Coloring Books Are Not Just For Kids

secretgardencovImage via Amazon


By now, you’ve probably heard about this best-selling coloring book that has sold over a million and a half copies. Suddenly it seems that “adult” coloring books are trending — they’re not R-rated, but created with an older audience in mind. Why the sudden popularity? NBC News reports that coloring is calming. Lisa Congdon, artist/author of several Just Add Color titles: Botanicals, Geometric Patterns, and Folk Art, believes that it’s not only creative, but meditative. She explains that the hobby is a refuge from all the screen stimulation and stress that we receive everyday; it’s an analog activity that takes us back to our childhood. Even coloring groups are now all the rage: a Facebook Group called “Coloring For All” has over 4000 followers!

Need more convincing to pick up some crayons? Here’s 10 coloring books to try:


TeamArt_GoT_intImages by Team Art


Game of Thrones A Coloring Book from Team Art in Canada features 22 characters to color from the popular show based on George R R Martin’s books. Added benefit: constructive coloring while watching your favorite show!


cityscapesintArt by Steve McDonald


Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined by Steve McDonald (Chronicle Books) is full of lovely cityscapes for travel and architecture buffs to color and contemplate.



CMGGosling3Art by Mel Elliott


Color Me In Good Ryan Gosling by Mel Elliott (I Love Mel) is the “Unofficial Coloring Book.” Mel Elliott has a terrific series with all your boy crushes including Jamie Dornan and James De Franco.



CongdonbotanicalsArt by Lisa Congdon


Just Add Color: Botanicals by Lisa Congdon (Rockport Publishers) is part of a great series of coloring books, in which Ms Congdon has contributed three. It’s hard to choose which one to get first, so I suggest splurging on them all!


Flow Coloring Book

Flow Coloring BookImages via Flow Magazine


Flow: Coloring is a Form of Happiness Book by Helen Dardik and Carolyn Gavin (Flow Magazine) is a visual delight. If you’re a fan of Flow Magazine or Canadian illustrators Helen Dardkik and Carolyn Gavin, you’re in for a treat.



mindfulness_2Images via Amazon


The Mindfulness Coloring Book by Emma Farrarons (Boxtree Ltd) is the perfect antidote to a busy day. The best thing about this book is its small size—you can carry it around with you.

poster-a-colorier-parisposter-a-colorier-paris-1Images via Omy


Poster Géant À Colorier Giant Coloring Poster: Paris (Omy Design & Play) is technically not a book, but something waiting to be transformed into your living room masterpiece. Their entire product line is perfect for the child at heart.


basemanpageIllustration by Gary Baseman


Outside the Lines: An Artist’s Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations edited by Souris Hong-Porretta (Perigree Books) is a terrific collection of drawings from artists including Keith Haring, Gary Baseman, and Ryan McGuiness. A portion of the profits is donated Moca’s Education Program.



indiepageArt by Andy J Miller


The Indie Rock Coloring Book by Yellow Bird Project and Andy J Miller (Chronicle Books) will give you insta-cool-cred. Plus all royalties go to a good cause.




Color Me Drunk (Potter Style) is cheeky fun. And surprise! There’s a drawing by yours truly on page 95.




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10 Fashion Doodle Books

For Fashion Week NYC (February 12-19), we count down our 10 favorite fashion doodle books!



10. Pantone Fashion Sketch Pad by Pantone LLC

Brought to you by Pantone, creator of the color-matching system used by designers, printers, and manufacturers, this one is for serious sketchers, fashion illustrators and designers. It’s loaded with a glossary, color palettes, and figurative templates ready to be taken to the shows and dressed by your designs!


9. The Fashion Coloring Book by Carol Chu and Lulu Chang

Fashionistas can familiarize themselves with over fifty iconic designers while coloring in illustrations by book designer/illustrator Carol Chu and fashion blogger Lulu Chang.


8. 20 Ways to Draw a Dress by Julia Kuo

Part of a series that lets you to draw alongside Julia Kuo, an illustrator based in Chicago and Taipei.


7. Fabulous Fashion: Over 100 Designer Doodles to Complete and Create by Nellie Ryan

Prolific illustrator Nellie Ryan hails from New Zealand and once worked for fashion designer Jasper Conran. Her series of doodle books are chocked-full of drawings that you can create or complete.


6. Rosie Flo’s Coloring Fashion Show by Roz Streeten

I remember when I first saw one of Rosie Flo’s charming Coloring books in a neighborhood toy store in Brooklyn. There are now a dozen in the series created Roz Streeten with her daughters (whose combined middle names form the series’ namesake). This one pops out so kids can stage their own fashion shows—so fun! And, you can share your art with Rosie Flo and maybe win a prize!


5. Color It Chic: By You and Nancy Riegelman

This book is big—256 pages of clothes to color and draw by the author of 9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion. There is a follow-up focused on Accessories too.


4. Fashion Doodles by Anita Wood (Author) and Jennifer Kalis (Illustrator)

I love the girlie-ness of this book—it’s adorned with curly type and soft colors. Doodlers will not only enjoy designing and coloring this book, but they’ll love the bits of fashion trivia as well.


3. Fashion Exercise Book: Drawing, Doodling & Coloring In by Frances Moffatt

Follow illustrator Frances Moffatt’s drawings or invent your own designs in this fantastic fashion workbook.


2. My Wonderful World of Fashion by Nina Chakrabarti

Originally from Calcutta, India, Nina Chakrabarti, creator of this popular series studied at Central St Martins and Royal College of Art (London). They’re full of gorgeous drawings and fashion inspiration. You may not have couture in your closet, but you can dream about (and create) them in this doodle book!


1. Doodling for Fashionistas: 50 Inspiring Doodle Prompts and Creative Exercises for the Diva Designer in You by Gemma Correll

I’m most excited about this book—which comes out next month—because I’m a HUGE fan of Gemma Correll, author of What I Wore Today and pug expert. She’ll not only inspire you to draw, but she’ll likely make you laugh.

Images credit: Amazon or respective publishers’ websites.