Why would you buy a Coloring book for Grown Ups? Do grown ups really need silly activity books, don’t we have more important things to do? Or said in another way: what could be the benefits of trying this trend out for yourself?
In my dream world there are activity books and coloring books readily available in book stores – for grown ups as well as for kids. Wouldn’t that be just wonderful? Oh wait, that is reality these days! I think coloring books for grown ups, as seen just about everywhere, is (a very small) step in the right direction.
The right direction you ask? In the direction of cultivating creative thinking, beyond kindergarten and artist’s studios. In the lives of everyday grown ups, and their kids…
Having coloring books marketed towards grown-ups is not just a way of selling more coloring books as I see it, but a way to give the sad, gray grown up (who often have forgotten how to be creative) the permission to do something as “silly” or “childish” as coloring. This gives them, and all of us creatives too, the permission to sit down, maybe with a glass of wine on a Friday evening, to color in a pattern or a cute image of a mushroom. To buy pens, play with color, listen to our own thoughts, to experiment… That is: taking time for yourselves. Taking time to do something creative, as an act of self-respect and self-love (two of my favorite things).
Taking time to enjoy colors, patterns and practicing choosing what colors to use next. It might seam silly at first, but with a closer look it’s not. It’s as healthy as meditation and mindfulness.
It’s kind of sad that we need a publisher of coloring books to tell us it’s allowed to play in this way. Maybe we do need even more things like this, and spaces where play is allowed? The saddest part to me is how many grown up women, and men, can’t see themselves playing with colored pencils or pick up a coloring book, because OMG, how silly wouldn’t that be?! What will “others” say? Instead they will paint their nails and ask the kids to not to get mud on their clothes when they play outside.
IE: they’ve forgotten how creativity makes life better, brighter and more awesome. I must pity these people and I write this blog to help cure the boring, sometimes stale grownupness.
In this stressed out society, in this sad political environment, we all need more color, more play, more mindful creativity, and more time to sit with our thoughts in silence. Coloring in a coloring book for Grown Ups is one of many ways to embrace this mindset. Knitting is another, embroidery, or doodling. Cooking can be creative and fun too, or so I’ve heard.
If you ever tried coloring, you know how calming, fun and relaxing this activity can be, right?
I got a coloring book from my friend Maria a few years ago. I discovered that even if I’m not the kind of person who “needs” a coloring book to enhance my creativity (I’d rather draw my own figures), I love this particular coloring book, mostly because it has the prettiest book cover ever and such sweet illustrations. It’s by a Swedish artist, and I love that fact too.
I love the few things I have colored in, and I adore that it has been used as inspiration more than as a canvas. At one of our art dates in the garden this summer, I brought it with me and my mom used it as inspiration in her own doodle/idea book. She copied some of the designs into her own book, and I was totally impressed with how pretty her drawings where – free hand in black ink from scratch. Finding inspiration in the drawings is another way to use a coloring book. I think my mom has an artist hidden within her, that will come out of hiding if allowed. Maybe you do too?
Here’s Peta Hewitt’s Colouring Book Video Review of the book I mentioned above, Day Dreams (DagdrŲmmar) embedded (with tips and coloured pages as a bonus) so you can take a closer look at it:
And maybe that is what a coloring book can be? A tiny stepping stone for our creative adventures? It is a perfect way to practice your sense of blending, coloring and just using your pencils or ink pens in a fun way. I also believe it can be an end within itself, especially if you have a coloring book that you really love and want to fill to the brim with your own coloring style.
What a piece of art it will be when you finish that book! I’d suggest dating your pages when you finish one, and taking notes on scrap paper or in the back about what mediums or combinations you use and like best. I also challenge you to try other colors than the “correct colors”. Use what you have, or experiment with a green sky and a purple ocean…
I think a coloring book is a beautiful gift, especially to someone who is not as creative as maybe, say, you are? Give one away to the people in your life that needs a push, maybe it’s your mom, sister, brother, aunt, nephew, or some of your co-workers – or your boss?
So even though the trend of specific coloring books for grown ups might seam silly at first, I dare you to give it a try. To give it a try together with a few friends that never take the time to create anything with their hands. To give your creativity a chance. I dare you.
And if you think the activity of “coloring in” is childish and silly, I suggest you to take it to the next step. Again, I learned so many new things from Peta Hewitt on YouTube. Here’s her Colouring Tutorial on Using Light and Choosing Colours for Dynamic Results in the same coloring book as mentioned above:
Who knew there were so much to learn, huh?
Do you have any favorite coloring book pencils or tips, or are you boycotting it all? I would love to know what your opinion on this growing trend is – leave me a comment below, since I’ve already told you what I think of Coloring Books for Grown Ups in this post!
I’m also collecting black-and-white images in the pinterest board B/W – perfect as inspiration!