About the Name | Alar Illustration

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alar a·lar (ā'ler) adj.

The word alar has several connotations in medicine and biology. Most simply, alar means wing-like or axillary.

In anatomyalar refers to the wing-like ala of certain structures including in the nose, sacrum, and sphenoid bone. The sphenoid bone of the skull has both major and minor ala, and the shape is often compared to that of a butterfly, bat, or bird.

In botanyalar describes the wing-shaped cells at the base and sides of a moss leaf.

In zoologyalar denotes that which pertains to or resembles wings or alae.  

About the Studio

Alar Illustration, LLC provides medical illustration, research, and design services for science, healthcare, medical legal, and public education initiatives. 

The studio has contributed to a variety of projects for different formats and purposes, including peer-reviewed research and journal figures, patient education materials, preproduction research and asset development, medical legal presentations, interactive exhibits, and more.

Alar Illustration is located near Princeton, New Jersey:


About the Illustrator

Virginia E. Fulford, MS, CMI

I'm an illustrator and communicator specializing in medical and scientific illustration.

In 2016 I started Alar Illustration, a one-person studio in the greater New York City area. Alar Illustration offers professional illustration and research services for science, healthcare, and education initiatives.

I have a Master’s degree in medical illustration and am a board-certified medical illustrator. I’m also a professional member of the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI).

When I’m not working for a client, I enjoy reading, running, printmaking, filling up my sketchbook, and traveling.

To learn more about my background, continue scrolling or download my resume here.




Digital: Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects), Corel Painter

Traditional: Graphite, ink, watercolor, gouache, oil, lithography printmaking


Human gross anatomy, human physiology, clinical pathology, genetics, comparative anatomy, cell biology, primate biology, evolutionary biology, biopsychology, chemistry

Technical & Process

Osirix, HTML/CSS, storyboarding, interpreting X-rays, CTs, and MRIs, interactive PDFs and PowerPoints, Google Slides, Blender

experiencE & Qualifications

2018 - present

Certified Medical Illustrator | Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators

2017 - present

Medical Illustrator and Content Researcher - Contract | BioDigital - New York, NY

2016 - present

Medical and Scientific Illustrator - Owner and Principal | Alar Illustration - Lawrenceville, NJ

2015 - 2016

Medical Illustrator | Certified Medical Illustrations - Lawrenceville, NJ


Medical Illustration Intern | Journal of the American Medical Association - Chicago, IL



MS - Biomedical Visualization | University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL


BA - Zoology, BFA - Painting | Miami University - Oxford, OH


Biological Illustration (course) | Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University - Appledore Island, ME

select honors & awards


Board of Trustees Tuition Waiver | University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Applied Health Sciences. Merit scholarship.


Nancy F. Cady Scholarship | Miami University School of Fine Arts. Merit scholarship awarded to one student.


Arthur B. Damon Scholarship | Miami University School of Fine Arts. Merit scholarship awarded to one student.

Select Clients & Publications

JAMA | BioDigital | Edema Partners | Office of the Attorney General of Texas | University of Michigan, Obstetric Anesthesiology | University College London, Chemical Engineering | National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago

Affiliations & involvement

Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) - Professional member | AMI Newsletter Committee - Co-Editor | Girls on the Run - Volunteer coach