Samantha Hanna, a fourth-year in visual communication, had her illustrations published in the children’s book “In Your Tummy.” Credit: Courtesy of Samantha Hanna

Samantha Hanna, a fourth-year in visual communication design, knew art was her calling since she was a little girl. However, it wasn’t until she enrolled in a graphic design course at her high school in Cleveland that she knew graphic design would be in her future.

On July 16, 2018, Hanna’s passion became a career when her illustrations were published in the children’s book, “In Your Tummy.”

“Growing up I always loved painting, drawing and all types of art,” she said.

The book teaches children ages 3-5 to be healthy in a fun and interactive way, with recipes and activities at the end to help instill its concepts. It is filled with vibrant characters and fruits and vegetables for children to explore and learn about.

Hanna’s illustration journey began when she received an email from the author, Courtney Sexton, a graduate student in nursing, who was in search of someone to help bring her words to life.

“Sam saw an opportunity to amplify her illustrating abilities present itself, and she took it,” R. Brian Stone, an associate professor in the Department of Design, said.

He explained that the visual communication program at Ohio State does not have a course dedicated to illustration, yet Hanna found a way to showcase her capabilities.

After meeting with Sexton in November 2017, the six-month exchange of edits and revisions for the children’s book began. Hanna acknowledged that because she is a freelance artist, and this was her first project, she learned a lot along the way.

“I set three rounds of revisions instead of just fixing each edit individually,” Hanna said. “These things help me so that edits aren’t as time consuming and are small ways to be more efficient.”

The publishing of “In Your Tummy” later led to another illustrating opportunity for Hanna, who said she would love to illustrate books for a living if the opportunity keeps presenting itself. For now, she is looking for job opportunities at graphic design agencies in Columbus and Cleveland after graduation in May.

Stone explained the pressure visual communication students face when they apply to the program, as there are only 16 students accepted in each year. An advantage to this is that the students who do gain entry are extremely dedicated and versatile in their work.

“The students here have a lot of demand placed on them and Sam just smiles and starts working,” Stone said. “She is very optimistic and diligent in her work.”

Hanna said that Motion Design class with Stone gave her the fundamentals she needed to start her illustrations. She reached out to Stone for his opinion on her drafts of the project, which he responded to with advice and edits that helped steer her in the right direction.

“In Your Tummy” is available on Amazon with the options of purchasing a paperback or an ebook.