How To: Color Like An Adult


Adult coloring has become one of the biggest sensations sweeping the world since people discovered they could deep fry bacon strips. Almost everyone I know is doing it; some because they have an intense preoccupation with being preoccupied, and some because they are bandwagon jumpers. But at the end of it, adult coloring doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Which is why I decided to take some time off to discover more about this intense fad that has taken over the world's womenfolk. In order to write this blog post, I went out to buy a stack of adult coloring books and a box of reliable color pencils that would start me on my journey towards the zen like freedom associated with adult coloring.

I had to get started with...

Step 1: Get stressed

Most people pick up adult coloring because they're stressed out. So naturally, the first thing you have to do is get stressed out. Luckily, I have a full time job, which fulfills my stress quota sufficiently.

Pictured: Stress.

Being stressed out is key to adult coloring, I'm told, because why else would you sit there for hours on end just coloring shapes?

Step 2: Picking your tools

Tools here would refer to your coloring book and color pencils. Can't I use crayons, you ask. No you can't because you aren't 12 years old and this isn't a children's coloring book. While it doesn't seem like buying an adult coloring book would require a step in itself, it has become increasingly difficult to pick out the best ones. Since the success of these books, there have been tons of publications who have started publishing their own series (see jumping on the bandwagon). You can get titles like Enchanted Fairies, Animal Kingdom, Secret Garden, and even the freaking Game of Thrones coloring book.

I guess incest must be pretty fun to color.

Step 3: Pick a reason to start coloring

Just like the time when your boss ripped you a new one in front of all your colleagues because of something that obviously wasn't your fault. Anyone could have made that mistake, but choosing you as the scapegoat was only too easy. Your colleagues avoid your pleas for help, your manager shakes her head, your cleaning lady snickers under her breath. After work, go buy all the adult coloring books available, get a set of sturdy coloring pencils, go home and start coloring. Color until your hands are numb and your vision swims with the underwater patterns you are filling in. Go to bed when you realize that the patterns you see are not actually from the book.

Listen to the rumours going on around the office about you and your working habits. Try your best to drown out Amy's screeching voice with thoughts of the blue-streaked tiger you were coloring last night. Head straight home after work and start coloring again. Color until your arms are sore. Color until the underside of your palms become chaffed and your skin starts peeling. Stop, eat, continue coloring.

The boss gives you an ultimatum in front of the whole office; get your shit together or get out. You imagine his face as the bald otter you were filling in the night before and a small smile appears on your face. This infuriates him further and he goes on an expletive-ridden rant that ends with you shoving him. Security is called. Go home with your box of belongings. Sit down at your table and start coloring. Don't stop for that cramp that is hitching up your right shoulder. Ignore that pain slowly working its way through your fingers. Remember the humiliation your boss gave you today. Remember his words. Find the strength to go on. Color.

Go to your nearest bookstore and ask about the adult coloring group. They tell you about a small group of enthusiasts who meet every Tuesday nights at the bookstore. Agree to join them. Attend your first ever adult coloring gathering. Discuss your favorite drawings with other enthusiasts. Agree to try out one of the newer pieces that never interested you before. Start coloring. Talk. Laugh. Color. Realize that these people you have just met have more in common with you than your colleagues. Continue coloring.

You see your ex-colleagues posting up pictures of company dinners, drinking sessions and trips abroad together. Feel a knot in your stomach as you remember what that job meant to you. You feel tired, depressed, jobless. You go to sleep.

You color every day. The pain in your arms and fingers are replaced with a need to continue coloring new pieces. Your pieces lovingly decorate every corner of your small apartment. You realize that you are running out of coloring books. Go online and browse through even more collections. Select those that you have never colored before. Click "Buy". Sit back. Wait. Color.

You look forward to your Tuesday meetups with your coloring group. You jokingly call yourselves The Skittles, because you color the rainbows. You exchange tips on shading, toning, techniques of coloring which make your works even more beautiful. By now, you know these guys and girls by heart. Jimmy's the joker, Freda's cookies are amazing. You feel a new warmth around these people. Thoughts of your colleagues erase from your mind.

A new girl joins your coloring group. She shows off her picture of a mandala, and you think that it's the most beautifully colored picture you have ever seen. She introduces herself as Emily. Her coloring technique fascinates you, mesmerizing strokes up, and down. You hit it off immediately with her as you share your own coloring works with her. You invite her to coffee, and she accepts.

You meet Emily more often outside of the coloring group. She's always eager to show you her latest piece of coloring work. You are hooked onto her every word. You won't admit it, but you have slowed down considerably on your own coloring works. You won't tell her because it's all she seems to talk about. But for you, your life no longer revolves around the patterns and shapes found in the coloring books. Your ex-colleagues call you and invite you for a night out in town. You don't return their calls. Your life has a new light. For the first time in a long while, you are content.

You decide that it is time to make the next move with Emily. You book a table for two at a swanky restaurant. Emily rushes in, a bit late. Traffic, she says to you with a smile. The smile that makes you willing to forgive anything she has ever done. You make small talk, mostly about the different kinds of coloring books there are. You order the chicken, she takes the fish. More talk about coloring books. You feel that it is time to switch it up. You ask her about her job. "Accountant", she says with a smile, "What about you?" You pause a bit before telling her you're in between jobs. She stops eating abruptly.

"You're jobless? What are you, some kind of bum?" her words echo throughout your empty room, hours after you get home. You remember the way Emily awkwardly left the restaurant after saying those hurtful words, leaving you with a hefty bill and a broken heart. Her words hurt, like a thousand little dagger stabbing you in the heart. You turn around on your bed, and a single tear rolls down your cheek.

Step 4: Get stressed

You realize that adult coloring was never for you because color pencils break too easily.

Just like your heart.


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