Inside Outside. From left, ready-to-color versions of “Oath of the Pond” by Koichiro Takagi and “Pizza Face” by Ohara Hale. (Photo: UnBeige)
It’s that time of year again, when even those who haven’t stepped inside a classroom for decades feel the unbearable urge to stock up on school supplies. Break out that fresh box of Crayolas—or Prismacolors or Copics—for Outside the Lines, out today from Perigee. This “artists’ coloring book for giant imaginations” is the brainchild of Souris Hong-Porretta, who gathered line drawings (most commissioned especially for this book) by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Exene Cervenka, Gary Baseman, Ryan McGinness, Jen Corace, and 100 other creative masterminds ranging from animators to video game artists. We asked Hong-Porretta, a self-desciribed “art enthusiast, idea enabler, and yay-maker” to tell us more about the colorful project.
What led you to create Outside the Lines?
My daughter, Lulu! She has lots and lots of coloring books and I noticed that she had a preference for coloring books with illustrations by established artists such as Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. After watching her scribble outside the lines of a Moebius coloring book, I thought it’d be cool if she could color artwork by our creative cabal so I wrote a list of folks I knew and one by one asked them if they would contribute work for a coloring book. I had several dozen yeses in a short amount of time—enough to motivate me to write a book proposal. The rest came together rather quickly.
How did you select the artists whose work you wanted to include?
Nearly all the artists included in the book are personal friends. Some very old, some newer. A few are friends of friends. But nearly every artist in the book has a relationship with me by way of previous projects or a social tie. Also, because I had once worked for a lifestyle magazine called, Tokion, I was able to call upon friends I had made from the ’90s, before they were rockstar photographers, illustrators, fine artists, graffiti artists, musicians, and much more.
And what were their responses like?
The responses came in quickly and were overwhelming positive. Many of the artists have children of their own and were stoked to participate. IMEUS, an illustrator and poster artist from the UK let me know, “I have made my kids really proud!” while other artists were happily reminded of coloring from their own childhoods and happy to hop aboard.
Do you have a favorite of the contributions you received?
While I’m grateful to all the artists who contributed artwork, I’m sentimental about the Keith Haring piece I received from the Keith Haring Foundation. I have one tattoo on my body and its one of his angel babies. It’s nearly two decades old and I still love it. The Haring Foundation has funded many children’s programs, and I plan to donate a percentage of any proceeds I make from Outside the Lines to a children’s art organization.
Lulu loves the profile her artist-dad [Silvio Porretta] drew of her for the book because she recognizes herself. And she loves the artwork that doesn’t look like artwork. You’ll know what that means when you pop open the book and start coloring!