The London Roundhouse, Covent Garden Market and Aeolian Hall may be works of art in their own right, but Lincoln McCardle is hoping to splash a little more colour on London’s most notable landmarks.
Though only on paper, of course.
“I want to put together a colouring book of London, Ont., people, places things, anything local,” he explained. “So far the idea seems to appeal to a lot of people, the proud Londoners. But what’s even better is people can be a part of it.”
That means the book will be full of submissions, as the hope is to get residents actively involved in the project.
This isn’t the first time McCardle has tried to paint the town red, so to speak.
A couple years ago, he pitched a similar idea to Awesome London, but instead of colouring books; it was murals.
“I blew them up on these huge pieces of paper, rented a gallery and taped all the artwork up on the walls. When people walked in, there were just tables of crayons everywhere and people were invited to colour them,” said McCardle, adding at the end of the week, the pieces were auctioned off for the charity of the photographer’s choice. “It was called Caring Between the Lines and it was just a great way to bring people together for a great cause.”
This time, inspiration came from McCardle’s own family, as both his wife and kids love to colour. Not to mention the activity has become quite the trend over the past couple months, capturing 10 of Amazon’s top 20 bestsellers.
And that’s exactly where the project began.
“So I was on Amazon.ca maybe two months ago. I thought I’d get (my wife and kids) a colouring book, and of course there’s about 10,000 out there now you can choose from. That kind of took me by surprise,” said McCardle. “At the time I thought, it’s too bad there wasn’t something local, this is something London should have. I guess I’ll do it myself. So, I started asking people to submit pictures.”
Thanks to its Facebook Page, Colouring London, the project has received around 70 entries, though McCardle would like to see double that. And while all submissions will be considered, capturing those special structures is a cause close to his heart.
“There’s an appeal to me to get places like that because everyday we’re losing buildings, there’s not a week that goes by that we’re not losing some kind of heritage unfortunately,” McCardle explained. “That’s just the way it is, especially with all the change happening right now, so that’s kind of my personal goal.”
Submissions will be accepted until Sunday, Jan. 31, so the books will be ready in time for the proceeds to go to the Defeat Depression Walk & Talk, an event put on by the London Distress Centre to help reduce stigma for people who are affected by depression and other mood disorders, which falls at the end of February.
Getting the chance to contribute to a cause is just more inspiration for McCardle, who is more than ready to see his hometown with a colouring book of its own.
“If the book comes out and it’s a smash hit, I’d love to keep doing them every year,” he said with a smile. “People who know me think of me as a really proud Londoner. For me, every milestone in my life pretty much happened in the city.”