Adult Colouring Books

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


As well as just being a general worldwide trend currently, adult colouring books are often suggested to help with occupying your mind when you suffer with mental health illnesses. I always kind of ignorantly shrugged off the idea, thinking the pressure of trying to stay in the lines couldn't possibly relax your mind, but i'll happily hold my hands up and tell you how wrong I was!

When i've been in serious need of some "me time" and to wind down, I have found colouring to be so relaxing. Spending time being somewhat creative instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media is so refreshing and a great way to concentrate your energy in a more positive way. Just working with different colour themes really helps set your mind at ease, and I found the books that focus around nature to be really calming and just generally aesthetically pleasing.

Firstly, I could not recommend the Johanna Basford books enough. These are easily my favourite of all the books I have. The quality and design are just so beautifully put together, and the themes allow you to be so creative. I use pens for colouring, purely because i'm a very impatient person and like to see a finished result as soon as possible, but Johanna often retweets some absolutely beautiful completed pieces done in various different mediums. Her books can be found in WH Smith, Sainsburys, Amazon etc, and I am super excited to get my hands on the latest release, Magical Jungle, which is finally available this month!

Another popular colouring book creator alongside Johanna is Millie Marotta. Millie sticks with different animal themes for her books, and Animal Kingdom was the first adult colouring book I bought myself last year! Again, these are beautiful quality, I just find myself more drawn to the Johanna Basford books as I feel there is more range in designs, and I particularly seem to enjoy the floral patterns which there is of course a lot of in Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. However, the nice thing about Millie's books are the prompts throughout to add your own designs to existing ones.

Another favourite of mine comes from The National Trust and a lady called Rebecca Jones. This book, however, takes colouring to the next step, by turning into little cards and envelopes! I was so excited when I got my hands on this and was making cards for anyone and everyone. I got the Nature one, but Rebecca does a wide range including Flowers & Butterflies, Summertime, and even a Christmas one! Each book includes 24 cards & envelopes to be designed by you, as well as stickers to hold your envelope in place, ready to send to your loved ones. These books are such incredible value for money, and such a lovely idea in general.

As well as the books, you obviously need the tools to create your masterpieces! As I said, I use pens for my colouring, and have found a few brands that I couldn't recommend enough. First off are the popular Stabilo fineliners, which are of course great for the more intricate designs. I was gifted the 20-piece set from Sophie, and they're a great range of colours and definitely one of the pens I reach for the most. Next are the BIC Kids Visa colouring pens - I am so impressed with these. I picked these up on a bit of a whim because they were all Tesco had at the time when I got my first colouring book, but they are so lovely to work with. A good range of colours with a really inky, soft tip, good for larger areas to colour unlike the Stabilo fineliners.

Lastly, when rooting through my old College stationary to see what treats I could find, I came across a pack of Berol Fine pens. These pens had literally been sitting in a box for around 8 years, and they still work?! I'm sure any art students will know how nice these pens are to work with, and considering their shelf life, they're a worthy winner!

Being the little colouring nerd I am, means I wanted something a bit more spacious than a standard pencil case to keep all my pens, and I found this nifty little plastic storage box from Hobbycraft that allows me to store my pens neatly and with colour coordination - what more could a girl ask for?!

I must admit, I do find myself going through phases with colouring - sometimes I could sit there for hours on end doing page after page, but then I can leave it for a few weeks. But thats not necessarily a bad thing, it's really good to have that platform there for me if I feel like I need it. I first started the colouring when I was going through a really hard time with my mental illness, and I definitely believed it helped to calm me so much.

If you have any questions or recommendations, they're of course always welcome in the comments.

Love, J x

Image Source: Colourful Me

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