Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring books are everywhere you look these days. Unless you’ve been binge watching the latest episodes of your favorite series, you can’t hide from the advertiser’s adult coloring book hype. 

 

Coloring books are no longer just for the kids. In fact, adult coloring books are all the rage right now. And though the first commercially successful adult coloring books were published in 2012 and 2013, the once-niche hobby has now grown into a full-on trend,. Via cnn.com

 

Adult coloring books are a big craze now. They are considered to be relaxing and stress-reducing. Any adult with kids knows this can be true. Read more…

 

As adult coloring books hit the bestseller list on Amazon, NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to illustrator Johanna Basford. This story originally aired on April 1, 2015, on All Things Considered. npr.org

 

Jason Abrams, 30, is an account manager who had high anxiety and the hectic schedule. Eight years ago, he got hooked on using coloring books as a relaxing exercise— he even sparked a trend in his office. Read more…

 

 Marketers claim that if  I color a detailed image like this one for example,

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I’ll feel more relaxed and less stressed. Let me tell you something, just looking at this elaborate design makes my head explode. Staying within the lines while coloring is not one of my innate talents. As a matter of fact, I have a vivid memory of Sister Kathryn, my kindergarten teacher, ordering me to stand in the corner of the classroom for coloring outside the lines of a circle…a CIRCLE!  I wonder what sister Kathryn’s reaction would have been if I had to color within the lines of one these babies:

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Can you be excommunicated from kindergarten class?

Adult Coloring Books: Coloring Isn’t Therapy

Coloring as an activity may be therapeutic, but it doesn’t replace therapy. Getting some relaxing moments from a coloring book in’t the the same as art therapy — which, for starters, involves a relationship with a therapist.Art therapists, trained in both art and psychology, treat patients with conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to Alzheimer’s disease, and they use all kinds of art in their practices.The American Art Therapy Association has put out an official statement saying it supports the use of coloring books for “pleasure and self care” but hopes coloring won’t take the place of therapy for those who could benefit.Read more…

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Cathy Malchiodi, an art therapist, wrote critically about adult coloring. “I find that many of the loudest proponents are actually those that create the coloring books.” Malchiodi admitted to finding the trend disappointing. “This year, there have been several really good studies about why people should engage in creative activity, which doesn’t involve coloring in someone else’s designs,” she said, citing a study that was released by the Mayo Clinic this spring. “It involves actually pursuing some form of art-making. It can be very helpful to people’s mental health and physical health. Donna Betts, president of the board of the American Art Therapy Association and an assistant professor at George Washington University, agreed, adding she has never used coloring books in a therapy session, and would never consider it. In her view, there’s a distinction to be made between coloring and actually creating art. “It’s like the difference between listening to music versus learning how to play an instrument,” Betts said. “Listening to music is something easy that everyone can do, but playing an instrument is a whole other skill set.” theguardian.com

Adult Coloring Books: The Bottom Line

I’m a big supporter of doing what works. And if coloring pages of, Secret Gardens and Animal Designs helps reduce the stress in your life, I say, buy stock in Crayola and color away. But, please don’t be fooled by marketer’s claims that coloring books are a new form of therapy for stress, anxiety and depression. And always remember to color you, BEAUTIFUL!

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