Coloring books have an undeniable appeal that has lasted more than a century since they were first introduced in the 1880s.
What’s not to like? For both children and adults, coloring books give us the opportunity to select our own palette, engage in a relaxing activity, and decorate illustrations of things we find appealing. In the past decade, grownups have realized that kids shouldn’t be the only ones having this kind of fun.
“I think people were craving a digital detox. Social media, smart phones, rolling news — all these things make us constantly connected to the world, never really focusing on something for an extended period of time and always distracted by pings or notifications or screens,” said Johanna Basford on NPR’s All Things Considered. “Coloring gives people an accessible way to be creative and treat themselves to some digital detox time.”
Kenosha’s own Studio Moonfall has taken all those good things about coloring, both the relaxing adult activity and classic child’s play, and gave it a wonderful local flavor.
Donovan Scherer, the owner of the indie book and curiosity shop, has published 154 books including 13 coloring books. That line features everything from goblins (his most recent) to his popular local business books, the Color of Kenosha series. All are available at his shop, 5031 Seventh Ave. Scherer’s products can also be found at the Studio Moonfall booth most Saturdays at Kenosha HarborMarket.
“The Color of Kenosha book is really popular among adults. I’ve had lots of parents buying them for kids who have moved out of town or are away for college,” Scherer said. “Most of my other coloring books are full of monsters or fun creatures so those are great for kids.”
Scherer is all about bringing creativity to Kenosha, and toward that goal he has two community involvement projects available now that include everyone from pre-schoolers to business owners.
The Color of Kenosha 2021 Coloring Contest is in full swing, and at the same time the newest edition of Color of Kenosha local attraction coloring book is open for business entries.
“Since Studio Moonfall has a bit of something for everyone at the shop, we’ve got to make sure they can have their fun with the contest,” Scherer said.
Participants can find their favorite local businesses in the Summer of 2020, Winter Wonders 2020 and Summer of 2021 editions of the Color of Kenosha coloring books and get started.
“For getting your hands on coloring pages, you can use the Color of Kenosha coloring books (available at Studio Moonfall or any of the participating businesses if they still have them), you can print them for free, or stop by Studio Moonfall to get a free coloring page to use,” Scherer said.
The contest is open to all and is divided into age groups for prizes: 6-and-under, ages 7-10, ages 11-14, ages 15-18, and 18-and-over.
Prizes include a $250 local business package sponsored by Happenings Magazine, and age group winners will receive a set of any three coloring books by Studio Moonfall. Complete prize information is available on the contest website.
Entries will be judged by a panel of “local artsy people with really great taste and a discerning eye for coloring,” Scherer said. “So far, we’re bringing in judges from some of our favorite local artsy spots — Lemon Street Gallery, Hot Mess Studios, and American Vengeance Tattoo Company.”
Entries are beginning to roll in, and Scherer said he’s pleased with the response so far but hopes for much more. A busy summer filled with guest authors, a Ren Faire garb swap and other special events has wrapped up and the focus turns to the coloring contest and books in the works.
“This isn’t the first contest we’ve done but definitely the biggest since we get to include all the businesses that have been in the Color of Kenosha coloring book,” Scherer said. “In the past, we’ve done some smaller coloring contests and even a “Design-Your-Own-ZomBean” contest where kids would make up their own zombie bean, one of our funnest monsters at Studio Moonfall.”
Coloring contest guidelines are as follows:
- Entries will be judged based on creativity, neatness, and originality.
- One entry per person.
- Be sure to include the participant’s name and age, parent/guardian name, cell phone number, address, and email address.
- Entries can be submitted at Studio Moonfall, 5031 Seventh Avenue. Check our website or Facebook page for store hours. there us also a dropbox available.
- The winners will be contacted by email or phone and announced on the Studio Moonfall Facebook Page and Email Newsletter. Winners and artwork will be displayed on our Facebook page, website and newsletter.
- To enter, color your page and submit it using this form. All entries must be submitted by Sept. 30.
Color Your Business
Up to 50 local businesses will be featured in the upcoming Winter 2021 edition of the Color of Kenosha coloring book. Some slots remain, and there is still time for businesses and organizations to be included, Scherer said.
Participants receive a custom illustration for their business, and Studio Moonfall is teaming with The Lettering Machine to have artwork added to T-shirts and other apparel, according to Scherer.
Interested businesses and organizations can sign up here and also may contact Scherer for more information. The tentative deadline is Sept. 17.