CLASS OF 2004
English Literature, History, French
English Literature & History at The University of Edinburgh.
Postgraduate Degree in Medical Art healthcare sector, including Harley Street
Merlin is an award winning Medical Artist, with a passion for using illustration as a tool to delineate and delight. She is the recipient of both national and international awards for her work using illustration to help people understand the medical world.
From creating drawings for medical student textbooks, working with mental health patients to use images to understand their feelings, to expectant mothers to understand labour, Merlin’s work has a huge impact on so many people. Over the last decade she has worked with some of the largest clients in the healthcare sector, including Harley Street Childrens’ Hospital, The Wellcome Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital, UCL and The Royal College of Midwives. She lives in London with her husband Andrew and their daughter Quinn.
Tell us a bit about your career after leaving school.
I didn’t take a classical route into earning from Art – it was a meandering path, with many stop off points (both planned and unplanned). Looking back now, I can see how all the dots connect, but when I was younger it was hard to spot the links. My career has been founded on the idea that people’s voices should be heard. I use illustration as a tool to support the telling of such narratives, so my earlier Masters was hugely influential on my current practice.
What was your most memorable moment as a pupil at Sheffield Girls?
I got my GCSE results on my 16th birthday – I remember it being a pretty intense day! So intense, that it seems I entirely failed to remember to wear a belt, and the photos I have from the celebrations involve a lot of midriff showing!
What advice would you give your younger self (when you were at school)?
You don’t have to fall into a ‘camp’ of being ‘arty’ or ‘sciency’. Society expands and develops through rich collaborations and interdisciplinary thinking, not through narrow minded approaches that separate the subjects into isolated spheres.
What advice would you give pupils at Sheffield Girls’ today?
Mix bravery and kindness with a good dose of solid concentration and it will get you a long way.