« Back to articlePrint this article

Grown-ups, it's never too late to colour

July 25, 2016 11:54 IST

Colouring books for adults are helping people loosen up and rediscover their childhood, says Veenu Sandhu.

Before we learn to read or write, we learn to draw and paint.

But as we grow older, most of us stop playing with colours and let what is more pressing take over.

Now, a spate of colouring books for adults is encouraging grown-ups to momentarily escape from the humdrum of everyday life and reconnect with the child in them.

adult colouring book

IMAGE: A page from Johanna Basford's Secret Garden. Photograph: Kind Courtesy, bellaswan_1987/Instagram

It all started in 2013, when Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford published Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book.

Hidden in its black and white pages is a list of creatures be found: Beetles, songbirds, butterflies and sharks. The book has since been translated into 14 languages and has sold over a million copies.

Then last year Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Colouring Book and Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure & Colouring Book followed, again to huge success.

Now, with 'big children' in India too hooked, a number of authors, illustrators and publishing houses in the country are coming up with colouring books for adults.

adult colouring event

IMAGE: A colouring lounge (for adult and children) in Walt Whitman Mall, Huntington, New York. Photograph: Kind Courtesy penguinrandomhouse/Instagram

Penguin Random House, for example, has brought out The Jaya Colouring Book and The Sita Colouring Book (Rs 399 each) based on Devdutt Pattanaik's bestselling retelling of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, respectively.

So, give wings to your imagination to recreate the colours of Draupadi's swayamvara, the Pandava's years in exile or the battle scenes -- Krishna giving Gita updesh to Arjuna or the deaths of Karna, Drona and Bhishma.

Or, picture how Kishkindha, Lanka and Ayodhya might have looked.

"Adult colouring books are fast catching up in India," says Rajdeep Mukherjee, senior vice-president, Pan Macmillan India, which launched the Mindfulness colouring books last year and will soon be bringing a series of Zen doodles that has already sold a few million copies in the US.

adult colouring book

IMAGE: An adult colouring book. Photograph: Kind Courtesy mindfulness_colouring/Instagram

So, there is The Little Book of Calm Colouring, The Big Book of Relaxing Colouring and so on. There is also The Mystical World: Khalil Gibran's the Prophet (Aleph Book Company, Rs 299) by Sujaya Batra.

The premise is that these books serve as mood relaxants, increase attention span and help you sleep better.

Else, forget therapy and focus on fun with the Harry Potter Colouring Book or indulge in The Art of Romance with Mills & Boons' iconic covers or try out self-published author Indu Harikumar's Beauty Needs Space: A Colouring Book For Big Children.

Veenu Sandhu
Source: source image