Book Illustrations



Are you an aspiring author? We have created illustrations for several books including Tom Elpel’s “Five Months on the Missouri,” maps for Moose Henderson’s “50 Florida Wildlife Hotspots,” and scientific illustrations for the famous book “Microhitological Atlas of Greater Yellowstone Elk Forage: Atlas for the Microscopical Analysis of Diet” by Moose Henderson, and have several more book illustration contracts in the works. We can provide high detail, easily reproduced pen and ink illustrations from your reference photos that add an additional layer of quality and detail to your text. For this, we specialize in black and white pen and ink, to help keep printing costs down for you. These are great additions to chapter breaks, cover pages, and general spacers throughout your book.

J. Walitalo Woodburning: Highlights from the First Five Years

by Joanna Walitalo

This book is the collected images of Joanna Walitalo’s first five years of woodburning artwork. Pyrography, the use of heat or fire to create an image, is an uncommon and sometimes under-appreciated media in the art world and commonly considered more of a craft. Joanna, like many other Midwest kids, was given a craft wood-burner when she was young, tried it once or twice, burnt herself and subsequently put it away. Many years later, she picked it up again, and this time stuck with it, pushing herself to create high detail, realistic artwork. Her professional background in biology, environmental policies and forestry led her to the idea of incorporating what she had learned about wood products into this unique art form, using her skills as an artist to spread the message of love, beauty and respect for the environment and our natural resources. The concept that all of her work is done on scrap wood builds an ethic of recycling into each piece of art.

Always Paddle Your Own Canoe

by Christa Denofre

Christa and Nate Denofre, from Ishpeming Michigan, canoed the Mississippi River in the summer of 2020, amidst the Covid pandemic. Among their adventures on the river, they experienced the riots in Minneapolis (which was still smoking) and hurricane Laura, (which they rode out on the Atchafalaya). This heroic true story is one of overcoming physical, mental, and spiritual challenges, and should inspire all of us.

Joanna loves working with this great team and has had the opportunity to illustrate many scenes from their great reference phots, to help bring you along during their journey. Joann’s goal is to accurately and clearly define images in an easily reproducible, book-friendly format, and add value to the book.



50 Florida Wildlife Hotspots: A Guide for Photographers and Wildlife Enthusiasts

by Moose Henderson

Learn the best places to find and photograph wildlife with 50 Florida Wildlife Hotspots. Finding wildlife in Florida can be tough but this guide makes it easy. You will find exactly where and when to go to find the animals you are looking for.

Joanna never saw map illustrations as something she would be known for, but this book is profusely illustrated with maps for almost every location! In this day and age of google maps and instant tracking, there is something calming and pleasing to go back to the hand drawn maps that are reminiscent of the old days. The challenge of simplifying complex information into simple black and white patterns, and still creating an aesthetically pleasing image, along with consistency throughout the project has been a true joy.

The Language of Cottonwoods: Essays on the Future of North Dakota 

by Clay Jenkinson

Join Clay Jenkinson as he searches for spirit of place, cultural identity, sacred landscapes, and a future for rural America at the center of the continent, where Lewis and Clark wintered, Sitting Bull resisted the conquest, and Theodore Roosevelt become America’s leading conservationist and the exemplar of the strenuous life.

This book includes 6 illustrations from Joanna Walitalo. Clay had seen her illustrations from Elpel’s book, and wanted something similar in style, so he reached out to her. This was the first time Joanna attempted to draw realistic pictures depicting a scene without clear reference photos, but rather from sample photos associated with clear instructions on how the picture should depict the object from different angles and focus on different features than the ample photos could provide.

Five Months on the Missouri River: Paddling a Dugout Canoe

by Thomas Elpel

Tom’s story of adventure in Montana involved carving and paddling a dugout canoe along the Missouri River like the famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Author Tom Elpel was privileged to live out this long-time dream when he connected with Churchill Clark, the great-great-great-great grandson of Captain Clark. Tom led a five-month “Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery” expedition, paddling this 2,341-mile trail from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri.

Joanna Walitalo was privileged to help illustrate this beautiful coffee table book, including depicting maps and images from the journey. This was the first book illustration that she was contracted as a professional artist, rather than as a friend, to illustrate, and she loved the process and the problem solving associated with the idea of a larger scale project.

Create Intimacy and Impact with Wildlife Photography: Use and DIY Construction of Ground Pods

by Moose Henderson

Many birds and animals are small; shooting at eye level will increase intimacy, create an emotional connection between the subject and viewer and improve the background of the image. The first section will describe use of ground pods for wildlife photography. The second section is profusely illustrated guide for construction of two ground pods.

Moose is more than a dear friend, we here at the Walitalo residence consider him family. We often team up to add value to each other’s work, and this small book not only features Joanna Walitalo’s illustrations, but also features photography by James Walitalo, alongside Moose Henderson’s professional photography.

Microhistological Atlas of Greater Yellowstone Elk Forage

by Moose Henderson

Atlas of microscopical characteristics of graminoids (grasses), forbs, shrubs and trees commonly found in the diet of elk. Also useful for analysis of other animals with similar diets.

This was the very first book Joanna Walitalo had the privilege to add illustrations to, and she drew several scientific illustrations to clearly depict aspects of the microscopic features that did not show up well in photos. Although Joanna has done many scientific illustrations for fun, and always thought she would focus most of her art toward scientific illustration, this is, to date, the only scientific illustration that she has been contracted to do.

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