VIBRANT - Tamara Benjamin

Exploring your creative side with adult colouring

Favourite pastime is making a comeback with all ages.

Have you been colouring to combat stress? You are not alone.

Intricately designed colouring books, branded for ‘adults’ are one of the latest crazes that have taken over the globe in the past few months. Millions of fans have blossomed from the movement, along with booming sales of colouring books and a rush for libraries to host their own workshops and colouring groups.

Walk into any book store in the area and you will find an entire table of high quality colouring books artfully laid out. Buyers can choose from labyrinthine designs along the lines of The Secret Garden, naturescapes, themed books based on TV shows like Sherlock, or colour in their favourite pop culture icons like Harry Potter or Ryan Gosling, all while offering stress relief.

On Amazon, the online book retailer, five of the top 10 best sellers are currently adult colouring books.

The art of colouring and adult colouring books are not a new idea by any means, as the specially created books have been around since the 1960s. So what’s the reason for the surge in popularity?

Some say the books are just straight up fun, an opportunity for many to channel their inner child. Others suggest the surge may be built off nostalgia, reminding many adult colourers of their childhood when they spent hours filling in their favourite Disney colouring book.

Another consideration may be that colouring books tap into one’s desire to be creative without requiring any actual drawing skills. It’s accessible to anyone with a pen, pencil crayon or marker and the need to create.

However, all of these factors can’t trump the apparent driving force behind the trend relaxation. Colouring at any time, with any amount of supplies, with or without someone joining you, is just relaxing. It’s easy to lose track of time and truly become mindless.

While you may think this still sounds like something for kids or those who are young at heart, think again.

On a Monday night, a quiet group of four gathered in the back of Blackfalds Public Library for an adult colouring evening.

The evening was peaceful, relaxing and an opportunity for conversation, amongst creative pursuits. Each attendee was offered coffee or tea when they entered and then gathered their supplies pencil crayons, their own colouring book or photocopied sheets from the high-end books and sat down to literally colour between the lines.

Blackfalds Public Library Programmer Laura MacKenzie said she started the evening class because she saw exactly how popular adult colouring was becoming

“It’s definitely a trend,” she noted.

MacKenzie said she debuted the colouring evening on the first Monday of January.

“Only one person showed up,” she said. “But more people are coming now. We run every Monday and it doesn’t stop. We are going to continue on.”

Amongst the whispers and sometimes laughter between attendees during the colouring evening, you could hear the soft rhythmic scrape of pencil crayons onto paper, the occasional whirring of the pencil sharpener and, for all who are involved, a sigh of relief, finally finding that one hour in their day where they can switch mental gears, relax and explore their creative side.

For attendee Annie Dube, the colouring evening is exactly that a time where she finds peace and has the opportunity to sit and drink her coffee.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Dube while she created her own intricate design to colour later. “The library now covers everything that I like to do drawing, colouring and reading one of my favourite things to do, and I can do all of them here.”

The adult colouring evening runs every Monday night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Blackfalds Public Library.

A program similar in nature is also being held in Lacombe at the Mary C. Moore Public Library.

The drop-in colouring club for adults was hosted for the very first time on Feb. 10th at the library.

The group plans to hold the drop-in club on Wednesday nights. The colouring club runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All materials are supplied and it’s offered free of charge.

For more information about the Blackfalds colouring evening contact 403-885-2343.

For more information about the adult colouring club in Lacombe contact 403-782-3433.

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