Colouring is in vogue—at least for adults! I couldn’t believe it was a trend at first, but then one day I was colouring with my kids and realized that I’ve coloured in their colouring books for years! It’s a peaceful pastime. Choosing colours and how to shade in areas is fun and good for the soul. Creative people need a way to express themselves every day. Colouring fills that need for so many artists and crafters. Is this trend reconnecting us with simpler times? Is it part of the movement to purge our houses and live with less stuff? Colouring doesn’t require many supplies. It is also a peaceful and meditative activity.
Were you a kid who loved to colour? I did—as long as I could colour things the way I wanted to and that I could add things to the picture. For example: When I was in grade two, Mrs. Hetherington forever endeared herself to me when she complimented my blue daffodils and the yellow frog I’d added to the picture. She didn’t make me start again as other teachers did over the course of my elementary education. Funny the stuff we remember from our childhoods. Perhaps the encouragement that day in grade two set me up to enjoy art? Maybe now as an adult I can reconnect with my creative mojo with some colouring pages.
Two artists you might know from metal clay and polymer clay are Christi Friesen and Laura Medeiros. Each have published adult colouring books. (Links to their books are listed with resources at the end of the article.)
I had a chance to chat with Laura about her journey from jewellery making to colouring book design.
Creative Fire: What got you into making colouring books?
Laura Medeiros: I unexpectedly stumbled into designing coloring books after looking for something to do with all the octopus pictures I had drawn. I have always been a color-er, and am very excited it’s becoming popular with adults. My designs are like me, not exactly typical.
CF: Were you following the trend for adult colouring books?
LM: Not at all. I just fell into it at the right time. A friend has been making coloring pages, so that inspired me to turn my drawings into coloring pages I had no clue that adult coloring books were about to hit it big.
CF: I see your 1st colouring book has led to a 2nd. Are you now inspired to create adult colouring books?
LM: I’m having a blast making coloring books. I started off as an illustrator, that’s what eventually led to art school, so I feel like I’m getting back to doing what I was meant to do.
CF: Has anyone sent you an image of a page of yours they coloured? Were you surprised at their vision of your drawing?
LM: I look forward to seeing what people do with the images, but I haven’t seen too many just yet. It’s a total thrill when they do post their colored in pages, and I can see them. It’s growing, as more people get the books I’ll see more.
CF: What do you make your jewellery out of? Metal clay? Polymer clay?
LM: I use both metal clay and polymer clay. I tend to work in waves, all polymer for a while, then all metal clay for a while. I’m hankering to get my fingers back in metal clay, it’s been too long
CF: Do you experience dry spells with your creativity? If so, how do you jump-start your creative mojo?
LM: I think that’s when I shift gears. I’m a bit burned out on polymer at the moment, so I went back to drawing. I’ve never been short on ideas. If anything I’m lacking hands and time to get all my ideas out. I started writing fiction last year, to get the bigger ideas out.
CF: Can we rename “Adult” colouring books?? Or am I the only one that think that name means X-rated content? What would you call them?
LM: [Laughing] You are not the only one! Some people call it “coloring for grown-ups” There are some books out there that are adult content, but most are all-ages friendly, they are just referring to the amount of patience that is required to complete a page
CF: Are you working on a 3rd colouring book?
LM: I am working on books 3, 4, and 5 at the moment! Book 3 is a zodiac book exclusively available from my website. Book 4 is going to have anger issues, and definitely not be kid friendly- lots of cussing. Book 5 is tentatively called Psychedelic Marbles, and it’s all marbles and planets, and patterns of bubbles and marbles.
CF: Here is a quote from a colouring magazine called DO. “Experts including teachers, therapists, and doctors are turning their attention to the benefits of patterning and colouring.” Talking about your 4th book made me think about who would benefit from colouring those pages. Is that your intention?
LM: Its true, colouring books are therapeutic. The thing about the upsurge in adult coloring really isn’t so much that it is new, it is that people are realizing they aren’t alone, and they are now having more options available to them for coloring. The 4th book is really geared for folks who are frustrated but cussing isn’t an option. Quietly coloring in curse words could be cathartic for them.
CF: Okay this leads me to ask what your inspiration for target audience is for the 5th book.
LM: Everyone. I started very specific with the octopuses, they don’t appeal to everyone, I get that. The book “Celestial Love Song” appeals to a broader market. The “F-ing Coloring Book” (that’s the working title) will obviously have a limited audience. I want a variety, I like variety, so why not make that available? These are things that I would be drawing anyway, by making a themed coloring book it gives me focus for my illustrations.
CF: Thank you Laura for talking to us and sharing your inspirations!
Ideas for Jewellery Making:
Exploring adult colouring books or “coloring for grown-ups”… has re-introduced me to Zentangles®. Which is something I’ve been meaning to explore. I love the idea that I could draw some of my own patterns on Stratch-Foam® and use it with metal clay or I make my own photo-polymer plates to use with both metal clay and polymer clay. Ooooh! I feel some ideas coming on!
Christi Friesen: http://store.christifriesen.com/product-p/738.htm
Laura Medeiros: http://lauramedeiros.com/coloring-books/
On Laura’s blog she shares how an illustration morphs into a colouring page: http://lauramedeiros.com/my-process/
DO magazine: www.Domagazines.com [quote mentioned above from page 3 Vol 1 Issue #1 Carole Giagnocavo]
Free Colouring pages for adults: google “free coloring pages for adults” and even try Facebook, there are many, many pages and groups with free pages.
Jeannette Froese LeBlanc is an editor at Cre8tiveFire.com and a jewellery artist. When she is not heralding the wonders of jewellery making or chasing her kids, she rearranges her tools and materials in her studio…hoping someday to slow down long enough to get back to her own jewellery line. And now in her “down time” she can be found colouring!