The life of a coloring book

When does a coloring book come alive? Is it when it is published? Is it when it is put on a shelf in a local bookshop? Neither is the right answer. For me, it is when the book is taken into somebody’s hands and he or she starts to color or doodle in it. In such a moment, and only then, the book truly comes alive. 

I am very happy and excited to share pictures and beautiful moments of my first coloring book owners. Fantastic Landscapes are colored and doodled in by professional artists as well as enthusiasts, adults and kids alike! 

By Tal Shpantzer

Photographer based in NY

By Zuza and Luka Mosley

HR Specialist & 5 year old doodlist

Scotland, UK

By Adela Hartingerova

Student and Singer

Czech Republic

Why a coloring book?

Early this year I started a small experiment. I wanted to paint or draw a lot, ideally every day. I missed having something that I would call a “creative habit”. It would be something that would enable me to be developing my drawing and painting skills, and to be creating a body of work step by step. Since I had tried this before many times and always failed I had little faith that I was going to succeed this time. So I thought I should pick some creative activity that is the simplest to do for me. Simplest in terms of the tools and space it would require. Something I could do in a cafe on a lunch break just with a pencil and a sheet of paper. Because in my experience the more stuff and space I need for the creating the more excuses start growing in my head that feed my creative block. The truth is that there is so often little time and not much space. So I wanted to embrace that reality and focus on creating and not on the limitations.

Make it simple

So my first decision was to pick something that was simple and needed bare minimum. Only a drawing pad and a pencil. Or perhaps a nice Copic Multiliner. 🙂 The very first day I had an hour in a cafe before my work would start. I was sitting and staring at the white blank page in front of me. I had no idea what to draw. The only thing I knew and I felt so strongly was that I really needed to express something visually that is inside of me. A strong desire for visual expression now on this page. But my fear was huge. I almost could not move. I sipped my coffee and looked out of the window. This is it. I am not going to budge again. So I took the pencil and let my hand move across the paper.

Adult coloring book Fantastic Landscapes First Illustration

The rest is history now. There are few blog posts where I wrote more about some of the days, the early mornings or late afternoons. You can check my favorite post here.

Create and connect

As more drawings were coming to life from this new process I needed to come up with a purpose for them. What would they be for? Could they speak to somebody? Would they be printed in black and white and put on the wall? They could certainly be printed on a variety of things, from quality paper to tote bags. But none of that seemed enough. And then it dawned on me. They could be used in another creative process. A process that would be embraced by others. Somebody else could take the illustration and fill it with colors, bring it to life in his or her way, according to his or her imagination. I immediately loved this idea because it was the first thing that could connect my creative process with somebody else’s. Later on, some of the drawings were given a white space so that even doodling was possible in them.

First coloring book

Many of the illustrations that came out of this process are now in an adult coloring book which I called “Fantastic landscapes“.  It will be available on Amazon soon.