The adult colouring book craze started earlier this year. As with almost every other literary phenomenon I was soon hitching a ride on the bandwagon and now, as 2015 comes to a close, I sit here at my desk with four almost-completed colouring books stacked up beside me.
I remember the beginning of this amazing colouring frenzy we all got swept up in; early this year my younger sister was suffering with some anxiety and felt pressure to always be on her smart phone communicating with others, so my mum impulsively invested in a Mindfulness adult colouring book – one which I believe may actually be the original and the book we have to thank for all this!
The idea behind this purchase was that maybe for just an hour or so each day my sister could put down the phone and focus all her energy on something recreational that is actually quite therapeutic. It was a brilliant idea, and it worked a treat.
Very soon after in book shops everywhere there were whole sections and tables devoted to adult colouring books appearing. It was suddenly a mainstream mindfulness miracle!
I then received my first colouring book for my birthday in the summer, and it was perfect for me – partly because it consisted of various different artists' amazing drawings of cats, but also because I never realised how much I needed this, a creative outlet and an ingenious means of mindfulness.
After I'd had that introduction to colouring, I was well and truly hooked and completely whole-heartedly believing in the power of mindfulness. So in September, when I got the long-awaited news that I would be starting my brain radiotherapy very soon and thus my mind was racing into panicked overdrive, I was so very grateful to receive another colouring book from family friends. The one they gave me consisted of page after page of fascinating mandala diagrams, with wise words alongside them and colourful pictures of each one to give you ideas on how to colour them yourself. I found this particular book exciting but a little full-on and actually too restrictive – I much preferred happy creative scenery that didn't follow a specific pattern and similar style on every page.
So imagine my joy when I was a few weeks into radiotherapy and the delightful Jim (@Yayeahyeah) came to visit me in Sutton for a coffee date and a natter – and he gave me a gorgeous new colouring book! This one entitled Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies by the awesome artist Anastasia Catris (@acatris).
I'd seen the Colour Me Mindful range before but never this incredible edition – Jim told me it was new (and that we must take a selfie with the book immediately to tweet the artist with the hashtag #ColourMeMindful, and also it was doubly important as it happened to be #GlobalColoringDay!).
This book is perfect in so many ways; it consists of fifty intricate drawings of butterflies big and small, also plants and even a couple of other insects hidden here and there. It's a feast for the eyes even in black and white!
I then spent the rest of my time staying in my hospital-managed flat, between my daily radiotherapy sessions and sometimes even in the waiting room at the hospital, colouring happily and letting all my worries and cares take a back seat as I did so. I often was colouring while Once Upon A Time played in the background, a mug of peppermint tea within reach.
I even got my little sis to take over when she came to stay – I really wanted to see what she made of it (obviously she thought it was rad), and get some of her unique artistry* in there!
So yes, I adore this book – and this entire series! I've already bought copies of this Butterflies edition for several friends as I feel they will adore it just as much as I do.
*Sister's colouring is top image; mine is second down!