When I was a teenager I used to spend hours alone in my room drawing. Sometimes patterns, sometimes characters from films or landscapes but mainly repetitive patterns made of lines of different colours; mindless, thoughtless, lines of colour, which when looked at afterwards were pretty and effective but looking back now I realise that it wasn’t about the drawings it was about switching off my brain. I was a busy teen and I needed time to just be.
As women our brains are so busy all the time keeping track of shopping, appointments, homework, washing, work, partners, parents, siblings, parties, gifts… so often we find it almost impossible to just switch off and give our brains a rest.
Recently there has been a massive increase in the sales of adult colouring books with the release of books like Secret Garden by Johanna Basford and Millie Marotta’s book “Animal Kingdom” and their popularity has really brought to light just how much adults crave that time to be creative and switch off for an hour or two.
For a while I was against colouring books because they seemed to go against creativity. However, we live in an increasingly busy world and a world where many children don’t have the time or the inclination to just sit and colour or just be still and think and recently I’ve started to view them completely differently, as meditation rather than a creative activity as such. As a family we are quite creative and along with music being a big part of our lives we do try to get arty as often as possible. We love nothing more than getting some cheap canvases and ust going with the flow. Just to prove it, here is my latest doodly creation. It is a bit of an experiment for me cause usually I get the paint out but I am loving playing with Sharpies on canvas for a change. Eventually this will have a quote of some sort in the middle and will hang on my office wall.
I’m not even going to pretend that it is some significant work of art, it isn’t, nor should it be. It is a representation of my inner workings on canvas. It is the emptying of my mind over several days usually after a day of work. It is a way of encouraging my children to sit quietly with me and engage in their own art (not that they need a lot of encouragement!).
[Tweet “Colouring in is as relaxing as meditation and a lot less intimidating”]
You don’t need expensive colouring books or fancy art materials, a couple of sheets of A4 paper and some crayons will do, you can even just use a biro or HB pencil. Just allow your mind to be quiet and doodle whatever comes to mind. It is more about the process than the result. In the same way that staring at a flower or candle flame is a wonderful way to meditate because you are focusing all your attention on that detail, so too is colouring in.
If the idea of creating something from scratch scares you then you can download adult colouring pages or buy a colouring book it needn’t be expensive. Just enjoy creating and being still. It is so good for you.
Want to read more about how colouring in can help you and your daughter?