I bet, this is your current craze too. It isn’t just me for sure.
A universal craze — F A C T.
I’ve read that the penchant for coloring books for grown-ups started at the beginning of 2015, but I was totally unaware that there’s such a phenomenon going on. Mine started inadvertently, out of my fondness to anything that could nurture the artist in me. I love crafts of any kind — any activity that keeps my hand busy and creative juice flowing all at the same time.
I bought my first coloring book for grown-ups (for myself but with my niece in mind) back in May when I was in Japan for the spring edition of the Software Development Conference. I stumbled upon it at the Flying Tiger store at the Aqua City in Odaiba. I bought a coloring book and an activity book and chose to give them to my 9-year-old niece, who I share the same interest in the arts with.
Photo credit to the owner.
The coloring book that I got was that one at the back with a girl hanging upside down from a branch cover, and the activity book at the foreground. I visited this store many times over during my week-long stay in Odaiba. The coloring book and activity book are priced at JPY 300 each. Surprisingly cheap, right?!
When I finally sent the books to my niece, it never left my mind how I wanted to get a coloring book for myself too. Then came July, I saw Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland on my friend’s Instagram feed. She bought hers at Fully Booked, and she tagged me to an online seller on IG so I bought the same book online. Easier and faster way of buying but, to my dismay, a few weeks later I found out that National Bookstore was selling it at almost half the price. Well, if you’re crazy and you want it so bad, you’ll grab it even if it costs an arm and a leg! 😀
If you’re reading this and you want to buy one for yourself, Wellmanson, a wholesale store in Quiapo, is now selling Millie Marotta’s coloring books. Check their FB page. I found out recently that some IG sellers are selling it for as low as PHP 350 a book. Search them on IG via tags.
The first ever page that I finished, which took me days to complete.
Forget about the price, I am enjoying my Tropical Wonderland coloring book. It’s serving its purpose. Coloring calms the nerves. It’s very therapeutic. No wonder it’s a big hit among adults nowadays.
Birds. Work in progress.
A week ago, I bought another one online — Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden. I bought it at a cheaper price this time. I thought I hit the jackpot, but then again I found out that I could still get it for as cheap as PHP 350 a book! As an Amazon Bestseller, this is by far the most coveted among coloring book lovers. Some sellers online offer it from PHP 1500 to PHP 3500. I got mine at PHP 500. As to whether I bought an authentic one or China copy, I couldn’t tell yet. I’ll find out when I find one in a legit bookstore.
Flowers in bloom. Tropical Wonderland on the left, Secret Garden on the right.
My Coloring Essentials
- 36 pcs. Stabilo Colored Pencils 3.8 mm Premium Edition (PHP 565 at National Bookstore)
- Sharpener (I’m happy to have found a miniature globe sharpener at National Bookstore!)
- Gel pens in metallic silver and gold
Some use crayons or felt-tip marker pens, but I’m happy with colored pencils. I prefer pencils because I like blending colors and they produce a beautiful result almost, if not exactly, how I imagine it! A plus point in using pencils is that you can erase the color that go outside the line and whenever you change your mind and decide to use another color instead, then simply erase and recolor.
Some suggest expensive colored pencils such as Faber-Castell Polychromos, which real artists use. I’m no hardcore crazy so, no thank you. I’m good with my Stabilo.
Sometimes, once we start coloring we get lost in the moment and we tend to go on and on and on. Secret Garden and Tropical Wonderland illustrations are printed double-sided on thick paper material. Colors don’t bleed through. However, if you have already colored the back page and want to start coloring on a fore-page, make sure to insert a blank thick paper (I use an A4 coupon bond) at the back page that is as big or bigger than the size of the book to prevent colors from sticking to the adjacent page.
Coloring as a Form of Relaxation
Tropical Wonderland and Secret Garden have 96 double-sided pages, respectively. I spend at most 2 hours a day coloring, in solitude, and I usually do it at night before going to bed. It has a soothing effect to the mind, body, and soul. With this pace, I think it will take me forever to color all the pages. 😀
It’s a craze and I want more– and I want this!
Be careful when buying coloring books from online sellers on Instagram. Cheap doesn’t mean authentic or real. Please read my next post Secret Garden: The Real Thing.