We’ve all been there: You leave your car parked along a Miami Beach street where you swear no one has been ticketed, and suddenly, one hour turns into four, and you discover your car has been towed by some company based in Hialeah. You want to scream or punch a wall. Instead, you can relieve your frustrations by whipping out some colored pencils and filling in an outline of a car being towed in Jacober Creative’s Miami Beach coloring book, High Tides: Tales of Mermaids, Mayhem & Miami Beach.
The idea for a Miami Beach adult coloring book came from the creative minds over at Jacober Creative, a Miami Beach-based branding studio, exactly one year ago. When a team member proposed the idea to Jacober Creative’s founder and CEO, Paul Jacober, he immediately loved the idea, but only on one condition: it would have to be unique, unlike the hundreds of adult coloring books being sold on the market at the time. In order to achieve this specific look, Jacober brought on board Nicolette Connell, a long-time designer for Jacober Creative, to help illustrate the coloring book.
“We didn’t want to do it like how all these other ones are done,” Jacober explains. “We wanted there to be a narrative. So we created this character of a mermaid and her adventures through South Beach. A lot of these coloring books have a lot of abstract imagery throughout, so we wanted to deviate from that.”
Connell, who has been with the company for about seven years, has spearheaded projects for clients such as Jugofresh, and her illustrating talents are displayed in High Tides. Even her more obvious odes to Miami Beach, such as the Lido Bayside Grill at the Standard and a cup of Cuban cafecito, seem beautifully whimsical. Plus, with the added touch of a curvy mermaid protagonist, the essence of Miami Beach is wonderfully captured through the siren's “daily life” from beginning to end.
“The mermaid's experiences are the typical Miami Beach experiences,” Jacober says, “where you might go and have fun at these hotels, go experience the nightlife, and, yes, even get your car towed.”
As residents can tell you, there’s nothing quite like living on the Beach. However, amid rush-hour traffic, rumbustious tourists getting wasted on Ocean Drive, and sea levels rising (which helped inspire the name High Tides), residents could use some well-deserved coloring time to unwind and destress. But this coloring book isn’t just for those who call Miami Beach home. It’s for anyone who has ever visited, and even for those who have never been before.
“We definitely thought it was something that tourists can appreciate,” Jacober says. “But there are a lot of nods that locals might get more quickly. We give shout-outs to iconic locations on the Beach, liket he Delano exterior, the Raleigh Hotel pool, and the Standard hotel, that kind of stuff.”
But for those who remember partying at velvet-roped nightclubs alongside Madonna and Gianni Versace, rather than lounging with Instagram models at more subdued bars, there’s something in this coloring book for you too.
“I’ve lived here since the early '90s, so I sort of saw South Beach in its heyday,” Jacober explains. “This inspired some of the nods in the coloring book to South Beach legends, such as the Scull Sisters, who were staples at every event in the '80s and '90s, to Louis Canales, who was also essential in putting South Beach on the map.”
Although it was challenging to narrow down all of the characteristics that are quintessential to Miami Beach life, there were some illustrations that simply had to be included. “There were certain things that we knew had to be in there," Jacober says. "Like, everyone who has either lived here or visited has had some experience with a tow truck driver. So I knew we had to get it in there.”
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But though the tow truck image might be the book's most relatable, Jacober has a different favorite illustration.
“I think it’s maybe one of the racier ones," he says with a laugh. “We have a fun spread with the mermaid at the club, sort of in this kaleidoscope orgy scene. If you didn’t know it’s that, you might just skip over it, but once you know it, it’s done very well. It’s hard to make an orgy PG, but we did.”
High Tides is Jacober Creative's first adult coloring book, but there might be more to come. “There’s definitely an opportunity for a sequel," he says, "so we’ll see what happens to the mermaid.”