Just in time for Halloween, Weyburn's Leena Honig, under the pen name Leena Love, has published a new colouring book on Amazon, the Spooky Colouring Book. 

This is the second colouring book released by Honig, who is a local author, artist, illustrator, and stylist, and this time she drew some of her inspiration from Weyburn's historic buildings and our own brand of spooky lore.

"I have the water tower, and I have the old heritage houses, like the Knibbs house, and I also have Eaglesham house, which I just kind of did a little spooky, and the Moffat house, which I turned into the 'Mafia house'. So I threw an old vehicle in there and the old Uzis and bootlegging kind of material in there," she described. "I just played around, and had some fun with this."

"So it's like tourism, right? It promotes Weyburn, and it also brings awareness to heritage houses, which you could tour if you ask. Things have a lot of cool history, with a lot of spooky stories in some of these I've heard. I don't know if they're true or not, but I won't go into detail. I don't want to freak anyone out, but the people who live in there say no, they're not haunted. It's just all stories. But how fun for Halloween. So that's why I kind of decorated them up for Halloween." 

While some inspiration was the result of driving around, some came from memories. This means, of course, that the old Souris Valley Special Care Home was included in the spooky colouring book.

"It's a little bit strange, a little bit quirky, so if you don't know the history of Souris Valley, it's the old mental hospital and there was a long stretch of trees there that now go to houses, but back in the day, you used to look down there, and it used to look like a skull with glowing eyes. So the thing to do when you were a teenager was to walk down that stretch and see if you can make it to the end, and it was freaky."

"The whole place was freaky, so I did put a couple references in there of the Mad Doctor, as I call him, he used to work at the hospital, and he did some testing and took his own testing," she noted. "So I put him in there and kind of made it fun and playful."

"I just wanted it different from everyone else's, so even in here I had the salon, like the old stuff at Heritage Village, the electronic perm rods, and the old measure (they used to measure your face to see how perfect you were), so they have this cage they'd put on your head and it had little nails, it almost looks like Pinhead. It's really bizarre. So I'm like, 'oh, I'm going to put that in there'."  

Other imagery is drawn from world history, mythology, and pop culture - including Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Medusa, Cousin It, and Bob Ross.

"He's very inspiring, so I wanted to put him in here, 'just a happy little zombie', you know, still painting."

"I've even got like a medieval section where you could draw your crest and your flag, and traditional things like the headless horseman, draw your own spooky hair on a spooky mannequin and some goth dresses and piranhas, vampires, zombies, pirates. Even my cat."

"I kept it playful, and fun, and funny, and it's not gory, so it's not going to be too much for anyone."

Honig said she loved colouring books with interactive pages when she whas a kid, so those are also featured. 

"You could draw a scary movie, as I've got a TV with some skulls and some spider webs, and you can just draw on there whatever you want to draw. You can draw an alien abduction and who you want to be abducted. It's a nice way to encourage people to get creative." 

All of the imagery was created on a tablet connected to her computer, which took several hours a day for three months to complete.

"Some images are simple, but most have quite a lot going on in them. There's the odd page that's a little more simple," she explained, noting that pencil crayons are her preferred medium for filling in the images.

While the book is out in time for Halloween, Honig said it would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves horror or fantasy.

"It's an accomplishment for me. I wanted to do something fun for the kids, fun for the teens, and adults, they get right into it. It's great for artists because it's a medium you can throw a lot of colour into, and get crafty with, and people just love that."

She added she's brainstorming for her next colouring book, as she'd like to create a series.

Find a link to the book HERE.

Find out more about Honig's Food & Cuisine Colouring book HERE.

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