Kyle Bean on how to illustrate the growing of human organs.
© Kyle Bean
Tasked with illustrating a story about regenerative medicine, I was fascinated by the idea of human organs that could be grown outside of a petri dish. For the imagery, I wanted to represent this by showing a partially constructed eye floating in space, away from the traditional laboratory setup.
© Kyle Bean
The idea of using paint came to me after discovering some clear, hollow plastic spheres – I thought it would be interesting to fill and suspend them. I’m often inspired by surrealism, and I figured that I could illustrate the idea of regeneration with a clear nod to the movement.
Wellcome Images, London
I first painted the iris on the inside of one half of the sphere using acrylic paint. I left part of the iris unpainted, so I could fill the transparent ball with white emulsion paint up to the line of the iris. On the shoot we rigged the plastic ball up on a rod and I drilled a hole into the top, which I could then pour the white paint into. It was fun to see the images come together on the shoot day, and I really enjoyed collaborating with the art director and photographer. It was very much a team effort to bring the images to life to illustrate the story.
© Kyle Bean, Top right: © Peta Bell, Bottom right: Wellcome Images, London