Instead of playing mobile games or chatting away on Facebook, grownups are turning to old-school coloring books for some rest and relaxation.
Adult coloring books have been around for years but have surged in popularity starting 2013 when a British publishing house released Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, which has since then sold about 2 million copies worldwide.
This, plus the success of French publisher Hachette Pratique’s “anti-stress” coloring book, Art-thérapie: 100 coloriages anti-stress, has resulted in a new industry segment that has attracted practically every crafts publisher. Barron’s, for instance, has lined up at least 20 new titles for fall/spring 2015-16, more than double the nine titles for the previous fall/spring season.
One of the factors often cited driving the line’s popularity is the fact that adults find coloring therapeutic, helping them unwind, especially in a tech-saturated world. A quick look at Amazon’s best sellers lists shows that three of the top 20 most popular books are adult coloring books.
Adult coloring books may scream infantilization, but completing one is no child’s play. The illustrations feature very intricate and difficult patterns. And while children usually use wax crayons, adults are adopting a variety of coloring materials for coloring, including markers (Sharpie, anyone?), gel pens, color pencils and ordinary crayons.
Coloring fans have been eagerly posting their creations on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter, and share tips.
For those who still like their tech, meanwhile, there are various apps, including Colorfy and Momi Coloring, available for mobile devices.