2016 Year in Review: AMI Membership Working for You
The transition from one year to the next invites reflection on the past and a peek into the future. One of the greatest benefits of AMI membership is the collective power of our creative, hard-working colleagues to advance our profession, which is evident in these highlights of 2016.
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No Spec Work Policy. This summer the Board of Governors approved an AMI position on spec work. Crowdsourcing contests often seek illustrators to produce original artwork in hopes of winning a prize or securing paid work. Some contests retain copyrights to ALL work submitted, not just the selected winner. The decision to participate and create visual art under spec work is always up to each individual, but AMI cautions its members to engage in fair negotiations that support proper payment and usage rights prior to starting any work.
AMI Advocacy. 2016 was another busy year for our copyright efforts. AMI’s legislative counsel Bruce Lehman had several meetings with Copyright Office and Congressional staff on key concerns for illustrators: Library Exceptions, Resale Royalty, DMCA, and Antitrust Guidelines on IP Licensing. AMI stands firm in its alliance with the American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP) and the Artists Rights Society (ARS) in our two decades long effort to rightfully return reprographic royalties to the visual artists who earn them. Your AMI membership enables our advocacy efforts with policymakers.
Copyright Reform. The year ended in upheaval with the removal of the Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante by the new Librarian of Congress — leaving concerns about the future leadership and autonomy of the U.S. Copyright Office. In 2017 we expect the structure of the Copyright Office to be a priority of the House Judiciary along with stronger piracy enforcement and a proposed copyright small claims system. Abroad, copyright reforms — such as EU Digital Single Market — will impact publishing and open access. Keep abreast of breaking news in the OMC and Listserv.
AMI2016 Meeting. Our 71st annual meeting was held in Atlanta, GA, this year and was attended by 473 biomedical illustrators and animators sharing expertise, being inspired, and making new connections. The meeting was particularly enriched by the 102 students who networked, exhibited in the Salon, and presented their research projects. A new feature was a Roundtable session, where we crowdsourced answers to relevant questions about our organization and profession. A full recap of the Atlanta meeting is here (don’t miss this video made by student members!).
Mentoring. AMI’s mentor program has matured into an important benefit for those just starting their careers. New Professional members select or are matched with Mentors, who provide guidance and networking opportunities. Mentor Program members have a fun tradition of exchanging illustrated trading cards, as well as providing images for a custom deck of medical illustration playing cards! Our Online Member Community gives a framework for participants to engage and explore the many member benefits, such as job listings, business tools, salary surveys, and interest groups.
Online Salon. A window into the creative genius of AMI members is in the Salon, which is only exhibited for a few short days at the annual meeting. 2016 was the second year where the exhibit was shared online, giving it a longer lifespan and opening it to the public. Enjoy a look at the beauty and clear visual storytelling of member's works in still media illustration, editorial, medical-legal, advertising, animation, interactive media, e-books, gaming, AR and VR simulators, prosthetics and much more! See the Salon winners here.
Online Learning. Medical illustrators are lifelong learners, always curious and seeking to deepen their skillset. AMI is committed to developing online learning opportunities to support this drive, as well as provide credits to maintain Certification. Our Online Learning Committee is working hard to develop this important member benefit. Last October, AMI members had access to a free exclusive webinar on Cinema 4D, generously sponsored by Maxon. There are more exciting educational events in the works for 2017. Members can access previous webinars and meeting recordings in the OMC.
Promoting the Profession. Growing public interest in #SciArt and #SciViz has increased awareness of the medical illustration and animation profession. Stories in The Atlantic, Scientific American, JAMA, and Science highlight the new frontiers and career opportunities in biomedical visualization. AMI Facebook and Twitter followers have grown 28% and 48% respectively in 2016 with over 4.1K followers. To enable wide dissemination of our scholarly research, the Journal of Biocommunication is now free to read and supports open access.
The coming year is full of promise for professional growth for AMI members, from online learning opportunities to in-person networking at our annual meeting in Austin, TX or regional events, and much more. We look forward to strengthening our member benefits throughout the new year, and we wish a very happy and successful 2017 to everyone!
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