Coloring the design, enhancing the mind

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Grace AmsdenEditor-in-chief

The first coloring book, The Little Folks’ Painting Book, was created in 1880 by the McLoughlin Brothers. Since then, coloring books have become an enjoyable and artistic activity not just for children but adults as well.

Coloring books aimed towards adults have made a splash in consumerism and television advertising. Offered in stores such as Fuego, Hallmark, Michaels, Target and Barnes and Noble, coloring books are easy to find.

Coloring books serve as a way to escape from the high-speed of life and allow the mind to take a break and refocus, not to mention that it’s an enjoyable activity.

According to an article from The Huffington Post, “coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.”

One coloring book is Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure & Coloring Book designed by illustrator Johanna Basford. This book costs $9.99 at Costco. Within the book are images of mermaids, sea castles, ships and sea life. Some of the designs are mandala styled, which is an Indian spiritual symbol consisting of a large, highly detailed pattern. For example, there’s a mandala pattern in this book spiraling with seashells, fish, geometric shapes, starfish and turtles, to name a few of the items.  21-6 coloring pages from Coloring pages from grace

Disney Princess Art Therapy which also costs $9.99 at Costco, is unique and filled with the classic Disney magic. The images inside contain all the Disney princesses and more.

According to the book’s description, inside the book there are “all the accessories of the Disney princesses: glass shoes, spinning wheels, coaches, shells, roses, lanterns and tiaras. Use your brightest colors to enliven the elegant outfits of these characters and make the mandalas and other compositions of this work stand out.”

What’s unique about the layout in this coloring book is that on a page presenting a direct image of a princess follows to the next page with designs that accompany them. For example, there’s a page featuring Belle from Beauty and the Beast, her image centered in the page with designs surrounding her. On the next page, there’s a design with roses and vines, Lumiere, Cogsworth, the magic mirror, Mrs. Potts and Chip.

This isn’t just a standard coloring book with a soft cover that has large images for children to draw or scribble on, containing less detail than the coloring books discussed above. These books have sturdy pages that can be well-kept and treasured forever.

Coloring books like these ought to be appreciated, especially for the complexity of the designs. Upon opening a new coloring book, it may be difficult to pick an image to work on first.

But when closing it after working on a design, the individual will probably feel much more relaxed and artistically inspired to color some more and continue in the future. [/responsivevoice]

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Grace Amsden
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Coloring the design, enhancing the mind

by Grace Amsden time to read: 2 min