2023 Best Illustration – Morgan Granzow

Where the Blood Flows


Micron pen drawing

How the Blood Flows depicts the complex process of a heartbeat in a simpler form to educate the audience about the blood flow throughout the heart. In addition, the characters represent the flow of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood and how the lungs play a role in the blood flow. Anatomy is a beautiful and complicated subject that has many connections and roles throughout the history of art and I wanted to visualize a modern educational form of that.

My work was designed to educate my audience on the extraordinary process of how the blood flows throughout the heart and connects pathways to other parts of the body. The process of how the blood flows is incredibly complicated and nearly impossible to convey with a single drawing; however, I used my artistic capability to represent it to the best of my ability. I chose to simplify the complexity of the process for younger audiences and appeal to their desires by creating characters to represent the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood cells. Using only micron pen, I was challenged to visualize the anatomical structure and process with the absence of color. The heart is usually represented with blue and red to show the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood; therefore, I created the characters to replace that visual. These characters are represented in a variety of ways and are seen throughout the heart in miniature forms to show where they are going. These characters were designed to make a scientific concept look more appealing as many individuals find science boring or too complicated. I wanted to convey my love for anatomy and also educate my audience about a single process of our bodies.

The scientific process is that of the pathway of the deoxygenated and oxygenated blood throughout the heart and where each part leaves to go to other areas of the body. I included labels of the anatomical parts, directional arrows, and simple diagrams of the lungs to show how the deoxygenated blood cells run along a path through the heart to become oxygenated in the lungs and continue down its next path of the heart. The blood flows throughout each of these parts in a matter of a single heartbeat, meaning this process is a continuous process with no start and end, and it continues continuously in time. There are many parts of the heart and it can get overwhelming, but I believe I divided the pathway up with labels and the characters depicting their journeys to make the process look similar and easier to understand.