Walk through any Barnes & Noble or Art supply store, and you’re likely to see displays brimming with thick volumes of coloring books. Our favorite is the Existential coloring book, with Jean Paul Sartre poised and ready for bold dashes of color. There are lots of color-ready ready styles. mandalas are popular as are floral patterns. But the intricate patterns and delightful details offered in the pages of these books aren’t for kids — they’re geared toward adults. The trend is so strong that four of Amazon’s current bestselling books are adult coloring books. Even Fortune reports the rise in popularity of adult coloring books contributed to 2015’s increase in paperback sales (up 12 million units from 2014).
So, what’s the meaning behind the craze? First of all, it’s a satisfying creative experience. Filling in these detailed patterns and pictures with colors and sketches of your choice can make even the most artistically challenged feel like they’re doing something creative. But the benefits and appeal go far beyond just having some fridge artwork that stays within the lines.
According to the American Journal of Play, adult coloring books (and really any sort of play) can help you relax and reset your mindset, as well as reduce stress and foster creative and innovative thinking. They can also offer potential benefits, such as improved mental health or logic, problem-solving and motor skills.
In this fast-paced creative industry, the value of letting yourself relax and renew your mindset is key to keeping your creative juices flowing. So, what are you waiting for? From mandalas to octopus gardens to paisley pages, there’s a coloring book out there for you. Just sharpen some colored pencils, find your perfect pattern, and let your mind relax.