Graphic Designer and Illustrator
Katelin Jaegers is an illustrator and graphic designer who has worked for MultiLit for over five years. Her love of visual communication was sparked when she began taking care of children at an out of school hours (OOSH) care centre and witnessed firsthand the different ways children engaged with the world around them. This passion took her into the design realm, where she became a vital part of the illustration process for our learning materials.
Her latest contribution is to the children’s book Blue Ted, authored by MultiLit’s Dr Anna Desjardins (Notley), in which Katelin’s flair for creativity has come to life.
What’s your background and experience and what inspired you to get into education?
I briefly worked at an OOSH care centre and discovered my favourite activity was reading with the kids. I loved seeing which books piqued their interest and flipping through the books myself to see the wonderful artwork on each page.
I have just completed my Fine Arts degree and enjoyed my time working as the designer for the student paper, illustrating for the student cookbook and volunteering my skills in various other projects, such as zines, merchandise, campaigns, art stalls and art shows.
Can you tell us about Blue Ted?
Blue Ted was a dream to work on! I’m a big believer in how images can help inspire learning and still love picture books and graphic novels to this day. Art is another form of communication and expression and can help bring text-based literacy to life. Wordless picture books help us think about the world around us. They allow children to create their own stories and ideas.
What does your process look like after you receive a brief?
It’s a series of endless sketching. I let myself run wild with incredibly rough and scribbly drawings and slowly redraw and refine them over time. I utilise Pinterest and clothing catalogues to make mood boards and track down reference images like character poses, colour palettes, scenery and outfit ideas. This helps ensure I’m portraying everything accurately.
How do you make sure your illustrations support the text?
It’s often a collaborative process. I’m always going back and forth with the writers to make sure I’m portraying the characters and story in the way they want, as it’s just as much their project as it is mine. They give me the story ahead of time and write detailed descriptions of what they want the illustrations to look like, sometimes providing me with reference images to guide my work.
How do you cater to younger readers in your illustrations?
The illustrative style I use with younger readers is a lot more simplified. I use a lot of basic shapes and a thicker line weight for easier comprehension. I also refer to various children’s books and the art styles used for younger readers just to make sure I’m on the right track.
What is your favourite thing about being an illustrator for MultiLit?
I think my favourite thing about being an illustrator for MultiLit is that it can take so many different forms. That includes anything from picture cards and worksheets to storybooks and digital assets. The illustration can be intricate and beautiful, but also silly and a lot of fun. I love the endless possibilities, the challenge of trying something new, and the excitement of a familiar project. My favourite MultiLit projects have always been books – I love bringing a story to life in a way that resonates with the writers and the readers.