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  • Writer's pictureAndrea L Merrill

Carmen Fong: Artist and Writer

I am a surgeon by training, and recently I've been a writer, having written a non-fiction book called Constipation Nation (coming Fall 2024), but I have always been artist. I've been drawing and making little comic books since I was a teenager, and I concentrated in Fine Art (Printmaking, Painting and Sculpture) in college, prior to going to medical school.

During surgery residency, especially as I cared for trauma patients and patients with "inoperable" cancer, themes of death and dying kept popping up in my work, which resulted in the "Morte Merde" series. These small mixed media works that mimic the traditional goldleaf background of medieval art depicting Biblical stories and utilize the bold lines of illuminated manuscripts, but also utilize modern media like highlighters and paintpens to bring new life to the age-old motif of death.

Later, as a young attending surgeon during COVID, I renewed my interest in drawing comics and began a project called 'Life in the Time of Coronavirus', a daily graphic novel diary of my experiences in the ER trenches in New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic, from day one. Drawing helped me process what was happening in the world everyday. Being such a visual person was a huge part of me becoming a surgeon, since I am such a visual learner and I enjoy spatial problem-solving and working with my hands. 

Check out more of Carmen's art and writing on her website.

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