Between the craze of new books spanning from Go Set a Watchman to Paper Towns (before the movie comes out), there is still one book—with much less writing—that is still hitting Amazon’s top-selling charts. And this book has nothing to do with reading; rather, it is the adult coloring book rendering beautiful intricate creations of The Secret Garden.
Johanna Basford, the creator of this coloring book, is slaying book preferences from her hand-drawn pictures of flowers, garden scenes, and other peaceful nature settings, selling 1.4 millions copies worldwide so far. Basford’s idea of a coloring book just for adults is hitting home with some other creators too, such as Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom and Richard Merritt’s Art Therapy Colouring Book.
Part of the desire to jump back into coloring books as a grown adult is the meditation and therapy aspect that art can provide for many people. In these books, someone does not have to become frustrated with their lack of talent in an art therapy session. Rather, the drawing comes to life through their careful color choice and creativity for each piece. In some of these books, the backgrounds are already colored in, and it is left to the creativity of the drawer to fill in the rest in books such as Creative Therapy. When Basford was questioned about why the coloring books were so successful, she said, “a blank sheet of paper or an empty canvas can be daunting, but a colouring book acts as a bit of a buffer in this situation.”
The relaxation and therapeutic aspect to these coloring books has revived a new importance and appreciation of drawing or coloring, for its creativity, zen, and anti-stress abilities are needed in adults and in children together. These drawings encourage colorers to focus on the whole photo instead of individual pieces and parts of each drawing, inspiring us to think of our lives in much the same way.