Graduate, 2015

Art & Design Foundation

Completing a three-year university Bachelor of Science degree in Biology came with a dilemma; for Savanna. After spending the last five years of her life working towards a career in medicine, she felt a need to explore the one passion that she had no formal training in, but had always inspired her all life ‘art’.

During her university studies, she learned about the field of medical illustration and began to realize that maybe her true passions lie somewhere in between science and art. She decided that this was a career option worth investigating.

Poised on the threshold of graduation and the rest of her life ahead, she decided to explore this life-long creative passion and enrolled in the Art and Design Foundation program at George Brown College. After two weeks, she knew she could never go back to a purely scientific career path and art made her far too happy!

Throughout her time at George Brown College, she rediscovered her love for hands-on art and life drawing classes became “yoga-esque” meditations on the process of observation and visualization. As Savanna says: "My professor would tell us to ‘turn off our brain’ while we were drawing and allow the process to guide us through to the end result.”

While exploring her creative abilities in drawing, colour theory, 3D object-making and photography, she honed digital skills while learning creative software applications. She found that she had reached her goal of creating a collection of strong work, supported in both hand rendered and digital mediums, and in the Portfolio Design course, was able to ultimately assemble it all into a polished, professional presentation. 

She then applied to the only medical illustration program in Canada, Biomedical Communications program at the University of Toronto.

Currently, Savanna is halfway through the program at University of Toronto and although it’s been challenging and rewarding, she says what she learned in the Art and Design Foundation program has been an invaluable tool to help her problem-solve assignments. She doesn't regret her decision to switch from a career in medicine to medical illustration and now realizes how important it is to explore what you really want to do, and not to be afraid to take different paths. It has helped her learn and build so much more on what she already had accomplished and taken her to a place where she really wants to be.

“I am an artist, scientist, visual problem solver and a medical illustrator.” Savanna Jackson is a collaborator in two seemingly separate worlds.