You might be curious about the coloring book craze, but you might not know what to look for in getting your first one.
Here are 5 things to look for in purchasing a coloring book.
- Interest – When you flip through the pages of various coloring books you want to look for variety in the designs. You want designs that appeal to you! I do not recommend getting a book that has the same basic design over and over again because inevitably there will be a day where you are in a slightly different mood that requires a slightly different coloring page. If you choose a book that has enough variety in the pages, you can use a single book for quite a long time rather than needing many books. Also, the quality of the images: are they hand-drawn or computer generated. I am almost always drawn – pun intended – toward the human quality of art. Computer generated designs do not always have the warmth or inviting energy I’m looking for when coloring. You want to make sure you are getting what you pay for, make sure the book you choose has enough pictures to keep you interested, not bored and maybe a page or two to share with a coloring buddy (unless you are a “get your own book, buddy” kind of colorist).
- Printing – Are the images double-sided or single-sided in printing? This is a question that newbies don’t think about, but come that first book with a marker or strong touch and you’ll instantly be thinking of the back of your page. Single sided printed coloring books allow for a variety of coloring mediums, including markers which are known to bleed through most coloring book paper. There is special marker paper that does not bleed through, but it doesn’t tend to work very well for regular coloring books. Double sided pages might mean you have to choose which image you want to color the most. If in doubt, put a piece of scratch paper between your pages to protect the next one.
- Perforated or bound – There are two categories of colorists in the coloring book world: those who color in the books and those who color with pages torn out. I used to be a color-in-the-book person until I realized I had so much more freedom in keeping my paper flat (no wave in the binding to work around, and great for leftys if you are one) and I could rotate my paper to allow for ease in movement. No more funny wrist positions trying to get that one spot colored! Plus, the perforated paper means I have a clean edge (no cutting or accidental rips), making masterpieces easier to share, frame or give away as gifts.
- Size matters- The shape and size of your book might make a difference depending on how you plan to use your book. Tall books require that you have a “tall” working space to color and or a bag that will hold it. Smaller books are especially great for travel, because most fit in a bag or a purse, tucked in the car or backpack easily.
- How does it make you feel? This might sound silly, but there is a serious side to this question. Coloring can provide hours (and I mean do hours – I spend an average of 4-8 hours on a single coloring page layering and relaying colors, but not all in one sitting!) of calm, relaxing and sometimes a rejuvenating sense of self. How you spend those hours of time connecting to an image, or several, should at the very least be enjoyable. Be curious about the pictures you are seeing. Do they mean anything to you? You’ll be amazed at the details you did not know where in a picture until you start to color it.
The Artful Mandala Coloring Book
It’s has a wonderful variety of 100 hand-drawn designs, is a the perfect 8×8 size, single sided printing and is an international published book, already translated into several languages. Click here to check out the inside. The Artful Mandala can be purchase anywhere books are sold (check out your local book store, support them too!), including Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon. Loved by children and adults.
The Ancient Alchemy Coloring Book
This book is awesome. Watch the video to check it out the inside. Different cultures and symbols are represented in 100 hand-drawn images so fun to color. Includes a visual index in the back to identify the symbols and a Symbol Guide in the front to help curious colorists learn a little bit more about some of the pages they will be coloring. 8×8 size, good paper, excellent companion book to The Artful Mandala.