Created : 2020-10-19, Updated : 2021-09-16
Coloring books are where most kids start to develop their artistic dexterity. They are available relatively cheap, they are often related to cartoon characters or objects familiar to very young children. They provide guidelines for children who are learning to control their hand movements by "coloring inside the lines". Coloring books for adults is an offspring of art therapy which is a mental health profession that is the process of making and creating artwork which intends to "explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem" (according to the American Art Therapy Association). So basically, it's similar to good old therapy. Also, art therapy is not only about mental health and improving yourself - it's a form of personal expression, as well. The themes of adult coloring books are usually intricate and centered more around adult images, not your childhood counterparts that included bunnies, super heroes, and farm animals. You would expect to see geometric patterns, psychedelic patterns reminiscent of doodle art type pages, fantasy images including angels, dragons, goddesses and mermaids, and ancient designs of religious and spiritual nature.