I come from a family of crafty women.
No, not in regards to subterfuge (though, gods know, my nan was as sly and savvy as they come), but more in the conventional sense.
My nan adored knitting, and made many of my baby clothes and school jumpers. My mother missed this skill, but loved her puzzles and, above all, adored to color. She still does, of course, but nowadays that’s not exactly out of the ordinary.
The Coloring Craze
As a tyke my mother tried again and again to direct my own artist sensibilities towards coloring books.
At the time adults with a love for color pretty much had children’s coloring books as their only outlet, so it was a great combined hobby.
I remember the focus involved as I tried to stay meticulously in the lines (always failing) and being in awe of my mother’s own creations, which she showed me with pride.
Coloring, for her, was (is) a way to bring something beautiful for beauty’a sake. It’s time spent to herself (in an othere is busy timetable), which allows her to rest her mind while still staying focused and producing something she loves at the end.
Happiness with her restful work translates to happiness in general, which is such a nurturing sentiment.
This, no doubt, is a phenomenon which translates to the current coloring craze – as coloring books are now, litreally, fucking everywhere.
Adult coloring books cover any topic you can hope for and are found in book shops, online, and one magazine racks around the Western world.
Seeing this happen, my mother is dumbfounded but also incredibly happy.
I the modern coloring book-centric world she is a kid in a candy store except, thus time, she gets to play with the adults.
And, to be honest, I can’t blame people for loving coloring books, or the act of coloring.
Coloring is, at its core, a mindfulness practice with a tangible outcome. Whether that outcome is kept or not is irrelevant. Being able to see an outcome is the important part.
Mindfulness as a practice can confuse, alienate, and frustrate a lot of people, due to its often non-directional approaches. For a product/method to exist that conveys many of the benefits of mindfulness, but appeal to a large audience, is great.
But just what can someone expect in terms of benefits from coloring books/coloring?
Some of the recorded benefits are as follows:
Reduced Anxiety: Coloring gives your mind time to rest, while it focuses on a single task, thus lowering anxiety.
Helping With Sleep: Swapping digital browsing for coloring before bed can provide a calmer way to unwind.
Giving You Time To Think/Grow: A calm mind is a thoughtful mind and the idea that you have to be ‘always on’ to get good ideas is BS. Giving your brain space to think helps it passively sort thoughts and gently present new ideas and discoveries to you. Great if you have an important assignment coming up and need a fresh mind.
Offer Physical Benefits: Coloring offers time to rest which, in turn, gives your body time to recover. Simultaneously it improves dexterity and exercises the mind. All good things.
It Can Be Theraputic: If pairing your coloring with a period of introspection (or the addition of an actual art therapist), coloring can help you clarify your mental state and move to a healthier life.
So, yeah, some pretty productive shit.
But what if you want to color something but you also want to let out some anger, explore your sexuality, or simply see some hot bods?
This is where Adult adult coloring books come in to play.
The Adult Adult Coloring Phenomenon
I’ll always think back with fond appreciation of the time when I walked in to the lounge and saw a group of bloggers (group? clamour? blogbang? Idk) gathered around together quietly and contentedly coloring.
Many had been having a great day, some were stressed but all found something to convey on their page of choice.
Others, like myself, were going through some serious shit. Their pages were lineart canvasses of ‘Fuck You’, ‘Twat’, or ‘Fucking Wanker‘ partially given color as a healing work-in-progress and, to some degree, a work-in-progress towards healing.
Some may suggest that such books convey identical benefits to normal adult coloring books and I can agree to some extent. But I truly believe that Adult adult coloring books also confer specific benefits that other coloring books can’t.
The reason a book draws one in will play in to its meaning and what can be gained from it and, with Adult adult coloring books, there is massive potential to explore:
- The relationship with your body.
- Your sexuality/gender.
- Your kinks, fetishes, and preferences.
- Your anger.
- Your relationship with talking about sex (and using ‘taboo’ language).
- Your level of sexual acceptance.
- Your own sexual relationships/satisfaction.
- Topics of a potentially triggering nature.
- Your ideas of love and romance.
To name just a few things.
Coloring doesn’t work for everyone – I personally prefer other forms of creativity – but, for those wanting to try, I do think some additional prompts can help turn coloring into color care.
These are not at all madatory, but if they serve you then please do take them to heart.
- Next time you buy an Adult adult coloring book and place it down to start ask yourself what drew you to this book to start with? Was it stress? An aesthetic appeal? Perhaps it even aroused you. Why do you think this is? Take stock of your thoughts before releasing them and starting your coloring project care and expectation free.
- Once you’re done ask yourself why this picture appealed to you? Content perhaps? Maybe it spoke of a memory you look fondly at or a kink you want to explore? What can your choice tell you about yourself?
- Take a moment to look at your work. What colors did you use? Why? Are your lines thick or soft? Crosshatch or scribble? Does this vary from other pages you’ve done? Does it surprise you?
- While looking at it identify the part you love the most and feel rightly proud. Then conside why you love it so much? Does it reflect an improvement for you? A truth? Allow yourself to feel good about your accomplishment.
- Decide, when you’re ready, what to do with your work. No one has to see it if you don’t want them to. That’s fine. Alternatively you may be so proud that you want to display your work. Do so boldly and with a sense that your work matters. Because, guess what? It fucking does, and bravo for being creative.
Whatever your current relationship with coloring books, I urge you to give them a try, and to look at SheVibe’a awesome selection. It almost got me sitting down to color with my fellow bloggers, and that’s no mean feat!
For now I’m happy doodling my smut from scratch (a biro being my preferred tool of choice). But, whatever your adult craft outlet, I hope the above advice is of use to you.
Please let me know if it is!