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Adult Colouring Books: A New Art Sensation

A new trend for the hobby world?

Adult Colouring books are the new trend sweeping the creative hobby world and tidying up in the top- sellers lists across the world.  The Guardian has run a series of articles commenting on the phenomenon, some supportive, others scathing.  Whether the assessment of the craze is positive or negative the fact that such a major newspaper has dedicated so many column inches to the subject is just one  indication that this trend is attracting quite a bit of attention.

The books are proving a publishing phenomenon. One Guardian article claimed that the books are now selling faster than cookery books in France, with last years total sales shifting a massive 3.5 m books.  Another stated that last month five of Amazon’s top 10 were adult colouring books, as were six of the top 10 non- fiction books in Brazil.  Scottish Illustrator Johanna Basford whose colouring book The Secret Garden was one of the chart toppers this April has sold over 1.4m copies to date.

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Colouring- in for Adults

Colouring is still a form of creativity and we shouldn’t have to stop just because we pass a certain age.  Most of us did it and many of us loved it growing up.   But we get to an age, where like so many of these things we think, why am I actually doing this?  What is the reason for it?  Am I going to make money from it?  So many people give up on creative projects when they “grow-up” because it isn’t seen as a valuable use of time.  With this proliferation however of colouring books aimed at adults you can take up the activity again without any fear of social recrimination as not only is it acceptable, it is fashionable.  You can colour everything from Benedict Cumberbatch to Tattoo Designs, fairies and animals to intricate doodles, henna designs, Japanese inspired and funky animals.

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However this new wave of books are not simply being marketed as a way to be creative and get in touch with your inner child.  Many are specifically being marketed as a type of art therapy which is supposed to help people with everything from stress, to sleeplessness to mindfulness.

Ana McLaughlin, head of publicity and marketing at Michael O’Mara (UK publisher which has sold over 340, 000 adult colouring books) attributes the genres success in main part to this remarketing strategy.

“The first one we did was in 2012, Creative Colouring for Grown-Ups. It sold strongly and reprinted, but it was last year that it all really mushroomed with Art Therapy, in June. It really took off for us – selling the anti-stress angle gave people permission to enjoy something they might have felt was quite childish,”

Art Therapy

Lucy Fyles has a blog, in which she reviews various examples from a mental health point of view.  There are hundreds of testimonies all over the internet from individuals who claim that the activity has helped them deal with everything from the normal daily stresses of life to far more serious forms of mental distress.  The basic principal works on the concept of involvement in an activity which is both simple and absorbing at the same time which quiets the mind and allows the practitioner to disconnect from the general world around them.  The success of this kind of activity shouldn’t really be surprising, an activity with a very similar ethos behind it has also been causing a storm in the art world recently, namely Zentangle.

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Whether people are taking it up as a creative or a therapeutic activity (or a combination of both) there seems to be no doubt that many people are enjoying the activity and feeling the benefits one way or another.  And after all why not?  The books are really just an extension as well of the very popular free downloadable colouring templates which carders have been using for some time as templates.  If you think about it carefully, there isn’t really so much difference between intricate colouring and say creating a cross stitch from a manufactured pattern or following a knitting pattern.  They are all levels of a creative process.  Anything which provides the release of creative energy and decreases stress is something we at iartsupplies can fully get behind.

Here to Help

iartsupplies has several product ranges which are ideal for this activity if it is something you are thinking of taking it up.  Although there is no set material which must be used in the activity here are the ones we stock and would recommend to get you started.  Although feel free to check out full range of products, the only limits on your creativity should be the ones you set yourself.

Our Koi Brush Watercolour Pens come in a vibrant range of colours and are very reasonably priced.  The brush style tips and water based inks mean you can use them like felt tips or combine them with water to create a watercolour effect.

Want a bolder graphic style?  Why not give our Stylefile markers a shot?  The ink can be blended with the colourless blender, but the real beauty of the Stylefile range is the opaque dense nature of the colour.

Our pastel pencils are available individually and ranges of colouring, water-colour and pastel pencils are available as sets.  Click here to see the ranges.

So why not check out the ample range of colouring books on offer at Amazon, The Works or your local book seller, then drop into us for your materials.  You'll never know until you try.

 

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