As someone who uses ABC, you know what an impact the artwork included with the lessons can have in bringing the account to life. That’s why our illustrator, Austin, works so hard to create posters that are both eye-catching and accurate to the biblical account. And you can watch just part of the process Austin goes through as he creates these posters in two time-lapse videos.
This first video shows the development of our Lesson 145 Theme Poster. In Matthew 12:22–28, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons by Satan's power. This poster illustrates Jesus' response saying that a kingdom divided against itself will not stand, which is why his miracles had to be from God rather than Satan. Austin first constructs a quick 3D sketch of a castle. He then takes that model and draws on top of it for the finished illustration.
In this second video, see the miracles of Jesus come to life as he walked on water (Matthew 14:22–27) and brought Simon Peter a huge catch of fish (Luke 5:4–7) to show his power over creation.
What does it take to create these incredible posters? We asked Austin, our illustrator. Here’s what he shared:
On average, one poster can take anywhere from 30–50 hours, depending on the level of detail required.
On average, one poster can take anywhere from 30–50 hours, depending on the level of detail required. However, the posters are all developed at the same time we work through a unit. So it takes about a month and a half to complete all nine of the Lesson Theme Posters within one unit.
What is your creative process (in a nutshell)?
Once we have our initial team meeting at the start of a unit to go over the artwork that will be on the Lesson Theme Posters, a few days are spent researching details ranging from clothing and architecture to the types of plants and terrain. Next, a few more days are spent coming up with 50+ small sketches of each poster, which are all refined and tweaked until there is only one final sketch for each poster. Once sketches are approved, the posters all follow a step-by-step structure. First, a drawing is completed. After that, a final line drawing that will be used for the coloring pages is drawn, then colors are added to those lines for the colored poster.
When did you discover that you enjoy illustrating?
I’ve been drawing since before I can remember (I’ve been told around age 3), and it was at age 7 that I made the decision that I wanted to do something with art when I grew up. I continued drawing and painting through high school then went off to study illustration at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, with the intention of working at Marvel Comics one day. But it was during my senior year at school (2017) that I discovered a love for biblical illustration.
What is your favorite part of illustrating?
I truly just love the creative process of illustration. Starting with a blank canvas and working through sketches, ideas, solving problems, and striving to come up with unique, original ideas, until you’re finished and have a completed image sitting there in front of you. I feel very honored to be in a creative position that reflects the nature of our God, the Creator.
How do you decide which elements to include in each Lesson Theme Poster?
Oftentimes, a general list of requirements comes with the poster descriptions. So, typically I am told what elements need to be included in each poster. However, sometimes during my research, I come across details that I never knew or heard about while growing up that I decide to include in the artwork. Sometimes these details are obvious and clearly noticeable, and sometimes they are hidden and take some intense searching!
What details have you noticed on your Lesson Theme Posters? Next time you pull one out, take a close look, and see the hidden details you might have missed.
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