My Own Nativity, 1994
I have never liked colouring books. I am too much of a perfectionist to like colouring books. When I was a kid, the second my crayon went outside the lines I would tear up that page and throw it in the trash. Heck, I still do that. For her own mental wellbeing, Leah does not colour.
An article on absolutearts.com explains how, in the mid-19th century, the “democratization of art education” in America increased public support for mandatory art instruction in schools and, subsequently, the use of colouring books to keep children entertained. John Jr. and Edmund McLoughlin are often cited as the ones responsible for getting the colouring book industry off the ground – their Little Folks’ Painting Books (1880s) were some of the first mega-popular colouring books. As their series name implies, the McLoughlin Brothers’ books were meant to be painted rather than coloured with crayons – colouring books for crayons didn’t actually become popular until around the 1930s.
Today, colouring books are frequently used as advertising materials, for everything from television shows to Kentucky Fried Chicken. They are, though, also used as learning tools. For example, students at my school are often seen using The Anatomy Colouring Book when studying for their Anatomy and Physiology courses. Anyone who says that colouring books are just for kids is a liar.
If you’re ever looking for a neat grown up colouring book, check out the Yellow Bird Project’s Indie Rock Colouring Book, which is available at most Oversized Bookstores. Support your Canadian companies, bands, and charities!
… I should really get royalties for this plug.
I’m a student. I need charity.