Colouring in for adults

Remember the days when you could sit for hours with a box of crayons making your way through an entire colouring book? It was almost trance like. I first came across colouring in for adults when I was in the Drakensburg and we stopped at one of those health stores. You know the type – crystals all over the place, incense burning and a plethora of esoteric books. The owner was colouring in at the till and I had to ask. “It’s called colour therapy and it puts you in an almost meditative state”, she explained. It piqued my interest but I wasn’t really keen to colour in unicorns and fairies. 

Benefits of colouring in for adults

Recently I’ve been on a quest to simplify my life. I’ve always been a workaholic but now I’ve realised I can produce good work in less time. I was always so busy and now I have time to do what I want. I decided to try colouring in for adults and printed some mandalas. On my way home from work I stopped to get my very own 12 pack of colouring in pencils. I walked in the door, put my stuff down, poured a glass of chilled white vino and set up my art station.

After 25 minutes I looked up and noticed the time. My mind had been running wild yet I felt so calm. While my picture was certainly no work of art, I felt refreshed. I took a gulp of well deserved vino and a solution to a challenge I’d been obsessing over popped into my mind.

colouring in for adults
My first attempt at colouring in as an adult, see Ira Glass quote below for context. 

For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But you taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.. it is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and you work will be as good as your ambitions. – Ira Glass

Where to get stuff to colour in?

colouring book for adults
I saw this book listed on the Top 10 at my local bookstore and had to buy it. Mine is the Afrikaans version though. Like it matters.


Investing in a colouring book gave me some structure and looked a lot better than my first attempt. At first my friends thought I was crazy, and then they tried it. There really is something to it. The South African colouring in poster below would make a great gift for the arty people in your life.

colouring in for adults
A piece of South Africa which, unlike my other projects, will actually look good framed. Get yours here.

With colouring in for adults, it’s really not about the final result, but rather about the process. Although when my friend saw at what I had done, her OCD kicked in and she just couldn’t handle my lack of a colour scheme. Each to their own.

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