In an effort to promote and uplift local creatives and their work, two Marietta artists are teaming up to produce a community coloring book. Meg Rataiczak and Zeb Dye, both tattoo artists who work with a variety of media, are calling upon artists in the Mid-Ohio Valley to submit artwork in their own style to be included in the collaborative publication. While they originally thought they would create a coloring book on their own, after diving in they decided to open it up and make it more of a community project.
“Zeb and I have wanted to put together a coloring book for about a year now, and when we finally started to draw for it, we realized how much work a full coloring book really is!” said Rataiczak. “One page is an effort, but an entire book is colossal when you’re also working full time.”
Local artists of all skill levels are invited to submit an 8” x 10” graphic along with their name and link to their digital portfolio, whether it’s a website, Facebook page, or Instagram account.
“We are super excited to uplift local art through this community coloring book because we both recognize the importance of creative connections and friends to be able to advance and develop artistically,” Rataiczak said. “We want this to be a way for the community to see how much creative potential is hidden within the MOV.”
While many industries have been hit hard by the pandemic, Rataiczak says the art community seems to be thriving. “A lot of part-time artists, or artists only pursing their art supplementally, were basically pushed to create more and market themselves better,” she said. “It gave a lot of artists I know more time to focus on their art, which let them grow in it.”
This coloring book is a great way to spotlight some of our local talent and engage with the community.Bobby Rosenstock
In fact, the Renaissance art movement in Europe occurred around the same time as the Black Plague, she pointed out.
Bobby Rosenstock, co-owner of Just A Jar Design + Press in Marietta, said he and his daughter are looking forward to participating. “This coloring book is a great way to spotlight some of our local talent and engage with the community. My 7-year old daughter, Elle, and I are excited to contribute drawings to the book and can’t wait to see the finished project.”
By turning the project into a community-wide effort, the Rataiczak and Dye hope to encourage their fellow artists and connect them with other area creatives. “Zeb and I are very appreciative and supportive of other artists and we feel grateful for the fact that we earn a living through creation and those who support it,” said Rataiczak. “Art is important for everyone, both on the giving and receiving end.”
All proceeds generated from selling the coloring book will benefit Marietta Main Street’s Public Art Committee to further community art initiatives in downtown Marietta. “Marietta Main Street’s Public Art Committee is giving the community more art, and we want to give the committee more to do so. Artists supporting art and other artists is the first step,” said Rataiczak.
Rosenstock, who also chairs the Public Art Committee, said the donation is greatly appreciated. “Public art is known to be a great way to enhance towns and cities,” he said. “It contributes to and strengthens a community’s identity, adds beauty to our public spaces, can share uplifting and positive messages, and often makes for a great photo op.”
Currently, the committee has two large vinyl murals, one on Front Street and one in Harmar Village, in the works. “We also have a large collaborative painted mural happening this fall, and hope to continue the momentum going forward. “We are looking to raise money for these projects through a variety of avenues, the proceeds from the coloring book will be a great help.”
An entire community of artists in one collective space is going to expose local artists to not only the community but to one another.Meg Rataiczak
The deadline for submitting artwork for inclusion is September 5th. Artists are encouraged to submit their artwork via email to Meg Rataiczak at firstname.lastname@example.org. While .png or .jpeg files are preferred, Rataiczak said those who do not have access to submitting a digital file can scan or drop off physical artwork to her at Monkey’s Uncle Tattoo in Harmar so that she can convert it into a suitable format.
To those considering submitting artwork, Rataiczak says go for it – period.
“While this community-wide project was created to enrich and support art in the community, I believe it will also be a great avenue for self-promotion for those contributing,” she said. “An entire community of artists in one collective space is going to expose local artists to not only the community but to one another, helping everyone to grow!”