Inspired by the growing trend around adult coloring books, Scott Widmeyer and Alan Yount recently created and launched, “A Walk Around Nantucket.” The 52-page book includes 19 iconic scenes from around the island — lighthouses, rose-covered cottage, Bartlett’s farm stand, windmill and more — and also includes 16 postcards ready to be colored and mailed to friends and family. As part of the Nantucket Book Festival, the new coloring book will be featured in the Local Author’s Tent on June 18.
How did you come up with the idea of a Nantucket coloring book? Early last year, we began to see the growing popularity around adult coloring books. They were beginning to trend as best sellers and more and more people were talking about them. Then, we were vacationing on Saint Barth’s and walked into a bookstore where we saw the wonderful work of a local artist who had created a coloring book of the gorgeous beaches there. As we looked through the book, we began to wonder if our other favorite island, Nantucket, had a coloring book that we could enjoy, too. When we realized it didn’t have its own coloring book, we thought that there was no reason why we could not create one capturing Nantucket’s iconic scenes.
Who chose the island locations in the drawings? We were really fortunate to find artist Paul McCarthy and commission him to work with us on the book. Paul has been on the island for 30-plus years and loves and knows this place like no one else. He is well-known for his quarterboards and other carvings all over the island, including Nantucket Whaling Museum’s beautiful “Going on the Whale” carving over its entrance. We asked him to create 22 sketches that would truly represent what you might see on a walk around the island. He came up with the perfect renderings. From there, we worked with a great editor and designer to develop “A Walk Around Nantucket.”
Do you live on the island? We have owned a home on Nantucket for three years, and have been vacationing here for more than 25 years. We spend about one-third of the year here, and plan to spend even more time in the near future.
What do you hope users will take away from the coloring book experience? First of all, we just want people to enjoy the book and the amazing drawings that Paul has created. It’s a really beautiful object that has the feel of a coffee table book. Secondly, we want to get people — longtime residents to new visitors — to interact with Nantucket in a new way with these great scenes. Of course, there is also all the interest in coloring as a way to relax. We hope that people will disconnect from their digital devices, slow down, and lose themselves in coloring.
“A Walk Around Nantucket” is available at numerous island locations as well as on Amazon. Proceeds from the sale of every book go directly to charitable causes through the Community Foundation for Nantucket. $39.99. firstname.lastname@example.org.