I read that quote last year in an obituary for Charles Filmore, a famous grammatical linguist who devoted his life to breakdown of proper syntax. Prior to that obituary I had no idea that grammatical linguists could even get famous, but there it is. If you devote a life to the rigidness of language you might one day die and people will remember you with a quote about the rejection of rigidness in general; To think think as a child = To succeed as an adult. Interesting, no?
Anyway. All of this is a longwinded way of lending validity to one of my favorite collections: adult coloring books. No, not adults coloring kid’s books. Adult coloring books. These have been around for years but the trend has really kicked up in the last couple of seasons. And I can see why. They’re fun. They’re cheap. They’re great for coffee table candy. And they make an excellent birthday gift! One of my favorite gift ideas for adults/kids-at-heart is a humorous coloring book and a brand new box of 96 Crayola crayons tied off with a big fat bow. Not even the grouchiest left-brain adult can result the siren scent of a jumbo box of crayons.
Yesterday, my friend Heather wrote a post on adult coloring books featuring the mandala series from Wendy Piersall. Interestingly, I had lunch with Wendy a couple weeks ago and I was so engrossed – not just to see her newest mandalas, but to hear about the process of making a coloring book. I had no clue! This has put all kinds of ideas in to my head about making some coloring book pages on my own, but for now, I thought today my be a good time to share a few favorites from my collection. Adult coloring books can be super detailed, but most of my favorites are easy to color. Big. Bold. Dare I say, fat…
Not unlike the ladies of the Advanced Style coloring book, Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: a body-positive coloring book is unapologetically awesome. It features…you guessed it: fat ladies in space. It’s like a bunch of roller derby gals took over Star Trek; a nerdtastic, sci-fi, space jam of fictional feminist icons.
My favorite from another page, “Chief Communication Officer Ulka Saiph speaks seventeen languages from across three galaxies and knows how to swear in five.”
Just Add Color: Botanicals: 30 Original Illustrations To Color, Customize, and Hang is lovely because it’s printed on thicker perforated paper so you can tear sheets out and paint them and frame the results. Weirdly, the lines are smooth and almost like block prints, so if you color or paint outside the lines it looks better, more artistic, and more interesting. There are several Just Add Color books that follow a similar formula (Folk Art Patterns, Mid-Century Modern Animals, Mid-Century Modern Patterns) that are all terrific.
Lisa Congdon, an incredible artist (if you are Instagram she is a must-follow!) has another book called 20 Ways to Draw a Tulip and 44 Other Fabulous Flowers, which is not a coloring book, but one of those basic how-to drawing quasi-instructional books that are spectacular at releasing that non-intimidating artistic side. If you can doodle, and you own this book, you can draw any flower. Look at these dandelions…
Yeah. You can totally draw those. I promise. This is a fantastic book.
Speaking of fantastic…
I know you have been waiting for this moment. The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book is here! Truth is, I bought this as a stocking stuffer for my cousin but it never made it in his stocking (Sorry Bubba!). If you have a soft spot for 90s rappers, this is the book for you. If you don’t have a soft spot for 90s rappers, that’s cool too, but lighten up. Even my cat loves 2Pac.
And, because you have been searching for that special touch for your Eazy E shrine…
Additional highlights from this genre: Bun B’s Rapper Coloring and Activity Book and The 1990s Coloring Book: All That and a Box of Crayons (Psych! Crayons Not Included). I for one would like to know when someone going to create the Dawson’s Creek coloring book. That’s going to be a money tree right there that’s what that is. Money tree.
Switching gears, this next one was a gift to me from my friend Karen. Did you even know my boyfriend Benedict has a coloring book?
I know, you’re like, “He’s not your boyfriend. And he has a wife. And a baby.” and I’m like, “NOT IN MY COLORING BOOK HE DOESN’T.”
So that is what I know about that.
Adult coloring books: cathartic, creative, and way cheaper than therapy.