For WELS World Missions

Lydia Kratz (Birmingham, Alabama USA)

About the presenter

Lydia Kratz, a junior Studio Arts major, has worked for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, JJJaspersen Studios, and Bethany Lutheran College as an illustrator, painter, and designer. She says, "Illustration is my calling, and because God has blessed me with this gift, I will use it to serve Him."

[The Christ in Media Institute (CMI) at Bethany Lutheran College instituted a "Fellowship of CMI" to recognize and encourage Bethany students pursuing academic projects in harmony with the goals of the Christ in Media Institute, that is, to employ media to spread the Gospel. Lydia was recognized as a Fellow of CMI in the spring of 2023. Here she describes her work. — The Editor]


My name is Lydia Kratz, and I work for WELS World Missions. My job, along with many other young Christian artists, is to illustrate Bible stories for Sunday schools around the world. The places we have been commissioned by so far have been Zambia and Vietnam. I started illustrating for Zambia at the beginning of summer 2022, and for Vietnam before summer 2023. While this project has been happening, I have had the opportunity to illustrate stories like Creation, Noah's Ark, Jericho, and Jesus' Birth.

The process of making these illustrations is one that has become a routine. We start with choosing a story. The churches that request these images have specific schedules of stories they want us to illustrate. I pick the story I want to illustrate, and then I start researching. Our main source of fact comes from, of course, the Bible. The Word of God is the ultimate reference. As a reference for emphasis and explanation, we use Franzmann's Sunday School commentaries. Once the story has been researched, it is split up into panels in a sketching process. The illustrations call for two pages of panels, with about 3-4 panels per page. Once I know what I'm putting on each page, in each panel, I begin drawing with bold, black lines. This black-and-white lined version will become a coloring sheet for the people in the church. After that, I add color to the page, and turn it in to be sent to the churches and printed. Rinse and repeat.

Currently, these illustrations are being made specifically for the churches requesting them. There is limited access to these drawings, simply because they are currently in the process of being created.

I believe I am currently working my dream job. I am doing art that assists in the Christian mission to spread the Gospel. I am incredibly blessed to be able to do this.


Here are some slightly lesser quality jpegs of some of my favorite pages I've created for Vietnam, especially David and Noah. I've also included a sketch and lined version of The Great Catch Of Fish to help demonstrate the process.


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Hannah Lindholm 2023-10-16 10:21:12pm
You’re the best. I love you and I’m proud of you. What a cool thing you get to do.
Lydia Kratz 2023-11-06 7:55:18pm
Thank you, Hannah! I’m really glad you got to see this. I appreciate your encouragement.
Jas Lonnquist 2023-11-01 10:58:23am
What a great project. It's been many years, but I clearly remember many of the paintings and flannelgraphs used to illustrate the Bible in my childhood. They have impact and staying power. Continued blessings in your work!
Lydia Kratz 2023-11-06 7:56:06pm
Thank you, Jas! This is the most important thing I’ve been a part of, and I plan on continuing in it for as long as I can. Blessings!