Have you caught the coloring book craze? All over the world, adults are coloring up everything in sight. Don’t believe me?
This February article on Yahoo! Style gives a brief overview of this huge “lifestyle” trend. Not only do adults feel creative while coloring, the activity is one way to bring mindfulness into your life. So grab some colored pencils or pens and join in the (stress-reducing) fun.
First, I’ll start with something that’s NOT a coloring book: it’s a free app! I use Colorfy on my iPad and think it’s great. Plus -like so many apps- it’s FREE. No way you can beat that. Just don’t forget that you can make things larger or smaller as needed while working digitally. Now on to three books that I own:
The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. Having sold more than 2 million copies, this is definitive adult coloring book that kicked off the craze. It’s not your childhood coloring book at all. A quick look at the cover tells you what you need to know about the inside coloring: details, flowers, animals, and -what makes this a fun book- hidden things to find.
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If you’re more spiritually inclined like me, you might enjoy The Mindful Mandala Coloring Book by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma. There are full-color examples of the mandalas, plus a brief history of each. For example, the Dragon Knotwork mandala on page 122 talks about the dragon’s power being “poured into the endless knot of spiritual perfection. Earth and spirit blend in cosmic harmony.”
The third coloring book I have also features mandalas: The Mandala Coloring Book by Jim Gogarty. He is the founder of iheartmandalas.com. There are more than 100 mandalas to color, and I find I can finish one in less than 90 minutes. Gogarty is also the founder of iheartmandalas.com.
And I would be totally remiss if I did not mention Zentangle while writing about coloring and mindfulness. Not strictly coloring, and not really ‘art’ like you might remember from middle school art class, Zentangle helps you find a “zen-like” calm. The Book of Zentangle by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas might be a little pricey, but if you want to learn from the founders, you want this book.
Here are a couple other Zentangle-inspired books that will help you become familiar with the easy-to-learn technique.
And finally, One Zentangle A Day by Beckha Krahula is an intriguing introduction to the art of Zentangle
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