EAST LIVERPOOL - In 2003, when Craig Wetzel's daughter Allison was only 9, the artist painted "Allison's World," a small-town landscape featuring all the landmarks in her life at that time - McDonald's, Bruster's, the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association clock tower.
Now, nine years later, Wetzel has done it again, only on a much larger scale. Wetzel, 47, was hired recently to do the East Liverpool Area Illustrated Map, a joint project of The Review and its sister newspaper, the Lisbon Morning Journal.
The colorful, 27-by-40-inch map is a special advertising project that features 127 local businesses pictured among the distinctive geographic features of the East Liverpool area.
The East Liverpool Area Illustrated Map is available to the public for free, while supplies last, at The Review, the Morning Journal, the East Liverpool, Wellsville and St. Clair Township chambers of commerce, the Chester City Building, and the Homer Laughlin China Co.
"We wanted to produce a map that was both engaging and fun to look at," said Review Publisher Tammie McIntosh. "Craig was the obvious choice because of his passion and enthusiasm for his art and our community."
Wetzel has been active as a local artist since the mid-1980s. When asked to do the map project, he approached it the same way he has done other maps. "Basically, it's doodling," he said.
Wetzel was given the names of all the businesses that bought space on the map and created a pencil drawing of each one. He then scanned in the image and filled in the color using Photoshop.
"I put all the images on the same file and added the background - trees, brick streets, vehicles," he said. "We wanted to do one that was a little more artistic."
Wetzel notes that nothing on the map is to scale, but that doesn't mean it's not realistic. "Geographically speaking, some things are out of alignment, but Chester is on the right side of the river, and Wellsville is in the right place," he said.
Review Advertising Director Lisa Ludovici said the idea for the map promotion came from a sister newspaper, The Daily Press in Escanaba, Mich. "Most businesses were very excited about it," she said. "We sold it all in two weeks. The enthusiasm was there from the beginning."
Each participating business received 15 copies. The map also is available to the public for free, while supplies last, at: The Review, the Morning Journal, the East Liverpool, Wellsville and St. Clair Township chambers of commerce, the Chester City Building, and the Homer Laughlin China Co.
The map will be developed into a jigsaw puzzle in the fall.