STATEN ISLAND, NY — 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 to Staten Island, I fell in love with the quietness here,” Nadler said. “It doesn’t feel like the hustle and 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 just sit back and relax.”
And for years, these spaces have fueled Nadler’s creativity.
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 look and the unique feel of each subject it illustrates.
The product of his labor? A detailed art coloring book that includes a compilation of 23 original Staten Island images.
“I really like drawing on the spot, scratching spontaneous sketches into my book,” she said. “There’s nothing better than sitting on a park bench and enjoying the nice weather while drawing.”
The Russian-born artist said she has been drawing since she was little. 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 doing fashion sketches,” she said. “But I wanted to do more.”
Categorizing the Tibetan Museum, Chinese Scholars’ 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 showcase.
“The coloring book also includes images of Clove Lakes Park, the Conference House and Fort Wadsworth,” she said. “And each location comes with a brief description so you can learn more about it.”
Nadler, who received a 2022 Project Grant from Staten Island Arts, used funding from that grant to produce both the “Staten Island Coloring Book” and “Beautiful Staten Island” — a book of more informal and colorful sketches. She has also developed a fashion line that displays her artwork on a variety of scarves, bags, pet accessories and more.
All of Nadler’s fashion books and products are available for purchase at Amazon.com and AnnaNadlerArt.com and will be on display at the Snug Harbor Fence Show in September.
“I also plan to sell my books in stores, cafes, bookstores and museums on Staten Island, starting this summer,” she concluded.