STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — When Anna Nadler moved to Staten Island in 2008, she was immediately inspired by the borough’s natural beauty.
“I lived in Brooklyn for a while, and when I came out to Staten Island I fell in love with how quiet it was here,” Nadler said. “It doesn’t feel like the hustle bustle of the city, it’s so suburban. And of course, you have all these beautiful parks. So many pockets of green space where you can simply sit and relax.”
And for years, those spaces have stimulated Nadler’s creative juices.
An artist and illustrator by trade, the New Dorp resident has spent countless hours in a variety of Staten Island parks and cultural destinations, sketching people, fashion, animals and architecture — capturing the unique look and feel of every subject she illustrates.
The product of her work? A detailed art coloring book that features a compilation of 23 original Staten Island images.
“I really enjoy drawing on location, scratching out spontaneous sketches in my book,” she said. “There’s nothing better than sitting on a park bench, enjoying the beautiful weather while drawing.”
The Russian-born artist said she has been sketching since she was a toddler. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, she studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, before branching out to include architecture and nature in her work.
“I loved sketching fashion,” she said. “But I wanted to do more.”
Categorizing the Tibetan Museum, Chinese Scholar’s Garden and Snug Harbor as some of the borough’s hidden gems, Nadler said it was hard to narrow down the attractions she wanted to feature.
“The coloring book also includes images depicting Clove Lakes Park, the Conference House and Fort Wadsworth,” she said. “And each location comes with a brief description for you to learn about it.”
Nadler, who was awarded a 2022 project grant from Staten Island Arts, used the funding from that grant to produce both the “Staten Island Coloring Book” and “Beautiful Staten Island” — a book of more informal, colorful sketches. She also developed a line of fashion that displays her artwork on a variety of scarves, bags, pet accessories and more.
“I also plan to sell my books in Staten Island stores, cafes, book shops and museums, starting this summer,” she concluded.