Bessie Coleman Black History Bulletin

Meet Christian Elden, Illustrator for our Black History Bulletins

Posted February 17, 2015
By Kevin Spear

Christian Elden is a talented illustrator and designer. He has worked for Warner Press since 2005. His skillful illustrations appear in our Black History church bulletin series. We interviewed him about what he’s learned from this project.

Tell us, Christian. How did you get started drawing portraits?

I drew my first Black History-themed portraits a few years back for Warner Press, but I did several portraits for friends and family before that. I believe my very first official portrait project was of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer Jack Lambert, for a friend of my dad.

How long have you drawn portraits for Black History bulletins?

The first Black History Month bulletin series I worked on for Warner Press was back in 2010 or 2011. Since then, I’ve worked on additional series for bulletin designs, along with portraits for a Canadian company producing Black History calendars & lesson plans, and a multimedia company building a history-themed website. Some of them have been licensed for educational books and TV commercials, as well.

What biography has inspired you the most?

I’ve learned a lot about some pretty amazing people I might not have discovered otherwise, but the most inspiring story probably belongs to Bessie Coleman, the first African-American female pilot and first African-American (male or female) to hold an international pilot license. Her story ended in tragedy, but she proved she’d stop at nothing to turn her dreams into a reality.

Church bulletin cover of Bessie Coleman

Copyright © Warner Press-Illustration by Christian Elden

Why do you feel Black History Month is important for the church?

Black History Month is especially important for the church, because faith is a huge part of what makes Black History special. I’ve drawn some lesser-known figures with “churchy” backgrounds whose stories might lend themselves better to bulletins than others, but they too had important parts to play in writing the history books.

You can see more of Christian’s artwork at his christianelden.com. His Black History illustrations and bulletin covers are at warnerpress.org.

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