Adult coloring has become wildly popular, and I decided to join in. Downloading and coloring a mandala image from the internet brought tremendous enjoyment. My inner world became wildly responsive. Seeing the elaborate mandala vibrantly alive with color confirmed that more of this activity was in my future.
Downloading one coloring image on the printer required a lot of ink and, as you know, ink cartridges are expensive, so the next step was to get a coloring book. I attempted to order one online yet, for some strange reason, the order never connected and a journey to a bookstore ensued. Going to the bookstore turned out being the best option.
Perusing the adult coloring book section was eye opening as to the trendy nature of this activity. Instead of just a few selections, there was an entire aisle devoted to this art form, and I was spinning from all the possibilities.
What I Learned
1. Prices fluctuated from 9.99 all the way up to 20.00 and did not reflect degree of difficulty or number of pages. Some books were fancy and had extra contraptions or beautifications - nothing wrong with that – and some were plain. In the end the presentation doesn’t matter. The payoff is the coloring itself and the results.
2. Categories - flowers and other earth scenes, fish and other water/ocean environment outlines, mandalas, etc. - all of them enticing.
3. Degree of difficulty. Some of the coloring books were just a step up from children’s books in that the images were spacious between the lines and not too much detail. The most challenging images were the mandalas and, for me, true adult material.
4. Crayons or coloring pencils? Because my one and only experience was with a mandala using crayons, I highly recommend coloring pencils for mandalas and other images with teeny tiny spaces. Honing the sharpest tip possible to go into those teeny spaces was more likely with pencils. Crayons could be used for images with spacious spaces. Naturally, whether you use crayons or pencils or a combination of both is your choice.
My Selection. Making a final choice was difficult because of the many worthy candidates. Because of my lovely first experience, a mandala-themed book was chosen. At only $9.97 with over 100 images, this was a bargain. Next door to the bookstore was a hobby shop and a 40-coloring pencil set for under $10 was acquired along with a pencil sharpener (don’t leave the store without a pencil sharpener if you don’t have one at home). I was set.
Why Adult Coloring May Be Popular
Consciously And Unconsciously
1. Humanity, as a whole, is profoundly separated from their creative selves. Some people, including myself, have had and or having a difficult time hooking up with that aspect of our Self. I have heard people say they don’t have a creative bone in their body. The coloring books provide a much needed outlet for those of us needing to express for now and until we can establish a greater connection with our creative Self.
2. Minimal Investment. I paid a mere $20 plus tax for a book and coloring pencils that will stimulate and bring me joy for a very long time. Instead of seeking our creative bones through expensive supplies and/or instructions, we can simply go to the local bookstore and hobby shop. This does not mean that we not pursue other art forms down the road requiring pricey and more substantial supplies and instructions. Coloring could be the beginning step to something later on. Coloring - the gateway art form.
3. Convenience. We are so busy making a living and moving through the rat race that creative pursuits may be placed on the back burner. Sitting down for whatever time is available with a coloring book and creating something beautiful is highly satisfying and nourishing. Knowing that we have that creative ability with a minimal cash outlay and on hand whenever we have a moment is priceless.
4. Minimizes stress. This is a no-brainer and the advertised reason for adult coloring. Any way we can get out of our minds and the stresses of day-to-day living are welcome. And, again, the convenience and accessibility of the coloring activity is significant – very low cost de-stressing activity.
5. Integration. Coloring mandalas, for me, feels as if I am integrating both sides of myself - the logic/male and the creative/ female. As we progress toward integration and wholeness in our consciousness evolution, both aspects – female and male – come together.
6. Parallel processing. In our society, much emphasis is placed on linear processing - taking things step by step in a logical way and no deviating such as: do not go to step 4 without going through step 3 and don’t start something new until the last thing has been completed. In some cases using the logical, linear way is highly beneficial and not to be minimized. Yet, as we move forward in integrating the creative side, parallel processing comes into play.
Doing the mandalas, I may not completely finish one because the next step, the next color to use is not obvious. So I give that one a rest. In the meantime, I start another one and go back to the uncompleted one when moved. Working on three at a time, parallel processing, is not unusual. Sometimes working on one will trigger an idea for another.
And a very important point for consideration: You are under no obligation to finish any of them! If you feel that a particular choice is MUBAR (messed up beyond all repair), get your lessons from that piece and start fresh on another.
7. Expansion Of Consciousness. When we watch something grow, bit by bit, from a black and white flat image into a colorful, alive and dimensional image joy ensues. “I did that!” is what I feel when finishing one.
There is an expansion of consciousness that naturally follows creative endeavors. The act of creating beauty links us closer to our Authentic Self which is our true creative bone and infinite part of us. How can we not expand when connected to that infinity?
If we could get coloring books and crayons into the hands of those who are steeped in fear and driving this planet, perhaps joy and peace would rule. When we are creating beauty, how can there be room for anything other than that? Take a step toward world peace and send a package to your local dictator or president today!
Even as I am writing this piece, I am trying to get done ASAP so I can get back to coloring. Remember that life isn’t perfect and your coloring doesn’t have to be perfect either. Just enjoy being in the moment of the color extravaganza and the expression of yourSelf.
As always, we have eternity to work it out.
In love with you,
Aniel Lia Love