Do you know about all these ADULT coloring books?



OK, what’s the deal, do I look that pathetically bored?

Is that why my lovely daughter bought me this coloring book to what, help occupy my time? FullSizeRenderThere’s no doubt these books are beautiful, diverse, imaginative and have intricate patterns and pictures – but me?!   I must be having the wrong reaction, based on the rise in popularity of these colorful coloring books.

Did you know there’s over 450 of them online now?

download (2)

My daughter also got me these amazing

KOI Watercolor Pens – below.


I have trouble doing something that doesn’t have to mean in some way. Maybe I suffer from ADD, not sure, but I know I’m too Type-A for this activity.

No – seriously – I’m having trouble with this concept, but is it just me?  Have you seen them, these gorgeous new adult coloring books?  They come in every shape, color, and form and with numerous themes.

Crazy that they’re 23 pages of these:   “Adult Coloring Books”  – and actually, on Barnes and Noble they show 10,044 of them – hard to believe!

From Christian to everything under the sun!  The title’s such as; Secret Garden, Let’s Fucking Color, Exotic Women, Birds, Doodle Art, Paisley Design Stress Relief, The Promises of God, Color my Boobs, Live Loved, Doodle Dogs – the list is endless and way too long to list them all!

Talk about an FAD gone wild – good grief, holy moly, it blows my mind!

 download (1)

They’re even TV shows and movies where this is becoming a spin-off item.

There’s the Game of Thrones, Madmen, and according to the American Art Therapy Association:  “I think it probably speaks to people’s enjoyment of doing this relaxing hobby or distraction from everyday life,” Sarah Deaver, president of the American Art Therapy Association, told the Globe. “It creates an object of focus, and it creates something that’s beautiful, and that’s satisfying.”

One best-selling coloring book subtitled Stress Relieving Patterns, and promises to provide “hours and hours of stress relief, mindful calm, and fun, creative expression.”

Adult coloring books have become so popular that even Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is getting in on the act. Earlier this month, Bantam Books announced it would publish a GoT coloring book meant for a mature audience. The book “will feature 45 original black and white illustrations, inspired by characters, scenes, locations and other iconic images from Martin’s wildly successful –A Song of Ice and Fire’ series,” the company told the Los Angeles Times.

shopping (3)
download (8)


The coloring book is scheduled for release this fall.

download (3)
download (4)


Coloring 3

Check this out from the New Yorker

“The publishers were convinced, and ultimately ordered an initial print run for “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” of thirteen thousand copies.

Since the book’s release, in 2013, it has sold about two million copies worldwide; for a time earlier this year, “Secret Garden” and a follow-up, “Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book,” were the two best-selling books on Amazon.

download (9)

“If someone saw you coloring in one of my books, they wouldn’t give you a weird look, because it’s the same kind of artwork you would see in a champagne bottle,” Basford told me.  “The artwork itself is sophisticated––not like a car or a bunny with a bow in its hair.”

They go on to say – “Play is different than ‘playing along,’ ” Michelle Joni Lapidos, the organizer of the sessions, wrote to me. “Play breeds physical health and mental well-being. People who didn’t play growing up become serial killers and stuff.”



shopping (5)





So Why are millions of adults buying These coloring books? 

Check this article out – by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan


She says 2013’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book is currently #2 on Amazon’s Top 100 and has sold 1.4 million copies.

The follow-up, Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book, is #6 right now.  She’s working on a third.

Why is coloring suddenly, according to, a craze amongst grownups?

For starters, The Guardian calls them, “terribly therapeutic.” User reviews on Amazon give us a glimpse, too:

  • I am an adult “colorer” or is it, colorist??? Whatever, I love this book.
  • So relaxing to sit down with this book and my adult colored pencils (Faber Castel) and just color away to my heart’s content.
  • Not for children, but I love this book. Can be used for mandala-like concentration.

Obviously, I’m behind the curve here!

Now I feel somewhat better – listen to this from   in their article titled – “Coloring books for adults: we asked therapists for their opinions.” 


Coloring Book 2
shopping (1)

“I had no idea until I received one how absolutely on fire this gift/hobby had become!  Malchiodi said over the phone.

The gist of the criticism?

If you want to color, knock yourself out, but don’t call it meditation or therapy.  In her view, there’s a distinction between coloring and creating art.

“It’s like the difference between listening to music versus learning how to play an instrument,” Betts said.

“Listening to music is something easy that everyone can do, but playing an instrument is a whole other skill set.”

download (6)

download (7)

Funny, the ones producing these adult coloring books aren’t completely on board.

My thoughts run with her in a way – if I’m going to color, I’ll paint and draw my designs, but again, different strokes for different folks.


Apparently – millions of boomers are buying them, and they’re a great gift for almost anyone.

That’s what Johanna Basford, from Aberdeen, Scotland thinks.  She has sold millions of her ENCHANTED FOREST, and THE SECRET GARDEN and now is publishing at Penguin a book called Lost Ocean.

To quote Johanna: “Actually, the more I research this I’m starting to feel guilty for not immediately embracing the idea.  Is it that a blank canvas or page is too intimidating?  She said her theory was that the blank page can be too intimidating for those who want to explore making art, so the framework of her intricate drawings provides a scaffolding.”

After looking into this, I feel the same way.

Here’s why from Sarah Seltzer in her comments in – “Are Grown-up Coloring Books the Future of Publishing?

It’s such a great read.  I especially liked her analysis of why it’s catching on:

shopping (2)

“We learned at the lunch that bookstores are planning coloring parties. Professionals are having group coloring lunches.  For my part, I took four breaks while drafting this piece to color carefully in a single fish. Then, I let the draft sit as I went home, then took out boxes of colored pencils, crayons, and the markers I’d received at the luncheon.

I sat on the floor and worked on one sample page from Lost Ocean and another from a less complex book called Color Me Mindful: Underwater (Simon and Schuster).  Both experiences were fun. With the broader space in the Color Me Mindful book, I experimented with all three drawing implements, mixing different colors and shading playfully and with a rather free hand; on Basford’s page, I had to use the markers and focus much more carefully on staying within the lines.

My husband came home and joined me for half an hour; overall the process was, as advertised, calming  — and more addictive than expected. The coloring seems to me, to be the sedentary equivalent of taking a walk, a chance to preoccupy yourself on a basic level while your mind runs free, within parameters. I doubt that it can cure anxiety, but it can slow down a person’s thoughts. My hope is that coloring fanatics might eventually move outside the lines, creating their artistic projects and playing with drawing or designing things themselves.  Basford’s book and others leave white spaces just for that purpose.

A society where more people make art for fun has to be a better society — and maybe it has something to teach us about our notions of what creativity looks like. My favorite quote about writing is from the brilliant Brenda Ueland, who said,  “I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like child stringing beads in kindergarten, — happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.” The coloring craze isn’t just a way back to childhood, but a path back to a state of creation where process trumps results.

Got a love that –  “a way back into a state of the establishment where process trumps results!”

I’ve got to tell you that recently I tried coloring a dahlia, and it was fun! Why – because I didn’t have to worry about drawing and could concentrate on the design and implementation of color.


Coloring Book

CNN – in McAfee’s – “Adult Coloring Books topping Bestseller Lists” – she thinks it has to do with;  “online access — and, funnily enough, the desire to unplug.” She goes on to say that;  “a search for “adult coloring books” on Amazon or Barnes and Noble will yield several books of mandalas, a ritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism that represents the universe, waiting to be colored.”

Like I said, there is an adult coloring book featuring every interest, under the sun now!


download (5)



Aren’t these covers wild?

Nice to see the world is not taking them too seriously, that’s a real thing.  Anything that encourages PLAY nowadays is AOK with me! There’s such variety and what potential these present for gag gifts for that person you can’t figure out what to buy!

Here’s the PROOF – I’m a convert – come on color again!

32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA
#AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA #AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …11-Jan-2016 10:21, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 100
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA
#AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA #AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …11-Jan-2016 10:51, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 125
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA
#AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA #AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …11-Jan-2016 10:59, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 100
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA
#AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA #AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …11-Jan-2016 11:10, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 64
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA
#AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …
32 minutes ago San Francisco, CA #AdultColoringBooks-I'm sold - still a happy-go-lucky-#FlowerChild - Thoughtful #AdultGIFT - …11-Jan-2016 13:51, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 125
12-Jan-2016 16:18, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 125




  • Deb

    Okay I’m sold – still a happy-go-lucky “flower child” at heart – these would make awesome Valentine’s Day gifts for any loved one, friend or just gift yourself!