By Natalia Ventura – Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot
Jake Rose officially founded Color Our Town in 2017. His business incorporates his passion for architecture, photography and historical landmarks. He holds a degree in history from Drew University in Madison, N. J. Rose honors the town of Oyster Bay and its history by publishing his newest edition in the Color Our Town series Color Oyster Bay.
“It [all] began in 2016,” Rose recalled. “I did this for my summer town of Greenport [on the East End]. I was having dinner one night outside when I saw a very beautiful sunset. In front of the sunset was Clarke’s Garden & Home, it’s a very beautiful floral shop in Greenport. I said it looked like it came out of a coloring book. That gave me the very bright idea of making a coloring book based on Greenport. It was a good way to give back to the community.”
Notecard of colored Coe Hall illustration. (Photo source: Color Our Town)
The proceeds from his first book, Color Greenport, supported the Community Action Southold Town (CAST) non-profit organization. This board-run corporation was founded in 1965 with a mission to aid low-income residents in the town of Southold—Laurel to Orient and Fishers Island. Around 6,000 people each year receive help from CAST for subjects such as employment, nutrition, health, education and energy.
After establishing Color Our Town into a business in 2017, Rose generated a book focusing on Sag Harbor. The Color Sag Harbor book ended up being a huge success.
There was a learning process for Rose when he was first creating the books and for the images or icons needed.
The beginning stages were initially completed in a sketch program in black and white, and grayscale. Over time Rose became more familiar with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop.
Raynham Hall line illustration. (Photo source: Color Our Town)
Rose works with illustrators Brenda Zavala, and Ivan Myerchuk. For the Color Oyster Bay book, Zavala designed the back cover art and was involved in the production of the book cover. Myerchuk fabricated the line illustrations along with Rose. Myerchuk was also involved in the development of the front cover. According to Rose, Myerchuk lives in the western area of Ukraine.
“Thankfully he has been doing alright,” Rose stated.
Rose and his team have worked on several locations, such as Boston, Newport, Washington D.C., Brooklyn and more. He is proud of every book he’s completed thus far, but New Orleans seems to be the location that Rose describes as “a very unique experience.”
“[New Orleans] was the first time I did the coloring book without actually going to the place. This was done in the middle of the pandemic. It was surprisingly easy to adapt to,” Rose said.
His personal favorite drawing for New Orleans was Bourbon Street.
“Bourbon Street, was a great drawing to do. It had a very lively atmosphere,” Rose said.
Former member of Congress, and owner of Theodore’s Books, Steve Israel, contacted Rose in hopes of a coloring book to be completed on Oyster Bay.
“[Israel] reached out to me to do the book because he loved my coloring books. I wanted to do it specifically for his town,” Rose commented.
After committing himself to creating Color Oyster Bay, Rose found himself fairly surprised by the town’s various landmarks.
Rose was asked landmarks he most enjoyed learning about and showcasing in the book.
“I would say Sagamore Hill, Coe Hall, and Raynham Hall,” he explained. “Those are the big three. It is a very nice town that loves Theodore Roosevelt, and I love Theodore Roosevelt.”
When discussing plans of future work, Rose commented “I have four other books I have some drawings done for. I’m almost done with Montreal, halfway done with Key West, about a third done with Seattle and I am just starting Portland.”
He traditionally completes an average of eight books a year and is estimated to finish all eight around June.
Even though there would be plenty of time remaining during the year to develop more books, Rose likes to take time for himself and focus on other aspects of his business.
“I got burned out last year when I did Austin and then Boston. I [plan to] do more marketing. Maybe do some Instagram because Instagram is my one weakness it seems,” Rose said.
After speaking with various Oyster Bay locals, Rose became “more interested in the town.”
“They all really like my product, and they all really wanted to be in the product,” Rose said.
His advice for others considering on becoming an entrepreneur and/or author is to “…never be afraid to take risks. Be adaptable in learning on the job and try to find something you love to work on because if you love that thing you’ll feel like you’re never working a day in your life.”
Rose is currently planning book signings this spring. Visit www.colorourtown.com for his Color Our Town coloring books and other merchandise. More information can also be found on the @colorourtown Instagram profile and Color Our Town Facebook page.