Downtown Bozeman may become even more colorful, thanks to "The Bozeman Coloring Book," which hit shelves this week.

"I know in my heart there's somebody that's going to make it a work of art and it's going to be wildly cool," said designer Megan Coburn. 

The 64-page book starts downtown, inviting the imaginative to create their own colorful world while celebrating this place. Then, it moves farther away from the city's heart, zooming out to the airport, then nearby mountain ranges, activities to enjoy in them, and regional wildlife. 

"The Bozeman Coloring Book" was created by Coburn and Grace Johnson as a gift for fellow Google Local Guides after Coburn was one of 100 guides chosen to attend the 2018 Connect Live conference in California this month. 

But when the promised "20-page book, tops" ballooned and inched closer to reality, the pair knew they had to share their work closer to home. 

"Publishing a book was always on my bucket list," said Coburn, who is currently developing a golfing app and a coloring book on the topic. "I just never thought it was going to be a coloring book. I thought it was going to be one with words."

The book includes a variety of images. Intricate architectural details on downtown buildings such as the Baxter and the Gallatin County Courthouse sit next to whimsical interpretations of businesses and logos. Across from the courthouse, a Cactus Records & Gifts page includes music notes coming off a vinyl record and a variety of cacti. The Community Food Co-Op page, rather than a building, focuses more on the mission and showcases local foods. A cinnamon roll on The Western Cafe page includes a note, "cinnamon roll to scale." 

When they sat down at Wild Joe's to talk about the project, Johnson pulled out a folder stuffed with hand-drawn images. Some were for this coloring book. In the process, however, other coloring books were developed. Books on outer space, whole foods and scientific laboratories will be available next week. A dinosaur coloring book is in pre-order. 

"I try to get a drawing done a night," Johnson said. 

Vector images are created from the drawings and they are sent to Coburn to compile into books. 

"The Bozeman Coloring Book" was a departure for Johnson, although she lived here for six years and became friends with Coburn in college. Most of her drawings stem from her love of teaching science. She likes to launch into technical descriptions of why coloring helps build neural pathways for learning and makes people feel happy and relaxed. 

"This isn't just for fun," she said. "It's actually healthy."

And it's educational. Hidden in the fun of coloring pages, kids (or adults) can learn about native plants like huckleberries and Indian paintbrush. Animal drawings to color are next to their footprints to scale. 

To make Bozeman even more personal, the coloring book allows you to draw yourself performing with The Dirt Farmers on a page about Music on Main, design a banner for one of the flower poles on Main Street, put your name in lights on The Ellen's marquee or send the town a message on the Lewis & Clark Motel's letter board.  

Each place included in the book was contacted for permission. Though a major player in the culture of the town, Montana State University declined and does not have a presence in the book.

Though "The Bozeman Coloring Book" expanded far beyond the original vision, it never lost its roots. 

"All of the quotes are actually from Google reviews online," Coburn said.

Her favorite?

"They put out fires and save people. 10/10" states one review of the Bozeman Fire Department credited to Esmeralda T on a page with a fire truck and station to color.

Each page is an invitation to learn more about community, nature and your own creativity.

"I would love to have people take it and make it their own, make Bozeman their own," Johnson said. 

"It's getting more colorful every day," Coburn added. 

Find "The Bozeman Coloring Book" locally at The Western Cafe, Cactus Records and Coqui Mountain Coffee and online at Additional resources will also be posted on the website. 

Rachel Hergett is the editor of Ruckus, the arts and culture publication of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She can be reached at or (406) 582-2603.

Rachel Hergett can be reached at or at 406-582-2603. Hergett is on Twitter at @hergett.