Sharpen your colouring pencils. Pop on your playlist. Sip on a rooibos tea and get out your colouring book. Yes that’s right … we are talking colouring in!
Colouring is a common activity for children. We coloured for hours as kids. Restaurants offer colouring to children because it’s calming and keeps them engaged! But for adults it offers a change of pace and perspective to our technology-driven lives. This wellness trend is hugely popular worldwide. It turn’s out, colouring in is not just child’s play!
So why all the fuss?
It is relaxing, it helps stressed adults to de-stress and it encourages self-expression. It’s more effective (and healthier) than a glass of wine! And it is a good first step to practicing mindfulness (being mindful is about paying attention to the present moment, clearing your mind of distractions and focusing on simply being). It has taken the world by storm; six of the books on Amazon’s top 10 best sellers list are colouring books.
Some wellness experts recommend colouring in as a meditative practice. Although not all experts agree that colouring can deliver a meditative state, they broadly agree that colouring is a simple and effective tool to manage stress, access creativity and reinforce fine motor skills (adult colouring books are intricately designed books, some created specifically to help you de-stress and focus the mind). Psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala told The Huffington Post that colouring “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.” Relief and healing comes from focusing deeply on a simple, safe task.
It is so popular there are Facebook pages dedicated to showing completed works. Some people throw colouring-in parties (wine, cheese, colouring pencils and your colouring book). And others simply colour their designs whenever they get a moment.
It seems the trend is here to stay (for a while at least). Here is our pick of some creative, calming and relaxing colouring books to try after your angst-ridden day!
The Mindfulness Colouring Book – Anti-stress art therapy for busy people by Emma Farrarons, R151
Find online at Exclusive Books – Shop Here
This little book is pocket-sized, so you can carry it with you everywhere. Emma Farrarons is a French illustrator based in London with a background in textile design. This textile influence is clear in many of her patterns, incorporating fabric pattern repeats on many of her drawings. The designs range from simple geometric images to birds, tea cups and more intricate waves and floral-inspired shapes.
It’s handy and portable and beautifully designed.
Tropical Wonderland: a colouring book adventure by Millie Marriott, R182
Find online at Takealot – Shop Here
The appeal of Millie’s work is the intricate drawings that immerse you in the world she’s created. In the case of Tropical Wonderland, pages are full of exotic creatures from parrots to plant life. The artwork is exceptional, the book is attractive and high quality. Many of the pages offer space to add your own details, if you’re feeling particularly creative.
This will bring out your hidden artist.
Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling by Mel Elliot, R 183
Find online at Exclusive Books – Shop Here
The artist Mel Elliot, who brought the world Taylor Swift colouring, has branched out to Ryan Gosling. Can you think of a better way to spend an evening than colouring in Ryan Gosling’s face? In this book you can colour in Ryan driving, eating, kissing, walking and all manner of handsome activities. And keep your eye open for Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne!
If this does nothing else, it will make you chuckle … could be a fun Christmas gift!
The Art of Mindfulness: Serene and Tranquil Colouring by various artists, R182
Find online at Loot – Shop Here
The content of this book is designed to invoke calmness and relaxation. There is a huge selection of images: birds, leaves, feathers, flowers, fish, trees, butterflies, turtles, weather and more. And it offers a wide range of styles, intricacy and detail. From miniscule images requiring the finest of fineliners, to much chunkier images that are easily coloured using basic colouring pencils. This book may suit a beginner colour-inner: helping them to find their feet and pick out genres they like to colour.
All-in-all a good starter book.