Dragon in progress

Dragon in progress

The adult coloring book trend has been building up steam for a while now and seems to have reached full speed ahead. The number of coloring books available these days is astonishing given that only a couple years ago the only way an adult was going to be seen coloring was if there were small children present. On my plane ride to Albuquerque this summer there was a woman with one of the garden coloring books who spent the entire 2 1/2 hours happily coloring and chatting with her companions. I have given coloring books as gifts to adult friends. I have yet to try one myself. Until now.

When the publisher contacted me and asked if I would like to try out Dream Mandalas I thought about it for a day or two. Is this really something I wanted to try? I loved coloring as a kid, but do I want to do it as a adult? But then I thought, well why not? Maybe there is something to it. After all, what have I got to lose?

Dream Mandalas arrived and what a nice little book it is too. So much fancier than the coloring books I had when I was a kid. The paper is thick and the pictures are printed on only one side of the page. This is really nice because there isn’t any bleed through from the design on one side to a design on the other side. Good as the paper is though, I wouldn’t use markers on it, but I have never been a fan of coloring with markers anyway.

The designs are varied and often intricate. Animals, people, things, abstracts. You will want to make sure your pencils are sharp!

So what about the whole coloring experience? I thought I’d whip through a couple of

Happy elephant

Happy elephant

designs before doing a post about them, how long could it take after all? Turns out, quite a long time! I still haven’t finished the dragon I started on. Unlike when I was a kid with my box of Crayola crayons and pictures that were simple with large single-color areas to cover, these designs take time. And instead of just grabbing any old color, I find myself contemplating the whole picture and considering color schemes and effects.

The coloring itself is pleasurable and relaxing. I thought I could do it while watching television but I get so focused on the coloring that I don’t pay attention to the TV. I also found I enjoy coloring for short bursts of time, no more than 30 to 45 minutes. After that I start to get sloppy. Since coloring with the TV didn’t work I tried putting on music and found that was a marvelous idea. And it doesn’t matter what sort of music, pop, classical, folk, they all work as a soundtrack.

I’d call the whole undertaking a success and understand now why it’s become a thing. It’s a relaxing chance to play with color and feel like you are doing something creative. Plus it is just plain fun. If you loved coloring when you were a kid and haven’t tried one of the new coloring books yet, give it try! And if you can’t decide which coloring book to choose from, allow me to recommend Dream Mandalas as a possibility. I’m really enjoying it and I’m sure it will provide much pleasure through the winter months, perhaps even more than it has during the summer.