During the early days of quarantine, my roommate and I decided to have a paint night. I saw this photo on a random Twitter account and immediately wanted to recreate it. Compared to the original photo, I changed the color of the tulips and added some extra sunset clouds in the background.
I’ve never really considered myself to be an artist. I grew up enjoying pencil sketching and took some high school classes, but compared to the talent of the true creative and artistic minds around me, expression of my right brain felt forced. This hobby, like many, was pushed to the side by the ever expanding time commitment to medical school and residency.
[Featured below] are two “starter” embroidery pieces I found patterns for, and I decided to try my hand at embroidery as an outlet for some stress and anxiety during my second year. I learned to sew from both of my grandmothers and how to cross stitch from my mom at a very young age, and in college I did some free-hand embroidery on a jean jacket I wore all of the time. I got tons of compliments on the anatomical heart and eye that I did on my jacket, and found that embroidery was similar to basic sewing, but with so much more of an artistic flair. It is basically painting, but instead of using paint, you create the color and texture using embroidery floss (fancy thread). Embroidery can be very difficult, but the finished pieces are so beautiful and satisfying that it more than makes up for the time I spent on them and the number of times I stabbed myself with needles!
Nature’s Window. Lake Atitlan and San Pedro, framed by foliage, as seen from halfway up Volcan San Pedro.
By Alyssa Belford, M1, 2023
Spring break for Alyssa Belford came with an opportunity to explore another part of the world. Experience some of the sights from this year’s cohort of students who traveled abroad to Guatemala. From the picturesque views, to candid moments of daily life, Alyssa’s photos help bring us all to this place between the waters.
“I have always enjoyed sketching and art, but it wasn’t until my fourth year of medical school that I felt like I had the inspiration and time to dedicate to it. I started drawing again to better understand the anatomy I encountered in surgical cases. Once my away rotations were over I decided to explore different mediums. I went from the comfort of pencil and paper to ink drawings and then digital drawings. I have started a collection of my anatomical sketches on instagram @scalpel.and.sketches “
My name is David Brown and I am an M1 who runs a small photography business, DB Photo Co. I started photography in high school for fun with taking photos of my friends here and there. My freshman year at Kansas State, I got a job as a university student photographer which really allowed my skill to increase as I worked under two very phenomenal photographers. With some guidance, I was able to start DB Photo Co. and begin developing a portfolio as I took on senior photos, graduation photos, engagements/proposals, and weddings over the past four years. Some of my favorite memories have been from behind the camera, and I hope to keep doing photography alongside medicine in the future!
“During my gap year before medical school, one of my goals was to discover a new hobby. I was looking for one which I could utilize to make small, unique gifts for my friends and family. I explored quite a few, but embroidery turned out to be the perfect hobby for me. It is neat and clean, requires only a few supplies and makes a fun gift as well.
The pattern I most enjoy designing are floral patterns in these adorable three-inch frames I found online. I made the First Bouquet in early spring of this year, and it hangs on the wall in my room. This was the project that inspired me to make more floral designs. I gifted The First Flower Basket to my wonderful aunt who lives in Pakistan. Happy Birthday, Tehrim is a piece I made for my best friend; who also happens to be my sister-in-law. I gave Pink and Maroon to a kind and fun friend from work. Honey for Pooh Bear is the first cartoon pattern I attempted, and I am pretty happy with the result. This one hangs on the wall in my room as well.
Looking back, I am happy with my decision to take a gap year for several reasons. One big reason is because it allowed me time to discover this new hobby. I look forward to designing more pieces throughout medical school and using my new creative outlet to take a break from studying – for just a little while, of course. “