Coloring books used to be an entry point into creativity for kids. But now they are becoming a viral craze among grown-ups who, similarly, don’t think they can really draw.
“Secret Garden”, a coloring book for adults designed by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford, topped the charts of Amazon’s Top 100 book list in the US, The Guardian reported last month.
Secret Garden is a collection of black-and-white drawings you can fill with color. Like a treasure hunt, the book features all kinds of creatures, including beatles, songbirds, butterflies and sharks hidden in a garden. Since its release in 2013, it has sold more than 1.4 million copies in 22 languages worldwide, according to The New York Times.
Not only this, half of Amazon.co.uk’s top 10 has been taken up by coloring books for adults. With themes ranging from nature and animals to classic paintings, coloring books have attracted adults of all professions.
Celebrities are crazy about coloring books as well. American actress Zooey Deschanel, 35, once shared a link about Secret Garden with her Facebook followers. Also, 27-year-old South Korean pop star Kim Ki-bum posted an image from the book on Instagram for his 1.6 million followers.
Part of coloring books’ appeal is their anti-stress benefits.
Secret Garden is “terribly therapeutic”, commented The Guardian. It’s nothing new that art has therapeutic benefits, and practitioners have used it with patients of all ages, CNN noted.
“If I switch off the phone, computer and TV and concentrate solely on choosing the right shade of blue, avoiding going over the lines and slowly filling up my page with color, all my other concerns, I’ve discovered, fade to nothing,” the London-based novelist Matt Cain wrote on The Guardian.
For those who are not good at drawing or painting, coloring books are a way to be creative.
“You don’t have to sit down with a blank sheet of paper or, you know, have that scary moment of thinking, ‘What can I draw?’ The outlines are already there for you, so it’s just something that you can do quietly for a couple of hours,” Basford told US-based NPR.
As for how to color the books, just pick up any colorful pencils, crayons, or markers at your disposal. But it’s recommended you use crayons.
“Despite how highly stressed you may be, the most important thing is to not use pen markers with alcohol that go through the paper. The proper thing is to use crayons,” Spanish cartoonist Antonio Fraguas told The Huffington Post.