Alumna illustrator Julie Wells’ (’15) latest book hit shelves this past week: Always Ours, a children’s book about dealing with grief. The book is Wells’ fifth illustrated work — a testament both to her remarkable artistic ability and to the encouragement she received within the Christendom community to use her gifts to uplift and inspire others.
Many people desire to become artists from a young age, wanting to use their creative abilities to tell stories, share wisdom, and more. When it comes to choosing an education suitable for such a pursuit, however, Catholic students can run into a stumbling block: colleges that encourage the wrong forms of art or encourage art in environments that are not conducive to the Catholic faith.
In the case of Wells, she chose to study at Christendom, believing that the liberal arts education and the Catholic community life would help her pursue her vocation. She was proven right in that account, joining the ranks of other alumni that have found success as artists after studying at Christendom.
Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Christendom in 2015, Wells has illustrated five children’s books, becoming well-loved for her lively and innocent designs. She owns her own freelance business, Julie Wells Illustration, while also working as a remote illustrator for Orange Hat Publishing.
Always Ours is Wells’ third illustrated book published by Orange Hat, pairing her with author Christy Wopat for the first time. Like the previous books that Wells has illustrated, Always Ours deals with timeless themes which impart important lessons to young readers, all through joyful art.
When looking back at her time at Christendom, Wells points to it as instrumental to the success she has found today. From her studies in the classroom to her artistic work on college theatrical productions and more, Wells was encouraged to pursue her dream while on campus.
“I felt so encouraged [at Christendom] by the amazing teachers and student body. Some of my favorite memories are from those long weeks preparing the sets for the college productions and special events. I had the privilege to work alongside an incredible crew, fellow students whose creative talents just ‘exploded’ all over campus, and I felt so at home. These people, as well as the entire Christendom community, helped me to see how I could use my gifts to uplift and inspire,” says Wells.
Wells is not alone in becoming a successful artist following graduation from Christendom. Alumnus Ben Hatke (’00) is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator, whose acclaimed works include the Zita the Spacegirl trilogy (which was optioned for a movie deal with Twentieth Century Fox Animation prior to Fox’s purchase by The Walt Disney Company) and the Eisner Award-winning Little Robot. Alumna Mandy Hain (’06) is an acclaimed artist as well, drawing and painting Icons, large scale murals, liturgical design, and more – including work on Christendom’s new Christ the King Chapel.
Prospective artists can explore their talents at colleges and universities around the world. But, at Christendom, they can do so within an environment that will uplift and inspire them to prayerfully pursue their vocation, all while studying the greatest minds of Western Civilization.
To purchase Wells’ latest work, visit here.