Paper Arts: Adult coloring books draw a strong following

An adult coloring book—it seems like an oxymoron.

The idea behind the adult coloring book is to provide an option for stress relief that is more mentally stimulating than staring at a TV or computer screen.

Many students have been attracted to the adult coloring book trend, with many claiming that it relieves the stress of high school responsibilities.

“I think there are so many worse ways that a person can relieve stress,” Giselle Briand ’17 said. “So, I think coloring, something that requires minimal effort, caters to a lot of people.”

Adult coloring books differ from the average children’s coloring book because of their detailed patterns of typically floral or geometric designs, making it more challenging and appealing than a children’s coloring book.

In an interview with NPR, the creator of the adult coloring book, Johanna Basford, described the reasoning behind her idea to create a mature coloring book.

“I think there’s something quite charming and nostalgic about coloring in,” Basford said. “And chances are last time you picked up pens or pencils you didn’t have a mortgage or, like, a really horrible boss or anything.”

Basford also described the mindless, relaxing appeal that it has to adults, saying, “The outlines are already there for you, so it’s just something that you can do quietly for a couple of hours.”

However, some Staples students think the adult coloring book hype is overrated.

“The bottom line is that coloring books are meant for kids, not adults,” Kenji Goto ’16 said. “If it does relieve stress for some people though, there’s nothing I can say against that.”

Still, the combination of nostalgic childhood feelings and positive stress relief is why adult books have become a widespread trend.

“I think they’ve become pretty popular because whether you are an artistic person or not, you can use them for many different purposes,” Kate Reach ’18 said.

Overall, opinions surrounding adult coloring books have been positive.

“I think people have finally realized the beauty in doing something so simple,” Fleur Byrne ’17 said. “It can help a person forget problems and collect themselves.”