Maybe you realized your driver’s license is due to expire and this means a dreaded, purgatorial DMV visit. Or perhaps you will be on a Barcelona-bound plane for eight hours and are too jittery to fall asleep or to watch a movie. Or maybe you want to spend time with your 90 year old grandfather in a more meaningful manner than in complete silence. Or perhaps a cousin went to the dollar store and bought a $2 book for and $3 markers to gift you before your surgery and its accompanying downtime to recover. Either way, you’re a grownup who, in the near future, is going to be in a situation where you’re contemplating Adult Coloring. Here’s why it’s a worthwhile exercise:
- IT REMINDS YOU OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE A CHILD, AND TO JUST PLAY. Kids are better than adults in so many ways, chiefly with their ability to not worry about time and to enjoy something simply because it’s fun. It’s nice to engage in an exercise and to not worry about its lack of earning potential.
- THERE ARE NO RULES. Sure, most will certainly stay within the lines, but the individual chooses the colors and arrangement, thereby restoring agency in a world where full control over something is rare.
- IT IS A REMINDER OF POSSIBILITY. What one person would do with the same page is not what another might envision. As a result, it is a good way to remember that there are many possible outcomes in life and that what works for one might not for another.
- COLOR IS ADDED WHERE THERE ONCE WAS NO COLOR. It is rewarding to complete something by adding brightness where there was once only emptiness.
- THE FOCUS IS ON ‘THE BIGGER PICTURE’. Sometimes the marker will bleed through to other lines or spaces. Or the color combination will not be what was originally imagined. Or you will sneeze and accidentally move the paper, causing a rogue line. Although these setbacks can be difficult, once the pieces are complete, to look at the piece in its entirety makes it impossible to pinpoint the inconsequential mistakes.
- IT’S RELAXING. The sound of the marker as it brushes against the paper is very calming. It’s a good stress-reliever. Additionally, the books where you color fuck, cunt or any combination of distinctive cuss words and phrases are particularly cathartic.
- IT OFFERS PERSPECTIVE. While coloring, you will instinctively turn and re-turn the page several times, trying to correctly position the paper to better get in every nook. It is an always-important way to be reminded of the benefits of changing the way you look at something.
- IT MAY BE A GOOD TOOL FOR PROCRASTINATORS. This is either just another way for a procrastinator to spend time avoiding the actual task that needs finishing, or it is a fun way to break the monotony that often causes the excitement needed to tackle a dull actionable item. It is probably best not to try an overly detailed design, as that would take too much time, but there is a sense of fulfillment in beautiful completion that frees you up for the less fun work.
- GIFT THE PIECES. Aside from it being something you can do alongside kids, it’s also great if you have a ton of little ones who are generous enough to gift their art pieces. But often, they present you with some ridiculous scribble on a bullshit piece of loose leaf paper that has been asymmetrically ripped and the adult is left feeling obligated to find space for it. And thus, this is a good way to give them something they clearly value. Plus, if income-less, what a good way to create a present when gift options are on par with someone who can’t work because of child labor laws.