Coloring outside the lines is a fine art--Kim Nance
I know I’m a little late to the party (ok, way late), but I recently jumped on the adult coloring book bandwagon. Adult coloring books are supposed to have calming, stress relieving factors similar to meditation, or some such thing. Focusing on coloring and being in the moment is supposed to help with “free-floating anxiety”, which is why I thought scratching away in a coloring book would be the perfect way to help calm my nerves on an upcoming flight to Texas.
Adult Coloring Books: Just What Do I Think?
According to the American Art Therapy Association, “art therapy” is a mental health profession in which the process of making and creating artwork is used to "explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem." "Coloring definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring about more mindfulness," says Marygrace Berberian, a certified art therapist and the Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU.
Since I haven't owned any colored pencils, markers or crayons since about 1998, I purchased a set of 10 pencils when I bought the coloring book. Peeps, this shit ain’t cheap. The coloring book ran me about $13, and the pencils an additional $5. That’s $18 compared to a $5 co-pay for a Xanax script, but whatever. I’m sure coloring would be more beneficial and better bide my time on a five hour flight more than a zanny nap would, right?
Anyway, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try my hand at this coloring thing today, well before my travel date, and all I can say is LMFAO.
I pulled out my new colored pencils and chose an intricate paisley design as my foray into the adult coloring world and had at it. To be honest, I had no choice in the complexity of the design; every pattern in the book was an intricate pattern of some sort--flowers, butterflies, leaves, feather, birds--all of it was elaborate on some level.
I started out micro-scribbling green leaves around some sort of Alice in Wonderland type hypnosis circle, which I then colored two different shades of pink. However, it wasn’t long after I started my "art therapy" that I realized that I am not long for this trend. Trying to stay within the tiny lines of those delicate patterns is a lot like trying to weave your giant SUV through rush hour traffic on a Friday night before a 3-day weekend in a snowstorm. It sucks. And coloring in the larger patterns? Well, it just reminded me that it’s all I am really capable of handling before cursing like a drunken sailor under my breath (I don’t think you’re supposed to curse at coloring?). Then the wavy, swirly patterns started to make me dizzy and I felt a migraine coming on.
Now maybe it’s because my old lady eyes can’t see as well as they could when I was a wee lass scribbling away in my Holly Hobbie coloring books, or maybe it’s because my fat fingers can’t maneuver a pencil around those tiny designs as well as they should, but whatever the reason it’s causing me more agita than it’s supposed to cure. And for that reason, I am waving the white flag and throwing in the (colored) towel on this trend.
Imma call my doctor in the morning for that script.
What do you think about adult coloring books? Are you a fan? Do they calm your nerves or make you bat shit crazy, like me? Let me know in the comments below!