Have you ever imagined you were Michelangelo or another famous artist? Need to lose some stress or do some creative meditation? Looking for a body positive way to release pent-up creative energy?
Well Karl Gude has got just the thing for you. It’s the Nude Coloring Book. Clothes Free Life discovered the book through Twitter and reached out to its creator for an interview. The Nude Coloring Book seemed like something that would be used by members of the clothes free community. It could make a great gift for some or buy one for yourself. Read more about this unique resource and its creator in this interview.
CFL :Tell us about the genesis of the coloring book; What made you want to produce a nude coloring book?
KG: I noticed that there were a whole lot of coloring books out there for adults to help them deal with stress through meditative coloring. I assumed it had to be one that featured the nude figure but couldn’t find one in any of my searches. So I saw an opportunity and decided to go for it and create my own. I’ve drawn the human figure my entire life and I’m pretty good at it and I wanted to do a book that was tasteful and celebrated the nude.
CFL: What audience did you have in mind for the book?
KG: The audience is anyone who has ever dreamed of being Michelangelo or any of the abstract expressionists or other artists Who have illustrated and celebrated the nude figure in art. To enjoy this book one doesn’t have to be a Michelangelo, they could color a person blue if they like! It is technically for an adult audience, although I’m body positive and think that nature isn’t something to hide or be ashamed of. I’m sure there are many people, I hope, who would let their kids color in this book.
KG : A few of the nudes in the book come from sketches and drawings, I didn’t have real models who have posed for me. While others came from a website, posespace.com that features nude poses. The background images, which are super interesting, vary from the skyline of New York City to giant bugs, were primarily taken from my own travels and in some cases from images I found online like the bugs. Once the sketches were done I scanned them into Adobe illustrator and autotraced him to clean up the line, and then save them all into one PDF file along with the title page. I created the cover and back cover in a separate PDF file and use them to self publish on Amazon.com using their nifty program called Createspace.
CFL: I noticed you are journalism professor and creator of infographics, how do those aspects of your life factor into the creation of the book, if at all??
KG: My art experience in the professional world has help me realize that you can make anything you can set your mind to. There’s a new process and a professional quality level that I have instilled in me for punching the clock and getting the work done. I have about 80 hours in this book!
CFL: Tell us about some of the contents of the book.
KG : There are 22 nude male and female figures in the book posing against a wide range of backgrounds from realistic seems to random shapes. I also wanted the user to be delighted by the scenes that they were seeing the models posed in front of. So they’re a lot of fun to look at, even if you don’t color them!
CFL: What do you hope people will do with the coloring books they purchase? Color for one I assume, but is there anything else you hope will come from the interaction with the illustrations in the book?
KG: I’m hoping that people don’t feel intimidated by the book because they feel that they have to color the human figures as though they were Michelangelo! I’m hoping they paint them blue and green and polka dots and stripes and anything else they want and not color in the lines even! Each page comes with a hashtag for sharing the work on social media platforms and I’ve created a Facebook group that is listed in the front of the book people can join to share their work. I was thinking that if I were coloring this book I would sure want to see what other people came up with for the same page and this is a simple way that users can do all that. I just want to type in a term and see all kinds of different interpretations of how to color that page!
CFL: As an artist and illustrator what is your view of non sexual nudity and the clothes free body?
KG: I am body positive! I’ve drawn every size shape and color of the human body and with each drawing I get a little bit better! I included two of those “art” drawings in the front and back of the book.
CFL: You have invested a great deal of time and energy in creating the book. How has it been received so far?
KG: The book just went on sale last week so I’m still anticipating a lot of sales momentum by getting the word out, as we are here. The book was such a joy to make that I want to make another one because the Zen the people get from coloring in the books such as this is the same I get from drawing a book like this.
CFL: Were you aware of the clothes free/nudist/naturist community before you did the book?
KG: I have been a member of a nudist resort (Solair in Conneticut) and it was quite an experience! Definitely not sexual at all. After a little while you don’t even realize anybody has their clothes off and I started to be kinder to my own body and less judgmental. 🙂
CFL: You tweeted recently that you seem to resonate more with fringe groups of people as you get older. Is the clothes free community as a group you could see yourself connecting as an artist or supporter?
KG: As I said I not only support clothes-free communities I have been a member of them and still go when ever I can. So yes, I am a huge supporter
CFL : Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
We encourage our readers to check the Nude Coloring Book and get to coloring clothes free! Order the book on Amazon in two versions.
Karl Gude, the creator of the Nude Coloring Book, is the former Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek magazine and at The Associated Press. After a decade at Newsweek, during which he covered a wide range of stories from the collapse of Enron to the World Trade Center attack, Karl was invited to create two programs at Michigan State University: one on infographics and another on Creativity and Complex Problem-Solving. Karl is a painter, cartoonist, illustrator, and writer who consults with Corporate Communications firms and governmental agencies (like the CIA) to help them create understandable infographics. He also writes a column for the Huffington Post, has presented at three TED-x talks and given a pair of talks at South-by-Southwest (SXSW), the technology conference in Austin, Texas, on the Power of Visual Storytelling.