Block Fest Activator: How to Make a Coloring Book (Like Us)

Block Fest Activator: How to Make a Coloring Book (Like Us)

This is how my co-artists and I started and completed our first coloring book. To begin, we asked the larger questions then focused on the technicalities and details.

Large questions are, for example, what is your message or general theme for the book? What do you want to say or share with your audience? We wanted to engage the Tenderloin community specifically on Turk Street. We decided that site specific imagery would do the trick. Then we wanted to present it in a unique way since buildings and iconic imagery are ubiquitous. We decided on a magical flare to the TL and from there our artwork evolved.

While creating the illustrations we always kept in mind that each image had to have simple lines and designs. The personalization and interpretation will come from the colorist. Not too far from what comic book artists do, bringing the page to life.

Just one of our brainstorming and sketching sessions.

Just one of our brainstorming and sketching sessions.

After brainstorming, sketches, first and second drafts, and greasy late night pizzas, it was time to put it all together. This can be where technology and technicality is useful. We chose scanning in our images into an artist computer program such as Art Illustrator or Photoshop. From there we fine tuned the lines and sharpened the contrast. Then we sized and formatted the pages into a layout of our choosing and folded the paper into a small coloring book. There is more than one way to produce the book. Simply photocopying, cutting, and stapling and/or folding will work. If you have the time, skill, and resources create prints of the coloring book by carving rubber stamps or use the silk screen process. Txutxo Perez, a fellow activator will be demonstrating the silk screen process first Friday in October and May.

For our main Block Fest activity we enlarged our small coloring book into the giant one that will be presented this Friday, 3-5pm. We are keeping the creation of that a secret (you have to come tomorrow!).

All you need to create your very own coloring book is time, inspiration, practice, imagination, and most importantly social support. I couldn’t have done this without my dedicated team (family) of artists.

Our finished coloring books.

Our finished coloring books.

Hannah Boles is a Block Fest Artist Activator and preschool teacher. Her coloring book activity will occur at CounterPulse Friday, September 1, 3-5pm.

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