Students illustrations enhance Moore book

It was an exciting day when the package containing Katie Wilson’s copy of “The Hidden Power of Smell: How Chemicals Influence Our Lives and Behavior” arrived in her mailbox. “My parents and other family and friends came over to watch me unwrap it,” she said, “and we had a little celebration of my first published illustrations.”

When she was a senior art education major at BGSU and doing her student teaching, Wilson provided more than 35 illustrations for the popular science book being written by Dr. Paul Moore, biology, which was recently published.

Moore proudly displays a large framed picture on the wall of his office showing an array of the illustrations. A group of his graduate students had the piece made and framed for him.

“Katie was a joy to work with,” he said. “I was really pleased with what she came up with. Her style worked well with the tone of the book and we collaborated on the ideas.”

“It was fun and a nice change from my other art projects for school,” Wilson said. “Paul had ideas for illustrations based on what the readers could relate to. I have a cartoony, painterly style. Some of the illustrations were kind of goofy and light-hearted, and others were more detailed images of flowers or molecules.

“I’ve always been interested in doing illustrations for children’s books, and this was the perfect way to get started and get acclimated to the process,” she added. “I’ve been building my portfolio and now I have a published book with my work.”

Wilson, who graduated in December 2014 with a degree in art education, immediately found a job as an art teacher for kindergarten through middle school in Milwaukee.

She has brought her experience with book illustration into her classroom. “I have my middle school students do comic book illustration,” she said. “We work on things like story line and character design, then they work in groups to come up with a short story and illustrate it.

“I work with a lot of inner-city students and they don’t always have the things they need to create something like this. When the project is done, each one gets a copy of their book that’s theirs to keep and it’s something usable and it’s just great to them.”

That is a feeling she can “absolutely” relate to when she holds the tangible result of her work in her hands.