At some point in the distant past, adult coloring books entered the personal care scene seemingly overnight. One day I was writing about mental health, minding my own business, and the next day my office was suddenly full of adult coloring books as far as the eye can see (the perks of my job – sometimes free products appear. ). I immediately bought into the idea of bringing it back to one of my favorite childhood activities in the name of stress relief was telling.
It didn’t take long for my excitement to die down, however. Despite my enthusiasm, it never really worked for me. By now, I think I have at least a dozen adult coloring books on my shelf, most with exactly one half-finished page that I approached in a burst of optimism before giving up again.
No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t unlock the childish state of mind that allowed me to color with joyful abandon. As an adult, I cared too much. I wanted to make it look pretty, I wanted to stay within the lines, I wanted to pick all the right colors, and keep a smooth, even technique. So it stands to reason that I did not find adult coloring books soothing. Who, huge disappointment.
But then I found out about COLORING BOOK APPLICATIONS.
Digital coloring books, which you can use on your smartphone or tablet, have everything I wanted to love about the adult coloring book craze without any hindrance: they’re silly, they’re meditative, they’re pretty , they are nostalgic. Some are painted by numbers, so you don’t have to make artistic choices yourself, while others offer more freedom (but with the nice safety net of a cancel button – I’d love to see a real colored pencil do this). What if you’re like me and use an Apple Pen ($ 99, apple.com) or another stylus instead of your finger, it’s also nice to hear (like me a little soft tap-type-type).
I’m not saying digital coloring books are going to change your life, but distraction is an incredibly useful coping mechanism. Whether you enjoy them while listening to podcasts or music, or devote all of your concentration to creating a masterpiece, downloading a digital coloring book is a lovely little thing you can do. for yourself. And we all need nice little things right now.
Here are some coloring book apps for you to check out:
My favorite, Happy Color is technically more of a paint by numbers app than a coloring book. It has a diverse set of free options, including Disney and Marvel coloring pages and classic paintings (my favorite so far was Blazing June). Plus, every photo you complete rewards you with a time-lapse video of your progress from start to finish which is so satisfying. While there are in-app purchases, I didn’t spend a dime and feel like I got the full experience for free. (Available on ios and google play)
For a more traditional coloring book experience, Color Therapy lets you choose a coloring mode, whether it’s repaint by number or freestyle. The most unique characteristic of Color Therapy is its social capabilities – it serves as a sort of Instagram for coloring, and its community is actually quite narrow. You can follow and interact with other users, share your artwork, and talk about self-care with other enthusiasts. It has free offers, but with Premium you get access to more coloring pages, tools, color palettes, and effects. (Available on ios)
Coloring book for adults
It may be the only one really free coloring book app I found. And while I’ve had a lot of free use from others, I have to admit, it’s nice not to be bombarded with paid options. The pages of Coloring Book for Adults are very simple: lots of mandalas, flowers and other basic line art. Perfect for anyone who wants something crazy and no frills. (Available on ios and google play)
One of the coolest features of Colorfly is that you can import your own photos to convert them to line art and then color them in the app. Beyond that, it offers a wide variety of pages, as well as more sophisticated tools and effects like blending and splattering for anyone who wants to get really artistic. My favorite use of Colorfly is to incorrectly color its large selection of pages based on famous artwork. Like, you didn’t like Van Gogh’s Starry Night until you see my neon pink interpretation. Like others on this list, Colorfly is a mix of free and paid offerings, and you can watch ads in exchange for access to certain tools. (Available on ios and google play)