John Amato, founder of popular local screen printing company Jupmode, has teamed up with his wife, artist and teacher Maura Meyers Amato, to create a hand-drawn coloring book full of Toledo landmarks. The Toledo City Paper met with Maura to learn more about the book “You Will do better in Toledo”.
How did the idea for this project come about?
The coloring book was John’s idea. He became interested in the concept after experimenting with interactive paint-by-number style murals. Since my work is mostly black and white, it was a natural transition to coloring book illustrations. We chose what to include in the book by asking family and friends. We tried to choose places from different regions of Toledo that were compositionally interesting. We wanted to choose places with historical significance, culturally relevant and indigenous establishments that would make people proud of our area.
How did you work with Jupmode on this project?
I spent two to three hours per drawing plus additional time collecting reference images. Jupmode then took care of the page layout, organization and other logistics. It makes a great gift and conversation piece for anyone who flips through it.
Compare the process of making a coloring book and the process to make a mural?
The coloring book and wall painting processes are pretty similar. Both start with a true-to-scale drawing of the subject with a pen. A mural goes one step further when it is projected and then painted on a wall. Conceptually, narrowing down the list of places to include in the book was a big challenge.
How does the coloring book illustrate the message of “You will do better in Toledo”?
This coloring book shows how “You Do Better in Toledo” and gives reasons to want to be here! Great metroparks that allow us to explore the Ohio countryside, historic sites to explore and admire, local businesses we love to support, sporting events that bring family and friends together, schools that help shape our worldview. The completion of this book was a great reminder for me of how lucky we are to have all of these fantastic resources on hand. I hope these illustrations remind us of what a great community of people and places we have here.
The $ 18 coloring books can be purchased online at jupmode.com, in retail stores, 2022 Adams St., and The Art Supply Depo, 29 S St. Clair St..