Colour me calm
Colour me calm
You might be surprised to hear that one of the best-selling books on Amazon in recent months is the curiously titled Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book by Johanna Basford.
It’s a colouring book for grown-ups that has sold more than 1.4 million copies around the world and been translated into 22 languages.
The book, and the many others like it (including a Benedict Cumberbatch-themed colouring-in book), has sparked something of a trend, with a growing number of mortgage-paying, dog-owning, job-having adults picking up their pencil tins and trying to stay inside the lines.
Indeed in France, colouring-in books for adults are said to be selling faster than cookbooks.
So why are so many adults taking up an activity that they probably haven’t done since kindergarten?
Getting in touch with your inner child has been pegged as a way of tapping into the creativity, freedom of expression and a certain contentment that you might have had in your kindy days.
Taking this a step further, earlier this year two women in New York started a pre-school programme for adults – Preschool Mastermind – allowing adults to indulge in finger painting, nap time and show-and-tell.
The point of it, said co-founder Michelle Joni Lapidos, is to nourish the “play” part of the brain, which usually gets jettisoned in the stressful business of being an adult. So the trend for colouring-in books makes sense, really.
It takes us back to a simpler time, one before we had to pay bills and look at our smartphones dozens of times a day. But it’s also a cheaper-than-therapy way of finding calm, meditation and, yes, maybe even the creativity you had as a child.
Besides all this, as psychologists have pointed out, a repetitive, mindful activity such as colouring-in is awfully good for stress relief. Something that adults are more likely to appreciate than their kindy counterparts.