Sara Hickman's New Coloring Book Celebrates Texas Musicians

Sep 6, 2019

From Texas Standard:

Sara Hickman is known for her contributions to Texas music. In addition to her own recordings and performances, she served a term as Texas State Musician. Now, she's celebrating the Lone Star State's music in a new way – by publishing a coloring book. 

Hickman wrote and illustrated the book, "An Eclectic Array of Texas Musicians." She says she couldn't get everyone she wanted in it, so this is volume one.

"I retired from music three years ago," Hickman says. "I was thinking, What else can I do?"

Hickman's parents were artists, and she says she wanted to "return to her visual roots."

Besides being a coloring book, the book also includes activities, word games and a Texas troubadours chart.

"I wanted this to be a book that people could sit around with family and friends, put their phones away and just be Zen, and immerse themselves in the wonder of Texas music," Hickman says.

Performers in the book include Buddy Holly, Erykah Badu and Selena. Hickman says narrowing the list was tough. She says she got thousands of Facebook responses when she asked people to name a favorite Texas musician. Then, she made genre sheets, organizing musicians by the kind of music they make.

"I wanted it not just to be popular people – like, Kelly Clarkson didn't make it into this one. She'll be in the next one," Hickman says.

Hickman says her decision to retire from playing music was a complicated one, brought on, in part, by the difficulty of making a financial success of playing music. And she says that modern music fans' relationships with performers and their work is different than it once was because of streaming services. 

"In the front of the coloring book, the first thing I wrote was, 'Music doesn't come from somewhere; it comes from someone. So please support music creators by paying for music and attending live shows,'" Hickman says. 

Proceeds from the coloring book will benefit Sanford Community Center in Palacios, Texas. It was "the original Palacios Colored School," Hickman says. She is volunteer-executive director there.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.