I’ll just say it.
I hate coloring books.
There. I said it.
As a child,
I rarely used coloring books. I do remember the ones with a structured grid that you could fill in and create shapes of your own. Other than that I don’t remember having much access to them. Not sure. They were not a significant part of my childhood, anyway.
As a parent,
every time my kids bring me yet-another-Elsa-and-Anna-coloring-page (if you don’t know who these are you can still live a happy life, but I recommend watching Frozen at least once), well, I tell them: “Why don’t you make an original instead???”
Don’t get me wrong, I have been pleased to see how they can master coloring inside the lines, but after a while… Needless to say that I don’t save and savor these colored pages treasures from their childhood. Instead, I secretly… recycle them. Pssss…don’t tell!
As a designer,
I made a living for over 3 years designing….Coloring Books, for Golden Books in NYC. I remember how I was eyeing other cubicles working on full color fancy trade books! I missed color. I missed color so much.
Eventually I did full color books too, and learned exactly what I needed to develop my own style.
When I went on to create Sakki-Sakki, my “next thing” after Golden Books, a coloring book did not even cross my mind. (It actually did, but the thought evaporated as soon as it was conceived).
My power was in color and I was not giving this up!
Now I am working on a coloring book. Full circle or what?
Now read below. You’ll find some more lessons and confessions. It gets even juicer… and maybe we can share some of these confessions?
Oh, we’ll both feel so much better then!
1. Loosing Control
There may be something naive in coloring books, something that gently leads you and offers a supportive structure, but for me it is a huge lesson in loosing control.
This is where I have to let someone else mess with my art. Give the ownership of the result away.
Unbelievable how challenging this is.
Do you feel the same about some part of your work? Where can you challenge yourself to loose control?
2. Stepping Naked
We come to the word naked. We are perfect and immediately loved in that birthday suit.
So, this coloring book marks my rebirth: Naked without color. Stripped from my power gear. Accepting my work is enough, even without it. Nuff said.
Consider this: Which part of your work you can take away and still offer something valuable?
3. Milking Magic
The biggest benefit of loosing control is Co-Creating by inviting others to contribute to my work and make it their own. Milking more out of it by connecting to another’s creativity. That makes mega new magic!
In what way can you co-create with another’s creativity?
4. Taking Risks
Believe it or not, the coloring act can be a bold, courageous and even risky. Whaaaat???
Picking a color I may not like later, while I can’t change it easily on the computer IS taking a risk. You never thought about coloring books that way, now have you? (Extra confession: neither did I).
Outcome: I started coloring my own coloring pages…
What calls you to take a risk in your work? Maybe you have been ignoring it?
5. Accepting Limitations
These days it has become hard on my eyes to work on a coloring book, especially when it was not designed that way, thin lines and all. This is the kind of work that I can only do sporadicly, (unlike long days in a row), or something I could delegate next time. Or new glasses! Whatever works!
What is your body asking for? How can you adjust, improve and tailor your conditions?
6. Minding the Talk
This whole confessionalism, made me see how I talk about my work, and through it, about myself.
I never really “down talked” about this, but looking at the list above, it seems like I HAD. At least subconsciously. I plan to fix that with a generous amount of… (making a list as we speak!)
First, listen. Then ask yourself questions.
7. Channeling Change
Changing the power in what I offer. Changing the way I can please, inspire and serve others. Finding more possibilities for value. Repurposing. Generating additional products and income from my art. Changing the way I work, as my abilities change. Changing the way I talk to myself. Changing my views on coloring books.
How can you view your work and value in a completely new way?
8. Feeling the Love
So this is also my invitation to love, and fall in love again for my work, even if it looks naked without color. Not to look at what is lacking, but to see the possibilities. There is no more “one right answer”. Now everyone can create their response, with their own colors. I can safely escape the privacy of my palette and still feel the love! How grand is that??!!!
How can you fall in love with your work, all over again?
Maybe some coloring will help you ponder 🙂
Fund out more about The Sakki-Sakki Tarot Coloring Book