Since moving to Greenport more than a decade ago, local artist Kara Hoblin found the closest thing to home she’s ever known. “The North Fork gave me the biggest hug and has kept me,” she said during a recent interview from the Sound View Inn. “This is the place I’ve lived the longest my whole life.”
Now, she’s celebrating the love she has for the area in her first book, “The East End from A to Z.”
The region comes alive in the 64-page book, from apples in Aquebogue to ospreys in Orient and taking in water views in Wainscott. Hoblin transformed the alphabet into stunning works of art and playful prose accompanying each letter.
Hoblin worked with East End Press to publish the book, which debuted at the Maritime Festival last weekend and will be honored with an official book launch party at First and South in Greenport Tuesday.
Hoblin knew she wanted to create an ABC book for children and set out creating the illustrations, which are full of color, wildlife, landmarks and sea creatures.
She initially set out to illustrate each letter in her signature chalk style, though that proved to be time consuming. “I started that way and then I was like, this is crazy.”
To expedite the process, Hoblin drew each letter digitally — a step out of her comfort zone since she had to use Procreate on an iPad over her traditional chalk and board, but still a skill she’s grateful to have.
Once the illustrations were complete, she worked backwards to write the copy for the book, which takes readers of all ages on a fun journey through the East End. Hoblin said she wanted parents to be able to read out loud, young readers to be able to sound out the words and kids who can’t read yet to follow along by suggesting things to try and find within her illustration. “I wanted it to be as inclusive as it could be,” Hoblin said.
Eagle-eyed readers will also be able to spot “easter eggs” throughout the book, from Hoblin’s own dog, Lily, to iconic places, businesses, wines and a nod to local folklore. “There’s a few little things in the book too where if you know me, you’ll know,” Hoblin said.
Hoblin is no stranger to taking inspiration and illustrating East End scenes. In 2016, she created “A North Fork Coloring Book” that featured coloring pages of some of her favorite local spots like Rocky Point Beach, Little Creek Oysters and Bug Light.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without this environment,” she said, adding that she feels lucky to be in this creative and caring community. “It’s a gift,” Hoblin said.
She dedicated this new book to the community for their support of her art over the years with special thanks to Sarah Phillips of First and South and fellow Greenport artist Cindy Pease Roe. Hoblin recalled that in 2013, she created her first-ever chalk mural for the Greenport restaurant and has returned yearly to freshen it up. “I just redid it for their 10 year anniversary,” she said, adding that Cindy Pease Roe gave her the push she needed to pursue art on a more full-time basis.
“I’m really excited,” Hoblin said, to finally hold a copy in her hands. “It looks exactly like what I envisioned, it mimics my work. It’s really personal to me.”
WHERE TO FIND THE BOOK
“The East End from A to Z” ($28) is available online here and in local shops like Burtons Bookstore in Greenport. Hoblin is also hosting a book launch party Tuesday at First and South from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and signed copies will be available. For more information on the event, visit Eventbrite or follow @karabellaa on Instagram.