Keeping the Child in You Alive:

Part 3: Some Adult Colourers

Welcome to the final part of our colourful series! We asked around for people who are active adult colourers, and asked them to explain why they decided to dig up their colouring pencils from the bottom of their drawers and dive into the world of adult colouring. You heard about Giselle Lombart* in part one and her recovery from her General Anxiety Disorder, thanks to adult colouring books that allowed her creative juices to flow and instilled a sense of calm mindfulness in her. Here are some more stories:

“I enjoy it as it relaxes me. It’s my escape from technology. Also, it brings out the inner child in me. I love experimenting with different colours and techniques. I am terrible at drawing, so colouring helps me express myself.” – Tejal Chouhan

“It started last year when my mom sent a package from home and I found colouring in pencils. In her letter, she said “the colouring in book is on its way”. I was really confused and found it quite amusing and rather strange. My mom had heard on the radio about the therapeutic [nature] of colouring in, and decided to send my sister and I one each to help us de-stress. So, it’s all thanks to my mom that I started – and I cannot thank her enough. I absolutely love letting my creative juices flow, whether I do it in the quiet of my room with some music playing in the background, or even during an episode of Vampire Diaries. Colouring in has been one of the best ways not only to take me back to my childhood, but to allow me to relax and ponder on my thoughts. It is kind of like the ‘shower-time thinking’ but without the shower. And the best part is you are rewarded with a pretty picture of your own artistic innovations.” – Bronwyn Pretorius 

“I am in first year. I did art at school but I hated it. I always used to colour as a kid but due to the schooling ideals, I was told that my doodling and colouring wasn’t adequate. I then did all my art projects the way my teacher wanted them. But that was not me. I bought a colouring book the other day because I missed it. I missed being able to colour and express myself. So that is why I colour.” – Stephanie Irons

Last year I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and I tried out an entire pharmacy of antidepressants before finding one that worked for me. During this horrible period in my life, adult colouring books suddenly became popular and although I was sceptical of the multiple claims I encountered, telling me that colouring in and mindfulness would decrease my anxiety and depression, I bought one anyway. Having an artistic outlet that wasn’t writing really aided me in calming down and becoming more focused, ultimately conquering my depression. Mindfulness was a useful tool in learning to put all of my focus and energy into one thing at a time, just as I did when colouring in. Now, instead of worrying about all of the other things I need to while doing a specific task, I manage to put all of my attention into one task and do that one task brilliantly. I then move onto the next task, knowing that the one before is finished and done wonderfully. Colouring in somehow taught me this skill. I’m really lucky that something so simple and fun aided me in conquering the issues I had with my mental health – Ellen Heydenrych