CHS Artist Takes Aim On Gun Laws  

Michelle Roehm McCanns new book about how students can join the fight for gun safety with illustrations by Cleveland student Katie Hill.

Clarion photo Courtesy of Michelle McCann

Michelle Roehm McCann’s new book about how students “can join the fight for gun safety” with illustrations by Cleveland student Katie Hill.

By Rael Wendrow, Arts Editor

Katie Hill, a sophomore at Cleveland, was published on Oct. 8 as the illustrator for the book, Enough Is Enough: How Students Can Join the Fight for Gun Safety by author and Cleveland mom, Michelle McCann.

The book was written as a handbook for the younger generation, as a tool for information and how they can use their voices to change the world. It explains the issues of gun violence in America — both myths and facts; perpetrators, causes, solutions; and a map for the way to make activism effective.  

McCann had looked for something about this issue that was written for young adults, but turned up with nothing. She then began to write the book after hearing about the Parkland shooting back in 2017. When asked why, McCann said, “I wrote the book because I was frustrated by the lack of reform of gun laws.” 

 Hill and McCann’s daughter have been friends for a long time, and had seen some of her art on birthday cards. What specifically interested McCann in having Hill be the illustrator, was her style.

“She gave my daughter several pieces of her artwork over the years, including some hand-lettered pieces. Since I wanted a lot of hand-lettered protest signs in the book, and also the book is about teens taking action on the gun issue, Katie seemed like the perfect artist for the book,” McCann said. 

Hill had to apply like any adult illustrator, and had submitted a portfolio. Upon looking at Hill’s portfolio, both McCann and the publisher agreed she was the one to illustrate the book.

Of all the pieces of work that Hill drew for the book, she said, “A few portraits were hard to draw but the choosing wasn’t hard.” She had also mentioned that there weren’t any pieces that she didn’t submit, and that she was content with her work. “Some of the portraits weren’t my favorite, but overall I’m satisfied.” 

Hill is a sophomore at Cleveland, in the arts department, and in a journalism class. She is working with Jan Watt, the special projects coordinator, to start up a chapter of the group Students Demand Action. “It is a national organization that works with state senators and representatives to pass legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people,” Hill said about the club. 

She doesn’t know if she’ll enter into a professional career in illustration, but both her parents are proud of her and will support whatever she decides. McCann had enjoyed working with Hill, and when asked about working with her again Mc

Cann said, “I would love to work with Katie again, and totally expect to. If she doesn’t get too famous first!”