Writers! Down your pens. Push aside the keyboards. Remove the laptops. Now, pick up your colouring pencils and set to join the latest craze sweeping across our nations – colouring books for adults.

The intricate exquisite illustrations of these books are truly magical and delighting millions of adults as with care and affection they set to colouring.

IMG_0888Some books, like Scottish Johanna Basford’s million blockbuster ‘Secret Garden’ and latest offering ‘Enchanted Forest’ offer not only beautiful inky drawings set around forests, taking you on a journey through them; they also replicate the sense of childhood adventure as you discover hidden objects and unveil nine secret symbols to unlock the castle at the end of the quest.

Basford, who had a hard time selling her initial idea to her sceptical publishers, says she was keen to create something she herself would enjoy. Whilst she stresses the fun and relaxing element of the colouring, the books are not only about nostalgia and reliving childhood as there is certainly a deeper meditative aspect to the books.

IMG_0891In our non-stop 24/7 culture, ‘Enchanted Forest’ and many other colouring books like it allow us a few moments of quiet and solitude, time to be at utter peace within oneselves. The calm achieved, away from the bombardment of the outer world and tuning out one’s inner ‘chatterings’, is increasingly recognised as a form of therapy. Indeed other colouring books for adults are being sold as Art Therapy and Mindfulness. The market is huge with these books alone accounting for half of Amazon’s top ten non-fiction hardback book sales.

IMG_0889Has anyone caught the colouring bug already? Is it a hit abroad? I would love to hear from you and if possible share some of your colourings.

So, as I take a break, join me in this adventure. In a few minutes of vital mindful downtime. Relax, enjoy, get colouring.

Below is a time-lapse video of Basford creating an illustration for one of her books click on the link below. As you can see, it’s all done by hand.

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the imagination.”

John Keats