I have discovered art therapy! Or, more specifically, adult colouring books.
Yes, you read that correctly: adult colouring books.
Adult colouring books have become incredibly popular this year. A quick Amazon search will tell you that the second bestselling book of 2015 is an adult colouring book titled “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” by Johanna Basford (it’s sold over 2 million copies worldwide). Likewise, ten out of the top 20 most wished for books on Amazon are adult colouring books. Adult. Colouring. Books.
It’s genius. I can’t believe how long it took for this to happen. My wonderful classmate Kaitlin (whose blog you can find at https://kaitlinvitt.wordpress.com) gave me the idea and I am still so excited about it.
There are tons of news articles about adult colouring books and their purpose. Basically, it’s meant to be a stress relieving process. They’re like children’s colouring books but on steroids.
In the CBC article below, one woman talks about how the intricate lines and details make you slow down and focus on the task at hand, all while relieving stress.
After reading so much about the colouring books, I decided to go out and buy my own. I went down to Coles and the first thing I saw was a table full of, you guessed it, adult colouring books. I literally didn’t even have to step inside the store to grab the book. I couldn’t have missed the table if I tried! Obviously the trend is just as popular in Winnipeg as it is everywhere else.
Deciding which colouring book to buy was more difficult than I expected because of the crazy number of options, but eventually I settled on Basford’s “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” to see what all the fuss is about.
The book would have only cost $20.95, but Coles so conveniently displayed a beautiful set of fancy pencil crayons right next to the colouring books, so I got those as well.
Fourty dollars later, I left Coles and returned home to start my colouring.
Although I had done my research, and knew that this would be a time consuming task, I had no idea how time consuming it would actually be. I spent about two and a half hours off and on colouring the page and didn’t even get close to finishing it.
It’s obvious that the designs are extremely intricate and detailed at first glance, but until you set out to colour in every single shape, it doesn’t really sink in. Not only are they ridiculously intricate, they are TINY. I had to put my glasses on just to colour!!! That definitely didn’t happen when I was a kid.
Regardless how long it took, I actually really enjoyed colouring. I don’t know if it necessarily relieved any stress that I have (probably because I don’t have two and a half hours to spend on colouring in my free time), but it definitely took my mind off other things.
I was right up in there making sure that every little shape was coloured in perfectly, and spent a lot of time (probably too much time) trying to pick the perfect colour combinations. Needless to say, I was fully occupied with my colouring book. It kind of consumes you in a mindlessly peaceful way. In retrospect, the simplicity of it seems so obvious. It gives you the opportunity to do something that’s enjoyable and relaxing at the same time.
I think this is another example of the process outweighing the product. I’m not even done my first page and already really enjoy using the book. I even found myself turning down an offer to go for dinner by saying, “All I want to do is sit here and colour all day.”