Coloring Isn’t Just for Kids
As of today, 25% of the top selling books on Amazon.com are adult coloring books. That’s across all categories, not just arts and crafts. Step into your local bookstore and you’re bound to see a large display of dozens of coloring books meant for adults. What’s going on here?
I have a powerful childhood memory of a time when our apartment lost power. My mother had three active children to entertain, and not much to work with.
She lit several candles, gathered us around the table, and brought out all the crayons and coloring books she could find. In what would turn out to be one of the greatest hours of mothering, the four of us proceeded to color by candlelight.
It was magical.
Obviously, it affected me. I was seven years old at the time, but I remember it today. For several weeks after it happened, I asked my mom to recreate the experience. I wanted her to turn out the lights so we could do it again. It never quite worked.
Do We Outgrow Coloring?
What is it about coloring that fascinates us? Why is it that when you toss a few coloring books and crayons on a table adults and children alike know exactly what to do next?
Those answers may date back to our ancestors painting their stories on the walls of cave dwellings. People have expressed themselves and told their stories through art for thousands of years.
And now, it seems the adult coloring book phenomenon has reached the tipping point and become popular.
Before you protest there’s not a creative bone in your body, here are nine reasons you should look into the adult coloring book trend:
- Coloring makes great down time. Do you look forward to free time because you just don’t have to think so hard? You may not get a day off as often as you’d like, but you certainly can spend a few minutes coloring after work. Coloring can transition your mind from an active workday to a relaxing evening.
- Coloring is good for your vision. In addition to stimulating various visual processes, it’s good for eye hand coordination too.
- Coloring allows you to switch gears. Have you ever muddled through a workday and left wondering what you accomplished? Without a clear separation of tasks you’re likely to lose focus on all of them. Inserting a short burst of different activities like coloring can help you maintain focus on your next task and stay productive.
- Coloring is a great way to take a break. If your day requires constant planning, thinking, and decision making, coloring may be just the thing you need to give your mind a short but needed rest.
- Coloring is artistic, even if you don’t think you’re creative. We all need art in our lives. With an adult coloring book, the artistic process has been simplified – just grab some markers and get moving. Even people who deny they’re creative can pick up a marker and color for a few minutes.
- Coloring can make you smarter. It’s no secret that creativity stimulates our brains, leading to new ways of thinking and seeing. Some of the world’s greatest discoveries were made away from the drudgery of hard work and during a creative activity.
- Coloring can be therapeutic. Psychologists and art experts argue whether coloring is true therapy or simply therapeutic. I think the argument misses the point. If coloring makes you feel relaxed, focused, energized, or rested, hasn’t it left you better off than when you started?
- Coloring has no rules. Are you straight laced? Then get a coloring book full of mandalas and color it symmetrically. Are you more of a free spirit? Then by all means, color a less structured page and feel free to go outside the lines. With so many options available you should easily find a book suited to you.
- Coloring can help you connect. If public art stores scare you, relax. You can invite friends and family over for a color-in. Add food, drink, and music and you’ll have just as much fun for less expense. And if you don’t have a coloring book, plenty of samples are available for free online.
There’s no question adult coloring books are popular. They’re an inexpensive and easy way to add art to your life, take a quick break, or stimulate your eyes. If you’re living the visual lifestyle, you may want to join the trend and start one for yourself.