A Saskatchewan artist is giving people a chance to colour the province.
Jason Sylvestre, born and raised in Regina, is out with his latest book, Colour Saskatchewan.
Over the year’s Sylvestre has helped illustrate a number of books with a Saskatchewan theme, including the bestsellers You Might Be From Saskatchewan If and Strange Saskatchewan.
Sylvestre said he’s done a lot of artwork for these books including drawing famous people and places. He said it just felt like a colouring book was a natural fit and was something he’d always wanted to try.
“I think as an artist you have to always be challenging yourself to try new things, different things. We have such a unique and beautiful province … it really lent itself well to a coloring book,” he said.
Sylvestre said the transition between drawing cartoons to drawing something for a colouring book was intimidating. He said with cartooning, it’s high volume so you’re putting out quite a few pictures in a short amount of time and the level of detail can be very different.
“When you go from that to nearly photo realistic [for the colouring book] it’s a little bit intimidating … as an artist I have a background where I’ve also done caricature work and portrait stuff so I was able to borrow from some of those skills to allow me to do the colouring book as a whole,” he continued.
Sylvestre wanted to showcase the entire province in the book, from the North to the South, to show how interesting Saskatchewan is. With over 100 images in mind he had to dwindle that number down to 73.
He decided to focus on four themes including: the history of the province including homesteads and the RCMP, famous people from Saskatchewan, including John Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan’s landscape and animals, Saskatchewan’s towns and cities.
A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Creative Kids, a program that helps remove the financial barriers to allow kids to get involved in arts and culture. Sylvestre said it’s similar to KidsSport where it helps families that otherwise couldn’t afford lessons for their kids.
Sylvestre became involved with the program about six years ago. He said Creative Kids has helped thousands and thousands of kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get in and experience arts and culture.
“To me it was a natural fit, helping get kids reading, drawing and dancing, playing instruments, they’re the future, if we can’t get them inspired and out there creating then we’re going to have a very dull future,” he said.
He said he wanted to help raise awareness and funds for the program so that every kid has the ability to channel their creativity and to give them an opportunity that may turn their life around.
“Even if you can help one child do that I think that’s a huge win for society,” Sylvestre said.
Colour Saskatchewan is available on Amazon, at Indigo, Chapters, Coles, McNally Robinson and Barns and Noble.
On Twitter: @sarahthesquid
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