MINNEAPOLIS — Like many of us practicing social distancing, the new coronavirus reality hit Sean "Har Mar Superstar" Tillmann quickly.
"I'm normally out on tour for about six months of the year," he said. "I had to postpone at least 30, 40 dates so far. We just don't know when they're gonna happen again."
Cutting his Heart Bones tour short, Tillmann came home to his fiance Laura Hauser. Hauser, as an illustrator and a teacher is also working from home. She said she was also grappling with the distance she now has between her and her students.
"I miss my kids a lot," Hauser said. "I miss my coworkers. It is interesting to see how we can transition from collaborating face to face to doing it all on Google meets."
The two now home with time on their hands, decided that they'd use it to publish a First Avenue themed coloring book.
"Illustrated, produced, published a book, we've got a website, it's off at the printers now," Tillmann said. "Michael Gaughan and our friend Stacey Combs, who goes by Stace of Spades-- two of our favorite illustrators and artists--they both got involved drawing with us. I just can't believe how quickly this book came together."
The book features coloring pages of First Avenue itself, along with musicians who became First Ave staples throughout history. Of course, it features a paisley-shaped Prince maze as well.
"It's for that parent who really loves Husker Du, maybe wants their three-year-old to experience coloring in Greg Norton's mustache," Hauser said.
The beneficiary of the sales is Twin Cities music community trust. It is a relief fund set up for musicians and others who keep the industry running, who now have had their lives put on pause due to the coronavirus.
"We both have lots of friends who work in the industry in some form or another," Hauser said. "Just by talking to them and seeing what they post on social media, we're able to see how hard COVID is really hitting them."
In times of uncertainty, Tillmann and Hauser continue to think of others. Plus-- they're optimists. They say they want to play a role in all of this.
"One positive thing of this whole crazy COVID-19 pandemic is that people are really coming out of the woodwork to help each other out," Tillmann said. "You're really seeing a lot of people's true colors, and you see a lot of good people out there that are willing to help."
Tillmann and Hauser say they are already at over 400 orders and that the book is being printed as of Wednesday.
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