Step into a bookstore these days (or surf into one) and you might be surprised to find a different sort of book on its list of bestsellers: Adult Coloring Books.
These collections of intricate designs invite adults to bring black and white sketches to life through color. Many are marketed to relieve stress or boost creativity. But do they really?
According to clinical psychologists Dr. Randy Dellosa and Dr. Dido Villasor, adult coloring books can be used in the following ways:
- To create a work of art, regardless of one’s artistic abilities. Dr. Dellosa points out that coloring books provide structure so creating masterpieces is more accessible to everyone.
- To meditate. Dr. Villasor is a member of the Carl Jung Circle Center and shares that Carl Jung, a 20th century psychotherapist, practiced drawing and coloring mandalas, which are geometric patterns that form a circular design. When focusing on a pre-drawn mandala as it is being colored in, you can use it as an object of meditation to help you get in touch with your inner self.
- To de-stress. She adds, “Coloring detailed patterns concentrates our minds—and when we concentrate, we can’t be worrying at the same time!”
- To bond. Coloring can be a social activity too. Aside from coloring together, Dr. Dellosa suggests buying several copies of the same design and having each member color the chosen illustration. It will be fun to see the different versions of the same design afterwards.
- To cool down. It is important for us to cool down after both physical and mental workouts—like a busy day at work. Instead of going online, which can lead to sleeplessness because of information overload, Dr. Dellosa recommends coloring before going to bed. This allows the mind to rest and makes falling asleep easier.
Given these benefits, the popularity of Adult Coloring Books should not be surprising. Although the trend started in Europe, it has become a truly global phenomenon—and the Philippines has not been left out. To-date, the hashtag #adultcoloringbookph has more than 12,000 posts on Instagram.
Check out: Different Folks, Different Strokes: Adult Coloring Book Gallery
On Facebook, members of public groups Adult Coloring Group Philippines and Coloring Book for Adults-Philippines share coloring tips, upload their works and post about books and materials for sale.
Click Next for our handy list of adult coloring book bestsellers.
Ready, Set, Color!
Which coloring books you choose largely depend on your preferences and budget. Do you prefer abstract designs or recognizable creatures? Do you want smaller details or larger spaces? It’s a very subjective decision, so the best method is to personally flip through the books. You may also want to check if designs are back-to-back or can be easily detached. The prices of originals* range from P150 to P600 and can contain 10 to a hundred designs. Below are a few popular ones:
- Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden” and “Enchanted Forest” have sold more than a million copies worldwide (P600). There is a Filipino version available “Ang Lihim na Hardin” (P400). Her next work, “Lost Ocean,” will be released in October.
- “Animorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge,” illustrated by master of doodles, Kerby Rosanes. (P540)
- “The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People” is smaller than the others (5”x7”), making it easier to bring around. (P455)
- The “Color Me Doodle” series by Mark Dean Lim has a book with Filipino-inspired designs. Email [email protected] or purchase at Scribe branches. (P990 for 3 volumes)
Click Next for 3 more adult coloring book bestsellers.
- Many series like Design Originals and Dover Books’ “Creative Haven” offer a wide variety of themes. Mandalas, gardens, animals, patterns, abstract designs – take your pick. P220 to 600
- The “Creative Minds” series is locally published. Books contain a mix of mandalas, florals, animals, and patterns. P150
Facebook: Precious Pages
- If you’re not into books, there’s a coloring app! Colorfy gives you a basic 27-color palette to complete almost 100 free designs. If you can’t get enough, upgrade to Colorfy Plus (7-day free trial, then $2.99/week, $7.99/month or $39.99/year for both iOS and Android).
iTunes App Store: Colorfy
*Beware of sellers who peddle imitations because of the poorer quality of the paper and printing.
Click Next for tips on tools from some serious colorists.
Tips on Tools
Colored pencils, watercolor, paints, markers, pens—basically, anything that can color works! To give you an overview of what’s available and what works best for your intended style, we asked for the opinions of serious colorists Nina Comsti and Jacqueline Callanta.
- Colored pencils – the choice tool for artists who want to shade and blend colors. Student-grade types are cheaper but have less intense colors. Favorite professional or artist-grade brands are Colleen (has neon colors), Faber-Castell, Prismacolor and Derwent. P100+ to P10,500!
- Sharpener – For whichever set of pencils you get, Nina emphasizes, “Get a decent sharpener!”
- Water color pencils – lend a dreamy ‘watercolor look’ to your work when you add water
- Pastels – good for backgrounds, prevents pencils from wearing out quickly
- Blenders/Stumps – for blending colors together
- Markers – colors are bolder and they cover more area faster. Jacqueline advises, “To make sure that the markers do not bleed through the paper, bring your book along when you go shopping [for testing].”
- Metallic/Glitter/Milk/Gel pens – create different effects and finishes
There you have it. Now go add color to your life and get into the wonderful world of adult coloring books!
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