Visual Storytelling through Editorial Medical Cartoons: Works by Hesam Noroozi

About the Artist: Hesameddin (Hesam) Noroozi

Hesam is an experienced MD, MPH, CCRA with more than 20 years of experience as a family physician and clinical researcher. He is an interdisciplinary physician and educator with great passion in medicine and art.

He is a member of the Medical Council of Canada and Association of Canadian Cartoonists. His paintings and cartoons have been published in various media and on different medical websites. He has participated in different solo and group art exhibitions around the globe, including at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and in France, Italy, and Iran.

Hesam has contributed to teaching through health and art workshops and lectures for medical students since 2007. He has also proposed and taught a visual approach to mindfulness practice for medical students at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Annual Art Show: Synthesia. His first book of medical cartoons was published in 2014.

Artist’s Statement on the Works

Hesam’s works represented here are based on a storytelling process that considers significant health and medical topics around him and how he reflects on them.

Based on his experience as a medical blogger, he adopted a mid- to short-storytelling template that allowed him to reflect to what was happening around him in hospital settings and other healthcare environments including health policy and management.

He implemented a specific type of visual art called editorial cartoons as his main playground for many years to express his ideas in a humorous way. Although the main area of his work is medical cartoons, other media include illustration, drawing, and painting.

Through his editorial cartoons, Hesam tries to describe events around him that he has had direct or indirect exposure to. Alongside research practice, his experience with patients in the emergency department and OPD clinic are some sources of inspiration for his works. This could be a good explanation for how different elements — from general daily interests to very specific health-related issues like mortality — are present in his works.

He carries a sketchbook all the time where he draws his ideas. These sketched ideas are the main sources for his advanced and finished works. Besides his career as a physician, he graduated from a post-secondary art diploma to deepen his knowledge of visual art. Since 2010, he is the “medicine and art” columnist for Pezeshkan-e-Gil, an Iranian medical journal. His works are mainly sketched by pencil and fountain pen and completed in watercolor and digital media. He currently works at University Health Network in Toronto.