Kaley Marcinski, '20

Senior Kaley Marcinski poses for a photo.

What do anatomy, art and playing cards have in common? 

Senior Kaley Marcinski has been working on playing cards with anatomical drawings on them since she was a freshman. Since she was always creating anatomical doodles, her advisor, Annie Lee, Ph.D, professor of chemistry, encouraged her to pursue her interest in art. 

Fast forward, Marcinski then took an independent study within the art department.

“I saw that there was a picture in the Gray’s Anatomy book of heart vessels. I drew that and was thought it looked exactly like a heart,” Marcinski said. “I thought that would be kind of a cool play on things, to make a playing card that was the ace of hearts.” 

After creating one card, Marcinski created another, and was encouraged to continue creating cards. Fifty-two to be exact. Enough to complete a full deck of cards. 

“I thought that was a little bit insane,” Marcinski said. “I tried to map it out, and then I did it. That was a long process to make fifty-two individual cards.”

After creating the original full deck of cards, Marcinski spent some time junior year, in another independent study, redrawing and reformatting them. Wanting to make sure the cards would look the way that she wanted them to look, she took time to make sure they were perfect. 

“I wanted them to be uniform and usable, but also an art piece so that they would have that dual function,” Marcinski said. 

Once they were formatted correctly, she had 100 sets printed and ready to sell. Armed with a network of past teachers and other medical professionals, Marcinski began advertising her work on social media in hopes to find people interested in buying decks of cards with her drawings on them. 

“I tried to advertise on Facebook, and I had old teachers that shared them,” Marcinski said. “My AP psych teacher shared them on an AP psych page that has teachers from all across the country. I got all of these messages from these teachers, and then their colleagues that teach anatomy. I have mailed them all over. My sister shared it on her reddit, and then I had a nurse from Ohio that sent her a message. So, it was all of these random people across the country and people I know as well that showed interest in my cards.” 

Marcinski has received positive feedback from others about her cards. She hopes to have more opportunities to promote them on campus this year. 

“I am in Phi Delta Epsilon, our pre-med fraternity, and we do the anatomy fashion show every year. I would like to be incorporated with that and give them as raffle prizes, or something else, maybe selling them and helping them benefit Children’s Miracle Network,” Marcinski said. 

Marcinski will be attending medical school at St. Louis University next fall, but she hopes to continue combining her love for art and medicine. 

“Hopefully, as I go into practice as a doctor, I will be able to do my own illustrations for research and such,” Marcinski said. “I would like to do another [card deck], especially once I start medical school, because I will be exposed to a wider variety of content. That would be really cool.”


Feel free to reach out to Kaley on her Facebook page for further inquiries regarding her card decks.