David Lauderdale

She finally let the little kid inside her come out to play

Trina Lucido promotes creativity by creating a coloring journal

Artist Trina Lucido describes, on Thursday, June 30, 2016, what motivated her to make her adult coloring book and journal, called Color Write & Create: A Coloring Journal.
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Artist Trina Lucido describes, on Thursday, June 30, 2016, what motivated her to make her adult coloring book and journal, called Color Write & Create: A Coloring Journal.

You are a creative person.

We all are.

And at some point you have to quit doubting yourself. You have to quit listening to people who say you can’t. And you have to just do it.

Trina Lucido told me this as she sat by a table and bed filled with her artistic creations — handmade greeting cards and her own foray into the wild new craze of adult coloring books.

“Stay true to yourself,” she said.

People really do want art in their lives. They want to create.

Trina Lucido

This makeshift studio in her Palmetto Dunes home on Hilton Head Island seems a lifetime away from the hectic pace of home in the Washington, D.C., area. Her drawing table overlooks a lagoon. A triangular engineers’ ruler holds open her vintage red train case filled with art supplies she never leaves home without. On the other side of the room are the trappings of her 14-year-old son’s art — a keyboard and guitar, and the makings of a podcast.

“You do want approval from other people,” Lucido said, “but you have to believe in what you are doing, whether they don’t like it or whether they do like it.”

Lucido was told by an art teacher when she was 10 that her rabbit didn’t look real enough. This burden hopped in her little brain and did not come out for 40 years.

Meanwhile, she got a degree from Georgetown University in applied mathematics. Her dad was a doctor, stressing math and science. She was good at it but found herself having more fun making the covers for her reports than writing them. She convinced her parents to send her to the the Corcoran School of Art + Design, where she dived into the magical new world of the Macintosh and learned the trade of graphic design for newspapers and public relations firms.

Somewhere in there, as her husband’s online marketing firm grew, she, in effect, told the art teacher of 40 years ago to stuff it. She began to draw.

Lucido now fills stacks of notebooks with sketches, writing and colorful brushes of the intriguing things she sees — a flower arrangement, an architectural flourish, a paint sample sheet, a patch of wallpaper. She stresses journaling. Her new adult coloring book is also an artist’s journal.

Lucido relishes the feeling she gets inside when she acts on her creativity. It’s when you think you could sit and do it for the rest of your life.

For her, one thing leads to another, and her creativity becomes an “idea Hydra” that can’t be cut back.

She has an agent and markets her coloring books, cards, and vintage odds and ends like old train tickets at pop-up shows and on her online site called Jubilee Flea.

You have to work hard at being creative, she said.

“You really need to carve out time for yourself.”

For her, that includes time on Hilton Head, where the colors, trees, and the sound and smell of the Atlantic’s surf punch her re-set button.

The Lucidos have owned an island home for 10 years. She vacationed here as a child.

She’s attracted to the art on Hilton Head and Bluffton’s gallery row.

“I love going to that little theater,” she said of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. “It has a small-town feel but great productions.”

More people today are traipsing across life’s stage, daring to put their own little rabbits out there for all to see.

“People really do want art in their lives,” Lucido said. “They want to create.”

Adult coloring books prove it. They bring out the little kid that lives in each of us. The kid doesn’t care if the cows are orange, the clouds are pink or the rabbits look like four-wheelers.

On Lucido’s desk overlooking the lagoon is a partially finished page of a future coloring book. It’s filled with letters ready to be colored in:

“I Can Totally Do This.”

David Lauderdale: 843-706-8115, @ThatsLauderdale