Monday, December 28, 2015

Product Review: Are Adult Coloring Books Worth the Money?

A pencil-colored owl with decorative acorns and greenery
An Owl from the Enchanted Forest Adult Coloring Book

Although I had the inclination to get myself an adult coloring book as soon as I saw them hit the shelves, I stubbornly passed them by, thinking "If I want to color I can just draw a picture, right?" 

I continued to see them at the craft stores, at the big box stores, at the grocery stores, and at my in-laws, even!

The next time I saw them, I was weak. I purchased Johanna Basford's Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book.  It's right up my alley with its forest and castle theme.

The Pros

To begin, I am happy I purchased this book.  First and foremost, the book is quite beautiful to flip through, whether or not I'm choosing a page to color in it. The pictures are expertly drawn, featuring both elements of design in entire scenes and the repetition of patterns.  Furthermore, the act of coloring in this book has its intended effect; I have spent a few hours coloring in it, and it feels very much like a meditative practice.  Coloring in it effectively helps me clear my mind and gives me something stress free to pass a little time between other tasks.  On a more personal note, coloring in it also gives me a chance to use my fairly large collection of Prismacolor colored pencils, especially the numerous shades of green I've accumulated.

The Cons

On the other hand, despite my overall "gladness" of having purchased this text, I recognize it may not be for everyone.  For example, the detailed drawings might be a bit off-putting to some folks who may have shakier hands, poor eyesight, or who lack a decent pencil sharpener or tabletop workspace. In that case, a book with less detailed drawings may be better.  I do find myself leaning close and stopping to sharpen my pencils fairly often.  I also recognize that although I already had several pencils, others may not be so prepared; starting a collection of colored pencils adds to the expense of the coloring. All in all, however, the overall cost is quite low when compared to other artistic hobbies.

Final Assessment

Because of the low cost of this hobby and the beauty of the book (whether or not you color in it), I recommend it to anyone who may be on the fence.  If you remember fondly your days of coloring as a child, pick it up and give it a chance to work its magic, again.

Want to read more about arts and crafts?  Try

How to Use Beautiful Buttons
Yarn as Memory and Memory as a Gift
Arts and Crafts and Healing

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the author for permission to republish.

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