Blank Pages, Endless Possibilities
Connect with your inner artist via these Kickstarted coloring books.
First we spotted them on Instagram; next, the shelves of our neighborhood bookshop and our best friends’ coffee tables. Adult coloring books might be trendy, but it doesn’t seem like they’re going anywhere soon. What began as a meditative way to unwind after a long day at work has blossomed into a genre all its own, with books depicting everything from peaceful pastoral scenes to dancing tacos to inspiring messages for young women.
Whether they’re meant to be colored in at the kitchen table after work or used to confront some of life’s more uncomfortable moments, here are some of the most memorable coloring books from Kickstarter creators — and some images you can color in, too!
Earlier this year, eight thousand people pledged over $400,000 to bring this artful coloring book to life, marking it Kickstarter’s most-funded project of its kind. In it, artist Rafael Araujo hand-sketches some of nature’s most intricate patterns — from spiraling seashells to butterfly wings — all based on the golden ratio, a mathematical property found just about anywhere you look. (Download a sample page.)
There’s no two ways about it — breakups suck. So much so that illustrator Nawwal Moustafa created a coloring book-slash-self-help tool after a particularly rough split. Her goal: by the time you’re finished coloring in these scenes of heartbreak and solitude, your separation will feel a bit more manageable. (Download a sample page.)
After being diagnosed with cancer, Nike innovator Kim Kovel set out to do what she does best — make art. With the help of an illustrator friend, she created Hello My Name is Cancer, an activity book for adults that aims to provide comic relief for one of life’s most devastating curveballs. Through prompts like “List your favorite side effects” and a fill-in-the-blank “Cancer Horoscope,” the book is just as helpful for survivors as it is to the friends and family by their side. (Download a sample page.)
Cats and coloring books, it makes so much sense. With this coloring book, creator Lindsay Conner invites you to laze with a crew of lackadaisical felines. Take naps, binge on snacks, and laze about with these house cats — all while curled up with crayons on the couch alongside your own sleepy pet. (Download a sample page.)
How many activities allow you to both unwind after a long day and learn a thing or two about electricity? This educational coloring book introduces readers and aspiring artists to some of Nikola Tesla’s most popular inventions — like the alternating current system — along with some of the thinker’s most influential concepts. (Download a sample page.)
Here’s a coloring book for sci-fi and fantasy fans. Artist Jacob Walker’s MythosMonsters, an ode to the work of H.P. Lovecraft, invites readers to get lost in a mix of full-color painted images alongside black-and-white monster drawings they can color in themselves. (Download a sample page.)
We’ve all said yes to things we probably shouldn’t have — shots of tequila, vacations we couldn’t afford, and projects we didn’t have time for. A great way to avoid making ill-advised decisions? This book of illustrated animals by Claire Siepser, which depicts everything from a zebra trying too hard to impress its peers to a gorilla “doing it for the money.” (Download a sample page.)