Tuesday, 8 September 2020

I'm Obsessed with Colouring Books

Hey lovelies! I hope you're all having a marvellous start to the week :) Do you have any nice plans? I'd love to hear all about them! Today's post, as you've probably gathered from the title, is all about colouring books, and my current favourites that I've been using throughout these times with Miss 'Rona (I watched a lot of YouTube so this name for the virus has stuck!). I was inspired to do this post thanks to National Colouring Book Day, which is on the 2nd August, however as some of you guys will know, that month is a very triggering time for me, and so this post is a month late. But who cares!? My blog, my rules :D And I hope you'll all enjoy reading it just as much now as you would then! 

A photo of three colouring books, surrounded by crayons and gel pens

I have forever been a fan of colouring books, since being a small kid. Of course, most children are, but my love for them never went away. Thus I'm almost twenty-eight years old and still derive joy from colouring in. Who can relate? You can probably imagine my delight several years ago when the market for adult colouring book was booming. I mean, there's always been books available to colour in, but it was wonderful to have ones catered to grown-up's (even if, like me, you don't always feel like one!) in practically every store! 

As a result of the popularity of these adult versions of colouring books, which I believe were and continue to be so well loved because many grown up's feel childish for enjoying colouring, or for doing anything that is bright and happy and has an air of whimsical fun to it, apparently... And these books being sold specifically for them made it feel more socially acceptable. If you're someone who feels this way about anything, I want you to know that it's okay to enjoy things! 

My bedroom looks like a child's room with literal children's wallpaper and plushies everywhere you look, but life is too short and often miserable, or stressful or filled with boring adulting stuff, to not appreciate or partake in something that makes your heart happy, or your inner child. But there's really no such thing! Your childhood experiences, your interests from back then, your likes and dislikes, makes up a lot of who you became as a person, and it's fantastic when you let yourself embrace those things. So, you like colouring? Own that! I don't care what people think of my interests. If I want a giant fluffy alpaca plushie in a sailor's hat for my birthday, then that's what I want! And there ain't no-one who can make me feel bad about it :D

A photo of three colouring books, surrounded by crayons and gel pens

Apologies, guys; I seem to have gone off on a tangent! But the original point I was trying to make was that adult colouring books make so many of my fellow grown humans feel better about enjoying colouring, and if that encourages more people to do it then I'm all for it! Plus, its led to the creation of tonnes of really cool themed colouring books. There's seriously a book for everything and anything you can imagine- wanna colour in some serial killers? You can do that! How about trains? Yep, there's a book for that! And my favourites that have come out of this hype are sweary books :) Keep reading if you like these, too. 

Two of the colouring books I'll be talking about were very kindly purchased for me by my brilliant friends off of my Amazon wishlist! THANKYOU, GUYS!! And the other is one I picked up myself. I'd love to know which is your favourite! 

A photo showing a colouring book featuring an illustration of a witch holding a jack-o-lantern. Cute Witches by Jade Summer

Look how adorable this witchy colouring book is!! It was the first that I received of the three I'm including in today's post, so I thought I would talk about it first :) I popped this lovely item onto my wishlist because a) I'm a big fan of all things witchcraft-related & b) because the illustrations are done in an anime style! As a lover of Japanese anime, this feature was probably the main reason I was drawn to this particular colouring book. And I was delighted to discover, upon flicking through the book when it arrived, that the company (Fritzen Publishing) have various themed colouring books designed in this style. There's a partition in the middle of the colouring book that lists other colouring books from Jade Summer, and also has two sample pages from other books. I now have a mighty need to start another collection! Can I ever be stopped!? 

One of my favourite things about this colouring book is how many different designs they are inside and how varied they are. There's 26 in total, and each of them is unique, featuring a witch or two doing completely different things. They are all such gorgeous illustrations, too!! I am just in love with the artwork! I want to put them up all over my wallpaper walls, to be honest :D 

I almost didn't want to start colouring them in because I thought my messy colouring would ruin them. Luckily for me, you get a double of every single picture!! When the book arrived, I was impressed by how thick it was, but I soon realised that there are the first set of illustrations, then the promo stuff I mentioned in the centre, followed by another set of the illustrations. I have both positive and negative opinions about this! It would have been amazing to have 52 unique designs to colouring in. But if I don't like my finished page, I can always do better on the extra sheet. Also, it would be ideal for parents with two children because you can cut out an identical page for both of them and not have to deal with them fighting over specific pages! I think it would be cute for couples to do together as well, because you can compare afterwards to see which colours you chose for certain parts of the illustration, etc.

A completed colouring page of a witch holding a jack-o-lantern and some bats in the background

How pretty is the first page of the Cute Witches colouring book!? It's the same design as on the cover and although my colouring in abilities don't do it justice, you can still see just how marvellous it is! The designs are very spacious, which is great for me who as I mentioned before is messy when it comes to colouring. I really do struggle to keep in the lines. Good old dyspraxia! 

Here's an example of one of the pages I've yet to colour in and as you can see, it's very different to the design of the first page. I'm delighted with the detail that has gone into the design of each illustration!! Another feature that I really like about this colouring book is how each illustration has its own page. You can see in my photo above that the backs of each page are just black in colour, which is superb as it means whatever you are using to colour with won't bleed through onto another design. This was always something that irritated me when I was a child, especially when I was trying to colour with felt-tip pens. I've not tried those in this colouring book yet though! 

You can find Cute Witches: An Adult Colouring Book for yourself here. It's available for only £4.99 which is amazing, considering the fact that it has 52 pages! The paper used is pretty good quality as well. I was a little surprised about this with the book only costing a fiver! All-in-all, I am super happy and I will definitely be getting more of Jade Summer's books in the future. Colouring in this book has not only been something to fill the time, but the designs have got my imagination going! I've found myself creating little tales and scenarios in my mind for the witch characters in the particular scene I'm working on. It's wonderful! A huge thanks to the lovely Estelle for getting this colouring book for me. She's a blogger, too, so definitely check out her blog as well as her YouTube channel :) 

Japanese Colouring Book, the cover is black with cherry blossoms on, a lucky cat, a tea set and a wind chame

I was certainly spoilt by my wonderful friends!! This colouring book was another that I added to my wishlist because if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know that I love all things related to Japan: the language, the art, the history and culture, everything is fascinating! The design on the front of this book is so beautiful! And even though its available for only £1 more than the other book, the overall quality is better, including the cover which has a finish/texture to it that makes it seem like it would cost even more. 

I am a lover of surprises and so I was very much looking forward to find out what Japanese things would be featured inside this colouring book, and I was not disappointed. It looks as though lots of different artists were commissioned to put this colouring book together, as the style of the artwork differs from page-to-page. I like some more than others, but it keeps colouring in this book an interesting experience! 

A photo showing a completed colouring book of a Japanese Geisha standing by a pond in a beautiful garden

As with the Cute Witches colouring book, the first page matches the design on the cover, so I've decided to show you a random page within the Japanese Colouring Book. I'm quite happy with the finished look of this page :) There are lots of beautiful scenes like this in the colouring book, so if nature and architecture are your thing, you'll enjoy it! It's relaxing to sit in the garden on a sunny day, colouring in outdoorsy scenes like the one above, whilst listening to the sounds of nature. 

This book has 32 illustrations in it, and no repeated designs, so it's a lot thinner than the other colouring book. And again, each is on its own individual page so you don't have to worry about the colours going through to 'ruin' another design. The blank backs of the pages in this book are white, which I prefer to the black. However, the paper feels a lot better quality in this book so I can understand why the Jade Summer book has backs that would hide most of the colours that might bleed through. 

A colouring page showing a huge koi carp fish surrounded by flowers in a Japanese art style

Would it even be a Japanese themed book without at least one koi carp?? Spoiler: this books got many! I am lovin' the range in these colouring books though. It's been nice to turn to something new each time I open a page to start colouring. With the designs being so different in style, some are more intricate and have smaller sections to colour in, and this makes them more difficult, at least for someone like me. This is a feature of the book that I like because I can work on the tougher pages when I'm feeling in the mood for a challenge. Doing colouring that requires a lot of concentration makes me feel very focused, and I am often quite productive for the rest of the day after I have finished working on a page like that. 

The book is produced by a business called Creative Coloring Co, and you can purchase it on Amazon here. The final pages of the book have a few sample sheets from other books, and this is something I prefer. The samples being at the back I mean VS being in the middle, like with the first colouring book I mentioned. Thankyou so much to another fellow blogger friend of mine, Natalee, for surprising me with this colouring book from my wishlist :) Make sure to have a read of her blog, too! 

A photo of a colouring book featuring an illustration of cute animals surrounding a rainbow. The background is bright blue.

The final book that I wanted to show off to you all is the sweary one! It's made by Sugar & Sloth, a shop run by a fabulous artist called Anita, who makes the most adorable products! Just look at the cover of this colouring book and tell me that it doesn't immediately make you think 'AWW'! I am a subscriber of Sugar & Sloth's Tiny Party Club and receive monthly goodie boxes (they are so much fun!). And so I follow Anita's social media accounts, where I got to see the process of this spectacular adult colouring book coming to life! I even voted in the polls to determine whether the cover should be yellow or blue. I voted blue so I was so glad that it was the winner! I pre-ordered a 'Love Yourself, You Stupid Bitch' colouring book as soon as I could :) 

A photo showing a completed colouring book featuring a giraffe that is captioned 'Too fab for your shit'

COLOURS GALORE!! I love love love the design of the inside of the cover! It's so eye-catching and vibrant and aesthetically-pleasing. What's not to love? There are so many adorable creatures on there, and it's excellent to be greeted by cuteness overload as soon as you open your colouring book! 

One of my favourite things about Sugar & Sloth's artwork are the bold outlines and how chunky the characters are! And this translates into the perfect colouring book style for me :) The design and the cute yet simplistic style of the illustrations mean that there's a large surface area to colour in, and that's why I can colour with less risk of going outside the lines, haha! 

I'm a huge fan of Anita's creations and the major reason for that is the contrast between the sweet little chubby animals and the captions that accompany them! As a adult who is fond of cursing as a form of expression, but who also likes to fill her life with all the kawaii things, this really appeals to 'both sides' of me. I am super happy to have a book full of them now, as each and every one of the illustrations in this colouring book makes me smile when I look at it! The book is titled as a self-care colouring book and its already doing a spectular job before I even get started with the actual filling-in of colour! 

A photo showing uncompleted colouring pages feature cute animals and swear words

The designs in The Sweary Self-Care Colouring book are very relatable for me. Anita, like myself, has anxiety and so a lot of her wording speaks to me on a personal level. It's kind of cathartic to see words that could pretty much have come from your own brain on paper in cutesy form. I don't know how to explain my feelings, but I hope that made some sort of sense, haha! 

This fantastical product is £12, which it is definitely worth considering how beautifully designed it is and the illustrations are printed onto super thick paper that feels closer to card. It's very unlikely that colours are going to bleed through that thickness, but I've not tested it with felts yet :D There are 36 illustrations to colour and they are very varied in design, so you won't get bored colouring in this book! The only element that I would change is that the pages are printed back-to-back. Because of the thickness of the paper used, I would love to display these around my room, but this means I won't get to see the illustrations that are on the backside of the paper and as the designs are all so nice, there are lots of pages where I would love to display both sides, but I'll obviously have to chose between the two! It will be challenge to decide, but this isn't something that has an impact on what the book is for? It's still wonderful to colour in! 

Thankyou Anita for putting together such an epic book filled with hilarious swear words, like cockwomble!!, and lots of lovely phrases of encouragement. Both help to brighten my day whenever I open up a random page :) You can get yourself one over on the Sugar & Sloth website. Go support an independent, small business during these trying times!

A photo showing three colouring books: cute witches, japanese colouring book, the sweary self-care colouring book from Sugar & Sloth

It may sound silly, but colouring really has been a big help for me over the last few months. I've found that on days when my mental health is bad and I can't find the motivation to complete the tasks written on my to-do-list, such as trying to blog or doing photography, I can open up a colouring book and get lost for a while. I can fight away the intrusive thoughts that pop up to tell me how much of a bad person I am for being unproductive! And this is because there is something so satisfying about finishing colouring in an illustration. You can admire your work and think 'I did that!', even though all you did was colour in someone else's artwork. It still feels like the artwork is partly your own creation, as you've bought it to life with colour :) I don't know about you guys, but it always makes me feel that little mood boost that comes with accomplishment. It's the little things, as they say! 

So colouring for me as been a form of self care, and I am so grateful to my friends for helping me more than they know (or at least, knew before reading it here!). I really hope that this has been an interesting read, despite the fact that my mind is all over the place today and I can't seem to stay focused on one topic at a time! Maybe I should go do some colouring?

Thankyou for reading!

Are you a fan of colouring in?

If so, what's the best colouring book that you own? 

I'd love recommendations!

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  1. The Japanese colouring book is stunning and I love the Sugar & Sloth one such a fun cute idea, I used to love colouring and drawing when I was younger but now my artist energy seems to go more towards video and photography, I'm still tempted to get myself a colouring book sometime though haha! xoxo

  2. So glad you are a member of the #colorist community! And that Japanese book looks awesome!

  3. These colouring books are amazing! I love colouring on days where I just need to rest and recover. I might need to buy myself some of these colouring books because they are adorable! I do have a swear word colouring book which can be very therapeutic to colour haha ♡


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