The rise of adult colouring books

colouring book

By Joe Young – Reporter


Most people have a secret wish to be able to do childish things again. Soft play, swings and not paying bills. All luxuries of childhood we long for. But what about colouring books? Well, thanks to a new trend sweeping the nation, you can do it once again.

From an almost zero market presence six months ago, adult colouring books have exploded in popularity. The Mental Health Foundation states that over 50% of adults feel stressed at least once per day, which may be responsible for the rise of such a calming, entertaining activity.

Unlike children’s colouring books, adult colouring books contain many intricate details and can range from exquisitely detailed depictions of the animal kingdom to famous city skylines to outlined versions of famous pieces of art like Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Sky’, it’s possible to find colouring books to satisfy all creative interests. It’s even possible to get colouring books that contain some colouring pages, and some half-finished drawings to doodle on and complete. There is truly a world of creative possibility.

I’ll admit it, at first I was sceptical of it, believing they were a method of creativity for those with no discernible artistic talent. But after opening Secret Garden and having a little colour, I soon forgot all of my day to day worries, with the focus of my life becoming what colour the gazebo in traditional park scene should be.

Currently, on Amazon’s Bestseller chart, four of the top ten are adult colouring books, with Secret Garden, the longest serving colouring book in the top ten, on its 222nd day in the Bestseller Chart, and still on the rise. Secret Garden has sold over one million copies worldwide, has outsold cookery books in Paris, one of the cultural capitals of the world, and has been translated into fourteen different languages.

The largest publishing house of adult colouring books, Michael O’Mara Books, is capitalising on a market niche quite different to what it normally does. Having made their name from the release of Diana: Her True Story, they have done a 180° rotation and are now going from strength to strength, with a quarter of this year’s publications being colouring books. Even pop culture phenomena like Marvel Superheroes and Game of Thrones are taking advantage of the popularity and are releasing books.

Are adult colouring books going to become a mainstay of sophisticated, adult relaxation? I honestly don’t think so, but be that as it may, for the short term at least, I think they’re here to stay.

Tweet us your opinions @UCLanPluto

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.
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