End of Year Post: 2015

The ubiquitous quote about long days and short years describes 2015 well. Here we are at the end of the year, and I’m astonished to find I haven’t posted anything in 6 months.

So, here is a monster post revealing some of the work I’ve done that was previously shrouded in mystery.

It’s Textbook

americanlit1-zachfranzenMy day job for the past two years has been illustrating textbooks for BJUPress. I enjoyed many of this year’s assignments.

Here are some illustrations I did for the American Literature book.americanlit2-zachfranzen







Biblical Worldview

Here are a few little things for the book Biblical Worldview. It’s a great book, and Chris Koelle has some beautiful art in it. I think it’s very solid and well written, thanks in no small part to Mark Ward‘s great efforts.



Heritage Studies

The bulk of my work has been the 5th grade Heritage Studies book. I’ve done most of the chapter openers. Note: I don’t have the finished files on hand at the moment, hence the rough pasted-in design elements on top of the illustrations.







I also did a million interior illustrations. Here’s a sampling:


So that’s some of my 9-5 work. But I also did a bunch of other stuff in the evenings and weekends…

For Fun & Freelance

Inkwell 2015: Storywarren’s Family Conference

I was pleased to do some illustration sessions for kids at the Inkwell conference in Charlotte in June. This was the second year of the conference, and it’s really picked up speed. Tickets sold out the first day. Kids experience an action-packed schedule of rotating sessions focused on different areas in the arts, like songwriting, poetry, story-writing, and illustration. We also had some smaller workshops and demonstrations, so there was always something going on.




Vigilante Terror

Some of the older attendees took on the challenge I assigned of illustrating an Amish Romance cover based on the title of a thriller.







Read-Aloud Revival

At Inkwell I was pleased to meet fans of Sarah Mackenzie’s terrific website Amongst Lovely Things and her Read-Aloud Revival podcast. I did a guest post about art and hospitality in March. I also bumbled my way through an interview on her Read-Aloud-Revival podcast in May:

Black Star of Kingston

Storywarren also released the prequel novella to the Green Ember at Inkwell. I did the illustrations and cover for Black Star of Kingston.

blackstar cover

blackstarinterior2blackstarinteriorsblackstar characters

Christmas Crossroads

Below is a cover and some interiors for a JourneyForth book titled Christmas Crossroads. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure type of book with three main story paths.

christmascrossroadschristmas crossroads interiors

Slugs and Bugs

I illustrated the second installment of Randall Goodgame’s Sing the Bible with Slugs and Bugs.




This year we watched Quilla turn from a baby into a toddler. It has been a heart-melting journey.


Also, my wife and I had Vesper, our second little girl. DSC_0193rev

All in all, a full and lovely year.


Published by Zach

I'm a writer and illustrator living in Creedmoor NC.

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1 Comment

  1. Fantastic stuff, Zach. I praise the Lord for your gifts and your willingness to refine and use them for his kingdom. And the best work of the year is Vesper. What a great name!

    Thanks for the kind words, which I stumbled across while recommending you to an editor for a project I’m working on… Truth be known, Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption would have been a substantially different book in key places without your involvement, particularly (but not only) in the final unit, of course.

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