For “Ohio: The Heart of America Since 1803” I was inspired by the origins of the state. I was thinking about how when the first settlers came down the river the first images that were produced were woodcuts. I took elements from the great seal of Ohio and created a scene of rural prosperity framed by the hillsides of south central Ohio including Mount Logan. The arrows represent that Native Americans that called Ohio home for generations while the flat boat is a representation of these first European settlers’ journeys.
A lot of my work focuses on the idea of place, where a geographic location unites many people. I like to illustrate a scene and pair it with typography that evokes a certain era. I am hoping that these images inspire a sense of pride and belonging in the viewer. – James Billiter