Enjoying Coloring Books as a Grown-Up

Enjoying Coloring Books as a Grown-Up

Adult coloring– it’s a thing. CNN, Huffington Post, NBC, and many more national news conglomerates started 2015 by featuring adult coloring and its researched-based health benefits. While many studies have recently exposed the very real health benefits of coloring (decreased stress, increased coordination, better work performance, increased relaxation, and prettier refrigerators*), Abbey Johnston, founder of Escape Artists in Holland, had discovered these for herself years earlier:

The Awesome Mitten - Escape Artists
Photo Courtesy Joel Rodeheaver.

“I would describe myself as a tightly-wound professional woman who LOVES to get stuff done, but I quickly figured out that my internal drive needed to be parked every now and again or my ambition quickly turned into a cluster of anxiety.”

There are many ways to cope with anxiety – some of which are helpful, like exercise, and some of which are not, like excessive eating and drinking. Abbey wanted something that she could do that didn’t require her to get sweaty, use glue, or spend hours prepping. She also wanted something she could do that didn’t cause diabetes, put stress on her liver, or, say, bring her shame the next morning.

“I can spend a whole night binge coloring and wake up the next morning feeling great. Coloring is my Great Escape – I lose myself and my worries when I color. Coloring allows me to use logic and be creative at the same time. And it lets me do something but absolutely nothing at the same time.”

But, even with all the news coverage, people still think coloring is just for kids.

“I’m fine with kids having a monopoly on fun shaped snacks and yummy tasting medicine, but they can’t have coloring all for themselves. Grown-ups need it too, but we need something different to color than the bulky cartoon or zoo animal options currently available. We need something exclusively for us – something that we can pull out on an airplane, in a waiting room, or at our favorite coffee shop. A coloring book we can be proud of.”

And this is why Abbey Johnston collaborated her good friend (and brilliant designer) Anne Pageau to create a coloring book exclusively for adults.   It’s called Escape Artists: The Modern Coloring Book for Adults. It’s modern, edgy, and inconspicuous.

A few details on the Escape Artists’ first edition:

  • 36 brilliantly-designed coloring pages
  • Our 1st Edition is focused on geometric shapes that you can color in a thousand different ways
  • Notebook size (7.5 x 9.5 inches) to tuck neatly into a purse or bag
  • Hard-covered and spiral bound to lay flat for optimal use
  • Perforated pages; perfect for sharing
  • Printed and Made in Michigan, USA

Abbey and Anne launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project on May 14th that has met its goal of $20,000. They want to grow a business, not just a single product, and have plans for other funky products as part of reclaiming coloring, but for now – they are eager to test the market for their first book.

The Awesome Mitten - Escape Artists
Photo Courtesy Joel Rodeheaver.

The Escape Artists coloring book is part of Abbey’s passion to reclaim coloring. “I want to legitimize coloring as an acceptable– and admirable- adult activity.”

Abbey and Anne would love for you to join with them – become an Escape Artist and support their book. Your backing will help them reclaim the art and joy of coloring for adults everywhere.

* outcomes of “prettier refrigerators” is admittedly not research-based – but nonetheless very true.

This article was written by Abbey Johnston, contributing writer. Photos by Joel Rodeheaver.