If there was one thing you missed about being a little kid, what would it be? Ok, besides scheduled nap time and recess (both should be required if you ask me). Well if you’re anything like millions of us that have taken up a new hobby, or perhaps never gave it up, it’s coloring books. There is something about choosing the right shade of green for a tree, or seeing a pattern take shape in a complex mandala or paisley pattern that is deeply satisfying.
Have you noticed how many of these amazing, complex, gorgeous opportunities to get your inner artist on are showing up out there? Seriously crazy cool.Just this month alone, “Nine of the 20 books on Amazon’s current bestseller list contain few words and belong to a genre that didn’t exist two years ago, coloring books” (nypost.com). The trend found it’s beginning in 2011, when artist and author Johanna Basford, created the exquisite Secret Garden, a complex, hand-drawn coloring book initially marketed for older children. But then something funny happened. Adults started buying them. In the US, Secret Garden and its follow-up Enchanted Forest, which came out this year, sold over 2 million and 1.2 million copies respectively. Who knew?
I’ve always found comfort in the smell of a freshly opened box of 64 count Crayolas. The possibilities seemed endless with all of those delicious colors in front of me and a fresh page turned. Now I’ve expanded my menu to Faber Castell pens and PrismaColor pencils. Divine! Coloring books are popping up in our go-go creative outlet stores like Michaels, JoAnns, Target, but go to a real bookstore (yes, a few still exist) and there are entire sections devoted to them! It’s like a little slice of heaven right there in front of you. These aren’t the books you left behind not so long ago, with your favorite NickToons and Disney characters. These are complex, ornate, works of art in their own right. And good for hours of meditation worthy focus. There is something for every taste and interest, infinite options.
So if Algebra is stressing you out, you just can’t come up with a thesis statement, take a break. Grab your pencils, toss your hair in a messy bun and start coloring! You won’t regret it! Maybe we can get that naptime added back into our regular day too? Hey, a girl can dream.
Also published on Medium.