The Nanaimo Beacon released today, March 24, a free downloadable colouring book mostly about COVID-19 response in the community. (Natasha Rozmarniewich illustration)

Vancouver Island website puts together colouring book for families that are social-distancing

Nanaimo Beacon works with artists on No One is an Island project

There are many shades of kindness and wellness emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nanaimo families can choose the colours themselves.

The Nanaimo Beacon, a mid-Island satire website that has turned its attention to community-building during the COVID-19 pandemic, released a free downloadable colouring book March 24.

No One is an Island was the work of the Beacon in partnership with illustrators Natasha Rozmarniewich, Brynn Gawley and Erin Gibbs, and includes colouring pages for both children and grown-ups.

“We thought parents could probably use some fun activities for their kids, and also perhaps a way to start talking to them about the pandemic,” the Beacon told the Bulletin via online messaging. “So, as I’m sure you’ve seen in the book, it’s from a kid’s point of view – them staying at home, washing their hands, as members of the Nanaimo community help their neighbours.”

Rozmarniewich, a first-year graphic design student at Vancouver Island University, said a family member let her know about the Beacon’s work opportunity for artists.

“I figured because I’m quarantined at the moment, I might as well see what was going on,” she said.

She said it was “definitely exciting” to work with the Beacon, which she’s followed pretty much since the satire site was launched.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo satire website connects community during COVID-19 pandemic

Rozmarniewich said the style of artwork is totally different than her usual drawings, which tend to be photo portraits created with graphite pencils.

“The nurse helping the patient was probably my favourite one, and there’s one where a young man’s helping an elderly lady with groceries. I really liked that idea when they told me about it,” Rozmarniewich said.

She said the Beacon had quite a few ideas for drawings, but also sought her input. Asked if it was hard to resist throwing in satirical elements into the colouring book, the Beacon said “satire’s kind of off the table for the time being.”

The Beacon said credit should go to the artists “who delivered amazing work” in a short period of time. Rozmarniewich liked hearing the positive feedback about the colouring book.

“It’s really heartwarming” she said. “Especially in the kind of scared climate we have right now, it makes me feel really nice that I was able to participate in that … It was a really good opportunity and I’m glad it’s able to make people feel a little better.”

For more information and to download the colouring book, click here.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo doctor concerned about COVID-19 ‘overpowering’ health-care system

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19

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