Thursday, January 14, 2016

Adult Coloring Books Strip You Of Your Genius

Adult coloring books are counter-productive and feed into the same mainstream bologna that stripped us from our creativity in the first place. There is a guaranteed outcome. We feel safe and comfortable.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty or compensate from any mistakes. We simply have to fill in the spaces between the lines in a mindless exercise of back and forth coloring. Sure, it is relaxing - but is it cultivating creativity?
I'm not going to start off by convincing you of all the benefits of coloring on pages of adult coloring books. It's been a long time since I've spun around on a merry-go-round until I was cross eyed and queasy. Being a kid was fun and full of adventure. Do you remember that feeling? On a recent project I published with BERNINA, I'm encouraging people to mix their crayons with their sewing machines and tap into the stress relieving benefits of coloring & creativity. It's cool, it's trending, and it's bullshit. 
As an adult, we are plagued with worries. Priorities. Meetings. Bills. Some days we feel like we can't even function without a direct IV of caffeine. We are focused on survival or simply getting from point A to point B. This focus leaves little room for flexibility.  What we lack is imagination. Some of us are fortunate to have jobs, hobbies, or outlets that allow us a glimmer of imaginative play. This is a topic I've explored again and again with creative reuse, innovation, and creating viable sustainable solutions in the waste sector.  How do we foster these qualities in our future generations and not only encourage but nurture them towards being divergent thinkers? 

To further prove my point; people who are buying coloring books are coming home and Googling "How To Color My New Adult Coloring Book" because obviously they've forgotten everything they learned in Kindergarten. Even worse, someone thought enough people were coloring their pages wrong to write the post in the first place. 
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination."  
Can reliving childhood past times help you be a more imaginative and creative adult? While I strongly encourage you to build a sofa fort, go for a bike ride, color with crayons but not on a pre-printed coloring page.
There is no reason why adults can not recapture their creativity and imagination. It just takes a shift in mindset and a bit of practice. Adult coloring books are counter-productive and feed into the same mainstream bologna that stripped us from our creativity in the first place. There is a guaranteed outcome. We feel safe and comfortable.  We don’t have to get our hands dirty or compensate from any mistakes. We simply have to fill in the spaces between the lines in a mindless exercise of back and forth coloring. Sure, it is relaxing - but is it cultivating creativity? Adult coloring books are stifling your genius and duping you into thinking you are creating art. Put down the crayons and start relying on your own ability and skill sets. Creativity can be nurtured at any age by viewing the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.

Do you think creativity and imagination are lost as we age? What ways do you reconnect with your creative side? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and hope you'll join the discussion with a comment below- 

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