A call for Arkansas illustrators, artists, and creative folks: Take part in The Arkansas Coloring Book, coming in July

Please help us get the word out and forward this to your artist and illustrator friends and colleagues.


The Arkansas Times wants to join with artists in an effort that will make money for both of us during the tough economic times inflicted on us by the COVID-19 crisis. Our idea: to collaborate on The Arkansas Coloring Book. It won’t make either of us rich, but it will make a tiny bit of money and give artists some publicity.

Why a coloring book? Because we’re staying home more and bored. Because we need to distract our kids. Because for adults, coloring can be a form of meditation. Some adults will not want to stay within the lines. (Those will mostly be Arkansas Times readers.) And 100 years from now, people will look back at the vintage books they find in the attic and exclaim, “Main Street looked like that?!” Or “I wonder where that sculpture was?!” Or “Weren’t these artists fantastic!” Or “I wonder why Granny didn’t stay in the lines?”


Here’s how it will work:

The Arkansas Coloring Book will be Arkansas-themed. You decide the subject of the illustration you want to submit. Make it in black and white so an adult or kid can color it. You can make it a single illustration, a cartoon panel, a scenic location, a local landmark, it’s up to you. You can relate it to the quarantine if you like.  But in some way connect and represent your hometown or an Arkansas theme. The Arkansas Times staff will select the illustrations for the book, which will include 30 drawings.


We will promote The Arkansas Coloring Book on arktimes.com (700,000 unique monthly visitors), in our publications (the Arkansas Times magazine, Savvy Kids magazine, Arkansas Wild and Bike Arkansas), on Facebook (50,000-plus followers) and Instagram. Lots of promotion, in other words.

We will split revenue (minus hard expenses) 50-50 between the Arkansas Times and the artists. Several Arkansas-owned bookstores and gift shops have expressed an interest in the book and in those cases, we will split the wholesale price. We will publish in July and send you a check monthly for your share. We think we can sell the book as a fundraiser for about $30 but we are still working on the pricing.

In these tough times, we’ve seen the many ways people have reached out to help those who are struggling economically. We believe that includes local, independent journalism and Arkansas artists helping to create this unique piece of Arkansiana.

How to enter: Please email your illustration (black and white only) in an EPS or PDF file to mandykeener@arktimes.com. The entry deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, May 29. The book will feature your illustration on an 8-by-10-inch page.


Please provide the name you would like to have as credit, plus your website, twitter handle, Instagram handle, and anything else you would like to include for folks to reach you. Please also send a three- or four-sentence sentence bio of yourself along with a photo if possible for our contributor page. Be sure and include your address so we can mail you the monthly check.

Many thanks!