Art Meets Science in Winning 75th Anniversary Poster Design

Mieko Temple, Class of 2025, won the student poster design contest for the school’s 75th anniversary.
Mieko Temple, Class of 2025, won the student poster design contest for the school’s 75th anniversary.

Art Meets Science in Winning 75th Anniversary Poster Design

Congratulations to Mieko Temple, Class of 2025, for winning the student poster design contest for the school’s 75th anniversary.

Temple’s unique yet accessible poster design features several different illustrations of multiple disciplines of veterinary medicine surrounding the central logo celebrating 75 years of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She said her design stemmed mainly from the desire to represent the veterinary medical profession for how multi-faceted it truly is.

Poster Design Contest

“Sometimes vet med can be flattened into one or two ideas, and I wanted to make sure that there was more representation than just someone doing a physical examination or happy stock photos of someone holding a puppy,” Temple said. "I included different species, including poultry, large animal, small animal, wildlife, and exotics, and represented various disciplines, like someone doing a neuro exam and someone doing an ophthalmologic exam. There’s a surgeon, and someone using a microscope—which represents clinical and anatomic pathology, microbiology, and other lab or microscopic-based practices. And in the top right is radiology. I considered including radiographs at first, but thought ultrasound doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. I'm really proud and honored that my art was voted for the 75th Anniversary theme!

Her poster was executed with an abstract line drawing style, simple but detailed enough so that the disciplines can be easily recognized.

Growing up, Temple was always passionate about art. She even appealed to attend the high school in her district with the more robust arts program. During her undergraduate years, she began to blend her interests in art and veterinary medicine, drawing anatomy and taking online scientific illustration courses.

sketch of American Flamingo
Watercolor and ink drawing depicting an American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) by Mieko Temple. She took inspiration from the bird's feather distribution and coloration for this piece.

She continues to blend art and her veterinary medicine pursuits, finding personal creativity as well as getting involved in scientific illustration. She spends a lot of time drawing endangered species in a unique, abstract style that melds line art and geometric shapes inspired by these animals' innate anatomical, physiological, and structural components (like coat color and pattern), and then uses these drawings as a medium for science communication, raising awareness through social media and sales of the pieces.

“I donate 20% of my profits to conservation programs around the world because the animals that I’m portraying are my inspiration,” she said. “They deserve part of the profits because the whole reason I’m doing this is to raise public awareness and for scientific education.”

Temple has also been working on scientific literature illustrations; one of her pieces has been published in a paper about water loss ecology in western fence lizards, with another focusing on endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards pending publication. She is also in talks with a veterinarian for development of a comparative species imaging textbook.

Looking toward her future career, Temple wants to pursue pathology. She is fascinated by how pathology blends the macro and the micro—how it concerns the whole animal as well as the smaller cellular components, and how you kind find art and beauty in those little components. She is hoping to work with a strong connection to conservation within the pathology field because of the species that are so critical to our ever-changing world.

Temple is certain that she will continue her artistic pursuits throughout her profession, especially because hobbies like art can be a form of self-care that is necessary to keep up with this demanding profession.

View more of Temple's illustrations on her website.

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