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Young Chester artist designs colouring book in memory of grandfather

Emma Kinnear of Guilden Sutton pays artistic tribute to former Lord Mayor of Chester

Emma Kinnear, from Guilden Sutton

A young Chester artist has designed and published her own adult colouring book in memory of her grandfather, former Lord Mayor Brian Bailey.

Emma Ruth Kinnear, from Guilden Sutton, spent many months helping to care for ex-Cllr Bailey before he died in June. During this period she used art as a refuge, creating more than 50 drawings and sketches of wildlife and nature.

The former Upton High School pupil has now published the drawings as an adult colouring book on Amazon under the title African Savannah.

Emma, 20, said: “This book is very special to me as I began designing it in January 2016 when we found out my grandpa was sick, and it created an escape for me.

“My grandpa had a very aggressive type of lung cancer already at stage four, and it was impossible to do anything but help at home, carry things for him, be there to be cheerful and positive. These drawings were the one thing I had to keep me positive, so it means a huge amount to me that I’ve been able to publish them.

“Even at the very end my grandpa was looking at what financial support he could give me to go to university. He passed away before he could help, so I decided to publish these drawings as a way of fulfilling his desire to help fund my degree.”

Former Lord Mayor of Chester dies following illness

Emma completed an art foundation at Manchester Metropolitan University a few weeks after her grandfather’s death and is now studying textile design at University of Leeds. She is to feature in a new documentary focusing on the rise of mindfulness and the use of adult colouring books filmed at Media City in Salford.

She added: “For me, mindfulness is about getting rid of the clutter in our lives and minds and learning to focus on the really important things that truly matter to us. The inspiration for my designs therefore came from looking at nature and the world around me, and acknowledging how magical the animal kingdom is.

“My grandfather was a keen photographer, and it is from him that I learnt to love nature and look at things in a different way. As I started to sketch, the people who saw my designs suggested they would be great to colour in, so I decided to look into the publishing process and managed to make them available via Amazon.”

Copies of the book are now selling fast with local schools and children’s groups also enjoying colouring the distinctive patterns, as well as adults.

Emma is now working on a second collection of Arabian themed designs.

For further information visit Amazon.co.uk or follow Emma on instagram @emmakinnearart to see her new book in development.

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