Color books for adults

Published 9:59 am Thursday, May 18, 2017

By Andi Bedsworth

Many of you have probably noticed the proliferation of adult coloring books hitting bookstores, newsstands and even places like Walmart. And you might wonder what it is all about and why does it have an appeal. In today’s busy world, adults are looking for a way to destress, and some have discovered that the simple act of coloring and doodling can really put oneself in a more relaxed state.

Simply picking up a children’s coloring book is often not an appealing option for adults who are looking for more challenging designs and whom also might feel a little silly coloring in a child’s book. That is where the adult coloring books have come in to fill in that niche.

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There are also other ways of using art to relax including Zentangle, Mandalas and doodling.


Zentangle, created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, is a form of doodling that has a particular method developed by the pair and taught by Certified Zentangle Teachers. According to their website, “The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well-being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages. We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.”

Having purchased a book for a friend, and then investing in a kit to teach to my adult students at OPC, I realized that this technique is not only easy but fun. It gives you the tools to create interesting art that indeed is relaxing to do.

The kits contain pens and paper that are wonderful to work with and create fabulous results. If you are really serious about it, you could even take a workshop offered by the company to become certified to teach others.

Mandalas are also used as a way to focus, relax and meditate. There are mandala coloring books where all you have to do is add the color, and there are how-to instructions on how to create your own mandala which can be very addicting. These mandalas can remain in pencil, or done in ink and paint can be added.

I have practiced several techniques finding all fun and enjoyable to do. So, I encourage you to spend some time this summer chilling out with one or all of these adult-oriented methods of finding self-expression, creativity and relaxation.

Take a cue from all the children out there who doodle, color and paint to their heart’s content. Who says coloring is just for children?

Andi Bedsworth is the owner of Art To Go, which brings free art opportunities to children in the community.