Illustrated by local artist Sadie Kern, the Cincinnati Botanical Coloring Book features images of classic symbols of Cincinnati—the Sing The Queen City sign, Skyline Chili, and Grippos chips, to name a few—peppered with flowers of all shapes and sizes. The only thing that’s missing is the color, which is to be added by the reader, of course.
“I thought it would be cool to have local flowers alongside local businesses,” says Kern, who was originally inspired to make the book after talking to a friend who had recently started a community flower garden.
Kern, who now resides in Covington, has lived in the Cincinnati area for her whole life. Her parents, along with her art teacher at Mother of Mercy High School, nurtured her interest in art from a young age. They eventually encouraged her to attend UC’s DAAP program, where she honed her skills in digital art. Much of the coloring book, which is available on Amazon, serves as an homage to her parents and the city that raised her.
“A lot of it revolves around my parents,” Kern says, “my mother’s gardening, and my dad’s love of the food and buildings here.” Many of the illustrated flowers in the book were sketched using photos of her mother’s flower garden for reference. “I thought it would be a really cool way to honor them,” she says, “but also to give back to the community.”
Aside from creating coloring books, Kern also frequently takes commissions for personalized digital portraits. “Since my art is personal, I want to get to know you,” she writes on her website. “I will ask you about hobbies, interests, sports, and things like that.” Kern uses this input as inspiration for each customer’s portrait, often illustrating her subjects wearing their favorite baseball team’s jersey, surrounded by their favorite albums, or holding their beloved pets.
“I love art and the ability it gives me to take how you envision yourself and others in your mind and bring them to life on paper,” Kern writes on her website. “Art is love and I am trying to spread as much of it around as possible!”