscular, organ, skeletal, nervous and circulatory systems. Strong visuals are necessary for students to perform dissections, study for exams, and to learn the material. It is the job of a scientific illustrator to provide images capable of simplifying complex ideas and systems, that spark curiosity in the reader.