One of my favorite times as a child was pulling out my box of crayons and my favorite coloring book. I made sure to I ask Santa Claus every year for new crayons because I wore them down to nubs. I remember decorating my room with my finished pages and constantly wanting to compete in the local drug store coloring contests for holidays.
Coloring took me to my happy place.
I still have coloring books today but with a more immense collection of colored pencils, crayons, and markers. These days I use coloring as a relaxation outlet versus trying to win a giant Easter basket. Sitting down with my black and white pages of images, colored pencil assortments, and a crafty mind helps me to release tension and reduce anxiety. It gives me a positive focus and allows me to get rid of the negative energies that have been lingering. Plus, the gratification upon completion of a piece is always a spectacular feeling.
The digital age is here and we must adapt to it; and that includes how we color. Most adults today have to work. Not many professions allow the time or the space to bring in a coloring book and coloring implements.
With this, I introduce to you…
Digital coloring books allow the user to take their coloring book and infinite possibilities of color wherever they may go. These digital coloring pages can be downloaded to your smartphone, tablet, and laptop.
How does coloring relax people?
To answer this, I looked to the Cleveland Clinic and found an article where Dr. Scott M. Bea, PsyD mentions three top reasons adult coloring can be used to calm a person:
1. Attention flows away from ourselves
2. It relaxes the brain
3. Low stakes make it pleasurable
** I want to clarify that there’s a difference between a professional art therapist who uses coloring activities and an individual using digital coloring or adult coloring books for self care or recreation. The American Art Therapy Association has a wonderful website if this is something you would like to look into.
If you find you are someone who used to love coloring as a child, I would recommend trying the adult version, either paper or digital. If you are someone who has a hectic job and only has five minutes for a quick mental break, try the digital version. This could be a great outlet for reducing stress and anxiety levels while helping you to focus on the present.
My friend Ricka uses a program called Pigment for her mental breaks. It’s a digital coloring program she has downloaded to her iPad. She graciously let me look over her shoulder as she completes a picture. I’m fascinated at the intricate details she can perform within this program. It has a plentiful collection of settings for your pencil and the ability to zoom in and out the linework is amazing. If only we had that ability on regular paper.
I have put together some pictures and videos to show Pigment in use… enjoy!
Using the digital coloring apps as an outlet to create a good mental balance is exactly that. It’s not about making sure you pick the right color or stay within the lines. It’s a chance for you to experiment with your creative side and reduce tension.
This is an outlet which can be utilized from the safety of your home. COVID-19 has caused many of us much stress and is still a cause for concern.
If you would like to try digital coloring for yourself, here are a few popular digital coloring apps I have across:
Pigment (one week free trial and then $4.99/week, $9.99/month, $59.99/year; subject to change)
Colorfly (Free; premium subscription available for fee)
Recolor (Free; premium subscription available for fee)