When I saw a news item recently about a group of adults getting together with colouring books and crayons, my initial thoughts were that this is a hobby surely only suitable for children under the age of ten. Somehow, the idea of a group of grown women meeting to colour over coffee and cake seemed very far removed from the traditional book club or knitting circle that we deem completely acceptable activities for adults.
Despite my initial negativity, something urged me to give this a go. Colouring was one of my favourite pastimes as a child, so why not now as an adult?
After perusing the surprisingly extensive choice of colouring books, I chose one and headed off to stock up on colouring pencils/felt tips or whatever my local shop had to offer at a reasonable price.
Once home, I flicked through the patterned pages to find a design suitable for the rather chunky crayons I ended up with (the choices of colouring-in materials at the shop being far fewer than what I expected).
Picking that first colour to put on the pristine and so far unspoilt page brought back memories of childhood, where that all important first decision could make or break that brand new colouring book. As I put crayon to paper, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that as a fully grown adult, I should be spending my time doing something more worthwhile than ‘colouring in’, but why should this be any different to other hobbies we occupy ourselves with to unwind, like reading or knitting? And surely it’s got to be better than mindlessly staring at the television for hour after hour?
Before I knew it, 2 hours had passed, I’d completely forgotten to eat any tea, and barely noticed the old man come home from work, and the more colourful the page became the more engrossed I became.
The adult ‘art therapy’ books could not be further from the basic designs on cheap paper we all know and love from childhood. The intricate patterns require concentration and creativity, and a good deal of thought to make sure you’re left with a satisfying, beautiful looking page after hours of work.
If, like me, you want to do something creative after a stressful day at work, have a passion for design but are somewhat challenged when it comes to anything remotely artistic, then this could be the thing for you. I wholly take back my initial preconceptions about this, and will be certainly taking great pleasure in purchasing my next book and stocking up on pencils, felt tips, pastels, and anything else I can get my hands on.
Oh, and staying within the lines never gets any easier by the way…..