ALMA — Alma College Assistant Professor of Art and Design Jillian Dickson has illustrated two recently published books.

“Sweet Sand Traditions” and “Doodled Definitions” were published in November and December 2023, respectively, by B.O.W. Publishing.

“Sand Traditions” is a children’s story, written by author Sara Wildhaber, where extended family come together for a beach vacation. “Definitions” is a collection of odd and obscure words, along with their definitions and illustrations from Dickson that further define the word with visuals.

“I’m so proud to have these works completed” Dickson said. “In very different ways, these are both personally meaningful works. At the same time, I hope that they resonate with audiences, inspiring emotions like nostalgia, peace, humor and fun.”

Dickson drew on her childhood summers with family at Rockaway Point, New York, for inspiration when creating the illustrations for “Sand Traditions,” going as far as to use family photos for reference points. The book is a collaboration with Wildhaber, a personal friend.

“I tend to make most of my drawings personal, so the family members drawn in the book are my own family members, or childhood memories at the beach,” Dickson said.

While “Sand Traditions” was in the production stages, Dickson said, she got the idea for “Doodled Definitions.” It’s intended to be a book for visual learners, like herself. “I appreciate the precision and beauty of language, and often hope for visual information to help deepen comprehension.

WIth a main character who is described as “humorous and goofy, and a little awkward … kind of like a self-portrait,” Dickson defines more than 70 words — including “expergefactor,” “ultracrepidarian,” and “acatalepsy” — with interesting and unusual pen and ink illustrations.

“I love writing down words that I don’t hear often but have such an exact meaning,” Dickson said. “I collect those words, and then for me to fully digest the word — to really understand its meaning — I draw an illustration of the word. It helps with comprehension.”

“Sweet Sand Traditions” is available through Ballyhoo Books and Brew, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and Amazon. “Doodled Definitions” is available through Ballyhoo Books and Brew, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.