Friday, 26 June 2015

Colouring for Adults.... Or Maybe Just the Ladies

I took today's photograph about a month ago in that service station in Somerset that had all the weird stuff for sale.   It seems that there's a bit of a craze  going on for colouring. Okay it's been a big thing in nurseries and primary schools up and down the land since time immemorial.  But now adults are getting in on the act. For me? Well it's not my bag although I suppose needlepoint is along the same lines.  Instead of using pretty pens or pencils I colour in a picture using wool.

Some of the colouring books being marketed with their therapeutic benefit in mind. The Works have a shedload at reduced prices if you're interested.  I would stress that these are not a universe cure-all.  Not everyone is going to enter a state of calm after being given an intricate pattern to fill in.  For some it might even have the opposite effect.

However in my job I'm coming across quite a few people where this activity does  indeed float their boat.  Individuals who've been diagnosed with dementia, anxiety and depression have all told me about the enjoyment that they're getting.   Often they were arty in the first place but have found their skills diminished by temporary or permanent problems, say with planning or concentration.  There may be something about a blank sheet of paper that's too overwhelming.  An intricate design to colour poses a challenge but demands a different kind of thinking. They often talk about how they can lose themselves in the activity.  Us in the know call that flow!

One of my ladies yesterday told me that there were now adult colouring clubs.  She'd read about it in her paper.  I told her I'd write about it just in case there's people out there who think it would be a good idea to set one up.  Be warned about your target audience.  It may be more of a girl thing.  I liked the comment from the husband of one club organiser.  'I couldn't get 23 guys to sit and do that even if I offered free beer!'

7 comments:

  1. I was reading about this strange phenomenon yesterday. It reminded me of that old Nixon joke.... 'His library burnt down; including the book he was still colouring-in'.

    I can't believe this a trend that will continue... remember macramé?

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    1. As I figured, this might be completely incomprehensible to men!

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  2. My elder daughter ( 27 next month) still loves colouring and has been known to take it with her on long haul flights. More intricate colouring books have been around for years, it's just that it didn't say they were for ' grown-ups' on the front of them!

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    1. Apparently there's grown up dot to dot too! x

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  3. My MIL has been using these books for about 6 years now, they were ideal when she was caring for her ill husband. She used to like those doodle art posters back in the 70s too.

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    1. Ah yes I remember the Doodle Art!

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  4. I got one of these last week and used coloured pencils at first but now I've got some grown up colouring pens too and there's no stopping me! (I am wondering, though, whether they will actually make me grow up.) Now I'm too decrepit to do much weeding but I used to find that relaxing; I find colouring is equally therapeutic without the sore knees and back!

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