If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and you’ve picked up a local paper or walked into a local shop, you’ve most likely come across The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book by Katie Barron. Katie has been interviewed by 614 Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch, and her coloring book has also appeared in Columbus Alive.
The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book features hand-drawn illustrations of the most recognizable neighborhoods in Columbus. From German Village to the Short North, Katie’s illustrations showcase some of the best parts of Columbus.
We recently had a chat with Katie to talk about how her coloring book came to be, and what’s in store for her next.
CPL: Why did you decide to create The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book?
Katie: I love drawing cityscapes and I love Columbus, so this was a perfect combination. I was really surprised it hasn’t already been done! People are are really proud of this city now, everyone’s wearing Ohio T-shirts and we’re seeing things like WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods. If there was ever a good time to release a book like this, it’s now!
CPL: What was the creation process like?
Katie: First I took a ton of photographs of each neighborhood. Then I looked through all the photographs I took and mapped out the entire book. Then I drew everything with Rapidograph pens, scanned each drawing, and touched it up in Photoshop.
CPL: Why did you decide to self-publish vs. going the traditional route?
Katie: I like having control over the creative process and retaining the rights to all the images, but honestly I didn’t think there was another option! I also felt like it was important to publish locally, especially since it’s a book about Columbus.
CPL: Your book has received a ton of positive press around Columbus. Did you expect it to be this successful when you first decided to make the book a reality?
Katie: I hoped it would, I definitely believed in this book while I was making it. I didn’t expect it though, so I’ve been really excited about all the good press!
CPL: How does it feel when you pick up a newspaper or walk into a local shop and see your book?
Katie: I still get really excited! I always take photos on my phone and text my mom or boyfriend, they’ve got to be getting sick of it by now but I can’t help it! My favorite part though is these amazing emails and Facebook messages I’ve been getting from people who bought the book. They take the time to write these incredibly sweet messages about how they, their kids, their relatives or their friends enjoy my book. Sometimes people even send photos of them holding the book!
CPL: Besides Amazon.com, where can people pick up a copy of your coloring book?
Katie: Bink Davies, State & Third, The Wexner Store, Sean Christopher Gallery, What the Rock!?, Wholly Craft, Mary B’s Gift Shop and Celebrate Local.
CPL: Do you have any advice for illustrators who are interested in making their book ideas a reality?
Katie: Use the Internet! Any question you may have about publishing (or almost anything), someone has probably already answered online. This is how I did it. I just read about other people’s experiences and different opinions, and then decided for myself what the best plan/strategy was for me. It was a lot of reading and it was kind of boring, but I think that’s the best way to do it.
CPL: What’s next for you?
Katie: Right now I’m halfway through working on The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book Part II. The title is even longer this time! This book will feature Olde Towne East, Victorian Village, Italian Village, and The University District. I have a couple other exciting projects that have come from The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book, but unfortunately I can’t talk about them yet.
Katie is a great author to work with, and we can’t wait to see her next project. If you’re interested in making your book a reality, we invite you to contact us by clicking here. Our editors and designers work closely with each author to ensure each project is a success.