Coloring Before Coloring Was Cool

adultcoloringbookI’m about the least trendy person in the universe. But there’s a current trend that gives me all kinds of warm tingles—Adult Coloring Books.

Coloring is said to relieve stress, but this is not news to me. When I was in college, which was…let’s just say more than a decade ago (okay, crap, it was two decades), my roommate and I had frequent coloring book sessions. There was no such thing as “adult coloring books,” so we made do with a Mickey Mouse coloring book because Mickey was my roomie’s favorite. Some nights we went out to the bars and stayed till closing, and some nights we curled up on the living room floor and colored Mickey and Pluto.

Artwork by me and my little guys, before they went electronic ;)

Artwork by me and my little guys, before they went electronic ;)

Fast forward to one decade ago, when my now-teenage boys were little. They were sadly never big into coloring, but the one thing I could get them to do was color in design/pattern coloring books, which I’ve collected for years. Every once in a while, I could get both of them to sit down and join me for a couple hours of pattern coloring, and beyond the coloring itself, I loved the peaceful, often entertaining time spent with two normally loud, rambunctious boys.

So now there are adult coloring books, of all kinds of things. Cityscapes, flowers, seascapes, fairies, monsters, and more. I got my first two over a year ago for my birthday from my teenage son. <3 Whenever my critique partners and I get together for a writing weekend, we spend some quality time coloring. (Bonus for writers…coloring is good for plotting, as well.)

The downside…it turns out I may have over-bought—I’ve got enough adult coloring books to last me at least until I hit my second childhood. Plus markers and colored pencils and crayons. But honestly, I’m not seeing this as much of a downside, because it not only gives me warm fuzzies but it’s keeping me mentally healthy. Lowering stress and blood pressure and all that good stuff. Plus…giving me an excuse to buy more markers and colored pencils and crayons. 🙂

Anyone else a coloring fan? Maybe we can start a virtual coloring club. Or perhaps a coloring-anonymous hotline…

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6 Responses to Coloring Before Coloring Was Cool

  1. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Amy,

    How lovely! Adult coloring books sound like perfect stress reliever. I always liked choosing the colors for my pictures and personally think you can never have too many markers or pens 🙂 Thanks for your post!

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Amy, this is on my Xmas list for my husband and my great-nephew. And maybe one for me. 🙂 For adults, what do they use for coloring? Still crayons?

    • Amy Knupp says:

      Edie, I started out old school and got crayons. (Crayola, box of 64, of course!) But some of the designs are too fine for crayons so my favorite markers for coloring are Sharpie Ultra Fine (I think that’s what they’re called). Colored pencils would probably be fine but I love the markers (though you might have to put a piece of extra paper behind your page while you color with them because they can bleed through).

      I love that your husband wants one!

  3. I can’t believe how popular coloring books are. One of my local bookstores has a whole section for them now. I like looking through the artwork in them.
    Jennifer Estep`s last blog was …‘Tis the season for my holiday gift guide …

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