Ten poems and ten illustrations for you to color.
Two women in two countries separated by the Atlantic.
A poet and an illustrator dreaming hard.
The poems in the book are about intimacy and what happens when you don’t put up walls and choose instead to be vulnerable.
What I have to give are my words and my understanding of the world, which I have spent pretty much my whole life cultivating, even before I knew it.
Adult coloring books are trending, and I think I know why. Coloring is a low-energy, potentially high-output activity that can be all sorts of things—stress-relieving, fun, relaxing, igniting creative juices, and plenty of other reasons. The high output I am referring to is that people tend to walk away from a coloring session calmer and sharper because of the way the brain has to works in the process.
To be perfectly honest, I came up with this idea because I was reading one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, and I thought about what a beautiful experience it would be to be able to have images to color along with her poems. She doesn't have any coloring books to go with her poems (nor does almost anyone), so being a poet myself, I decided not to waste a great idea; I would make a coloring book with my own poems.
The idea and the poems have been cooking in my brain for some time, but I wasn’t in a rush because I wanted to find the right illustrator for the project. Thanks to the immense world of social media, I stumbled upon the Instagram of Barcelona artist Claudia Sahuquillo in the past months, where she has a project called #skinisthenewcanvas, and I have just been fascinated by her work. One of the reasons I found her was because her project has some clear similarities to my physiopoetry project Skin on Sundays. I write poetry on people’s bodies and Claudia paints on people’s bodies. Other than just being in love with Claudia’s work as a painter and illustrator, that artistic commonality between us lit a bulb in my brain that wouldn’t shut off until I wrote to her asking if she was interested in collaborating with me on this coloring book mission.
When she said YES, I did more than a few happy dances, both with my feet and my heart, and now here we are! Claudia will be taking each of my poems and creating a visual interpretation, which you will then be able to color. So, aside from the project being a really cool mix of the brains of two artists, Claudia and myself, aside from the fact that I alone am so excited to see what she creates from my poems, there is this interactive element that coloring necessitates from readers that adds many others into the mix of creation here.
I’m not sure what the meaning of life is, but I do know that bringing creative energy together like this and making something tangible from it is something that makes me feel whole. So, that is what I have to do in my life in general, and that is exactly what I am doing here with this project.
What’s even more, Rad Press Publishing is already lined up to design and publish the book when it’s ready, and they are thrilled to be a part of this awesome endeavor.
The only thing left standing in the way is money, which is where you come in:
- If you love the idea of the project and can’t wait to get your hands on this innovative, multimedia work of visual and intellectual art/poetry, please donate.
- If you don’t have any interest in poetry or coloring books but just want to support an artist that you love (me! or Claudia! or both!), please donate.
- If you are not financially stable and need all the money you have for other things, please share the project, because maybe someone you know will be excited about it.
We love you and thank you so much in advance for your generosity.
This coloring book is something beautiful Claudia and I can add to the universe, something that will connect with people, something that can maybe turn a bad day into a good one, an angry/crazy/stressed/overwhelmed mood into a calm one, feelings of despair into something even a little more manageable.
We are so excited to get started on it!
p.s. The title of the book has not been decided yet, and in the spirit of crowdsourcing and collaboration, we have decided to include backers in the process of deciding the title. As the campaign runs, there will be updates with regard to the title decision-making process. If you want a say, your voice will be heard :)
So, who are we exactly?
I am Jessica Lakritz. I published my first book of poetry, You Had Me At Topography, last year. I am also the creator of what I have dubbed Skin on Sundays, a project where I write poems on people’s bodies, poems I write based on the very canvases they are written on. A new episode is published every Sunday and has been since November 2015. Also, I publish tons of other physiopoetry creations on my Instagram page @skinonsundays. I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but since then I have lived in 9 other cities internationally. Right now, I am semi-permanently based in Mexico City. You can also check out the following links for my personal website and articles I’ve either written myself or have been written/produced about my work:
Some examples of my Skin on Sundays project:
And HERE IS CLAUDIA!
Claudia Sahuquillo is an illustrator, painter, fellow feminist, lover of words, and lover of love. She is from Valencia, Spain, but has since relocated to Barcelona. Her work for her project #skinisthenewcanvas has in the last years BLOWN UP on social media because of her incredible creativity and talent. So many (really so many) publications have featured her work, including The Huffington Post, Self, Refinery29, Cultura Colectiva, Metro, and tons more. You can also find her here, where she showcases and sells her hand-painted clothing, prints of her work, and takes commissions for personalized art.
Some examples of Claudia's work:
~ $1000 book creation costs/ publishing fees
~ $1000 rewards fulfillment (e.g. printing/shipping to backers)
Risks and challenges
As mentioned, the book is a work in progress, and Claudia won't start drawing until funding has been reached. That being said, the timeline for publication is uncertain, but I anticipate the book will be ready by anywhere from April-June, just in time for summer reading/relaxation ;)
You'll be in the loop about any delays or complications.
Also, please note that the price of the signed copy of the coloring book reflects the fact that Claudia and I live in different countries, so getting it signed by both of us will require extra shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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