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On-the-Job Training

The shape of things to come
After graduating from Iowa State University, illustrator Ken Orvidas spent years as an art director and creative director at advertising agencies, meanwhile dabbling in illustration. In 1993, he became an illustrator full time, and has become masterly at combining many layers of Photoshop digital imagery to create work like the faux-silk China cover. "China's in a transformational period," he says. "I like to riff off of words, so I thought, What's the ultimate transformation? Then I thought of the metamorphosis of a butterfly from a cocoon. Fortunately for me, the shape of China resembles wings. If it were Chile, I think I'd have been screwed."

The advice of experts and experts-to-be
When Jim Duffy took on "20 Questions: China Edition," he was not exactly well versed on matters Chinese. "I was walking in cold," he recalls. But he jumped into the project the way a good journalist does— he began hunting the Internet for Johns Hopkins experts and calling people up and posing questions. His respondents ranged from emeritus faculty like anthropologist Sidney Mintz to Seattle ninth-grader and Center for Talented Youth student Tracy Whelan, whom he describes as "frighteningly adult and knowledgeable for her age." (Sounds like a CTY kid to us.) Duffy, a frequent contributor to Johns Hopkins Magazine, freelances from his home in Cambridge, Maryland. — DK

Illustrator William L. Brown (Wholly Hopkins: "Giving Vets Their 'Fare Share'") can be reached through his Web site,
Photographer Mike Ciesielski ("The Big Question") is based in Baltimore. Call him at 410-253-8274.
Illustrator Stephanie Dalton Cowan ("Professor Chien, Diplomat") works out of Marietta, Georgia. Email her at or visit
Photographer John Davis ("Your Other Life") is based in Baltimore. Contact him by calling 410-241-2767.
Freelance writer Jim Duffy ("20 Questions: China Edition") lives in Cambridge, Maryland. He can be reached at 443-799-8627.
Illustrator Gilbert Ford (Essay: "Renaming Names") is a New-York based illustrator. He can be reached at 347-452-4098 or through his Web site,
Neil Grauer '69 (Wholly Hopkins: "Birth of the Blue Jay") is the assistant director of editorial services for Johns Hopkins Medicine's Office of Marketing and Communications. He can be reached via email at
Will Kirk '99 ("Think You Know Homewood?" and Wholly Hopkins) is a photographer for Homewood Photographic Services. E-mail him at
Illustrator Ken Orvidas ("20 Questions: China Edition") is based in Seattle. Visit his Web site at, or contact him at 425-867-3072.
Photographer Stephen Spartana ("Door Opens") is based in Sparks, Maryland. E-mail him at

Return to June 2007 Table of Contents

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