Knackered after a long day’s work? Pick up a colour pencil and fill out the outline of a flower or your favourite hero. Agreed, the benefits aren’t as ‘instant’ as quick as squeezing a stress ball or pummeling a pillow, but for millions of colouring enthusiasts the world over, this childhood hobby is a rage, spurring publishing houses to bring out colouring books for adults themed on pop culture and even cuss words!
The seemingly simple activity requires a lot of concentration, and according to Abirambika Ravivarman, founder of Green Minds Center—which is hosting a colouring activity for adults in the city this weekend—it can enhance our mindfulness even as it relaxes us. “Even when we meditate, our minds tend to wander. But when we have to colour a detailed work of art, we need to fully focus,” she explains, adding, “We have been using colouring as a meditative tool for adults for about a year now.” The 35-year-old developed hand-drawn, sinuous, non-repetitive patterns, along with friend Anupama Vijayakumar, and published them as colouring books. The two-hour meetup will also include a group colouring activity on a huge canvas for participants.
Colouring is gaining acceptance as a therapeutic tool, says Saras Bhaskar, a counselling psychologist. “Studies show that it can de-stress people experiencing anxiety, pain and stress, much like music and dance. But it will work only with those who are interested in the activity,” she explains.
For youngsters like city-based photographer Sangeetha Ramaswamy, who will be speaking at the meetup, colouring is an escape from her engagement with social media. “I had a colouring app on my phone, but I still found myself checking Facebook notifications.Colouring a book is an excellent stress buster,” she concludes.
On May 1, at Brand New Studio (Kottur Garden). Rs 1,000. Details: facebook.com/Green-Minds-Center-103685199768022
With more people turning to colouring books, pencil manufacturers claim they are struggling to meet the demand. In fact, according to newspaper reports, Faber Castell is running extra shifts at its factories.
A Game of Thrones: With season six of the fantasy drama on TV, here’s another GoT addition to your evening routine. Featuring 45 illustrations, it recreates George RR Martin’s world for fans. Rs 1,215. Details: amazon.in
Shakuntala And Her Magic Box: If you’re in the mood for Madhubani, try this book of 16 hand-crafted arts works by Subadra Kalyanaraman that can be pulled out and framed after colouring. Rs 1,150. Details: madrasmag.in
Escape to Shakespeare’s World: We just celebrated the Bard’s 400th death anniversary in the city. Now, pre-order your copy of the book featuring quotes and visual representations of his plays. Rs 225. Details: amazon.in
Secret Garden: By Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford—and designed as a treasure hunt—this is the book credited with starting the adult colouring movement in 2013. Available at Amethyst for Rs 695. Details: 45991630