I challenge you.
Well, okay, you don’t HAVE to throw away your brand new adult coloring book…but it might be a good idea.
Or, just don’t buy it – it’s expensive anyways, especially the fancy schmancy ones.
Just like anything in this world, coloring books have an upside and a downside.
The problem comes when you think there is only one side to the story.
When there’s a hype around something usually people aren’t informed of what the negative side of it is.
But, what is there to be concerned about – you say. It’s just a little coloring.
And again, just like anything in this world, one thing cannot be suited for everyone. When we think it does, that’s a mistake.
Why throw it away?
A good rule of thumb for doing anything is: everything has a time and place for it.
So who is coloring books suited for?
It’s good for people who need structure and can work within that structure.
Because all that a coloring book is is a structure – a bunch of lines and boundaries for you to put color inside.
It’s very safe for someone who need structure because they’re feeling “all over the place,” or overwhelmed.
Sometimes you need a good solid structure.
Or it could be that you are used to having structure so that it’s something that you rely on for safety.
When you’re not confident about “going all out” and creating original stuff, coloring books can be useful to get your feet wet in expressing yourself.
The structure gives you the guidelines, and some might say that most of the work is already done for you.
It gives you a promise for a neat and perfect picture.
But sometimes you don’t need the structure of a coloring book – and what you really need is creating the structure yourself – changing it with your own hands, having control, and making a new path.
Going outside the lines
When you’re creating something without the lines and boundaries of a pre-existing picture, you’re making something literally out of the box and original – you create something that you and only you can do.
It’s 100% you, nowhere to hide and no time to worry about what you put out there. Because it is original and there is no match for it. What is there to judge? There is nothing to compare because it’s original – there’s nothing else like it. It’s an honest, raw expression of who you are and where you’re at at the moment.
I do think that there is a reason adult coloring books are all the rage right now.
Maybe we need that dose of color in our lives – to be creative, be expressive, be bold and colorful. (Don’t we all try to suppress it trying to be reserved, be average/fit in, and be a square?)
And maybe at the same time, we need that structure set up for us, that path paved out, that boundary letting us know where we can be neat and safe.
And maybe we need that (almost) guarantee of masterpiece-worthy results. Of perfection.
So…what happens when we realize that we don’t want perfection, but we simply want to know who we really are? What happens when we realize we need to let our story be known?
Then I think it’s time to cut up that coloring page and make your own picture this time – perhaps a collage of the cut up pieces, as a start?