Millions of people have been introduced to (or reunited with) coloured pencils. This experience for most has highly beneficial. People who have little or no interest in art of any kind, have sought solace from a packet of pencils and a colouring book, and it works!
But what impact has this had on ‘seasoned’ coloured pencil artists? Their responses have been varied. Some see this ‘trend’ as simply kids’ stuff, not art, but craft. Others have welcomed the recognition of cp as a genuine art medium (we know it is, but many in the art world don’t or refuse to). Some artists see these books as an extension of cp art, but are they really ART books?
Last year I spent some time studying the adult colouring book market to see what was being published and what was being bought. It is claimed that these books aid in stress relief, and in some cases I believe this is so. What really irritated me was the large amount of black on many of the pages, so loud and so aggressive! Adding colour to these pages saw little, if any, reduction in the dominance of black. Most of the designs required very little thinking and challenge, and their composition was often sub-standard. These designs were aggressive, not calming in any way! Then there was the paper, often thin and cheap, printed on both sides. Why? To save money, of course! Why would you want to colour both sides of such thin paper? And when you have finished your book, what next? Buy another one of course! Buy a 100 more, then more…
But what if you so pleased with your efforts that you wanted to frame your work? There are some excellent books on the market, but they are few and far between.
Last year I decided to produce a colouring book that was a REACTION to the ‘cheapness’ that was flooding the market. I wanted to produce a book that ‘sat’ halfway between craft and art; a book whose pages laid flat and were easily removed. I wanted to create a book printed on ‘proper’ art paper (190 gsm acid free, recycled) that made people ‘think’ and make each page ‘their own’., and be proud enough to want to frame some of their work. So I did.
My book has been on the market for nearly 6 months and the feedback I’ve received (and good sales) have encouraged me to commence a second book and hold workshops where the participants publish their own book and experience working with quality pencils on quality paper.
This ‘trend’ is not a threat to cp art, in fact it’s helping to raise the profile of coloured pencils and that must be a good thing! Mind you, there have been shortages of supplies of coloured pencils in many parts of the world. I wonder why?
I you wish to order a copy of my book, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also have a page on Facebook: You Add Colour