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Adults coloring inside the lines

This week’s trend is for adults, although borrowed from children, and is especially geared for those looking to ease anxieties or decompress. Driven by our digital existence, adults struggle to disconnect, switch off and reconnect with “real life.” As a result, an uexpected and fascinating therapeutic trend has emerged: adult coloring books!

Adult coloring books are having a moment thanks to increased levels of stress and the feeling of being overworked. Coloring art can be a creative outlet to relieve pressure and neuroscientific research has shown that through art therapy, the human brain can physically change, grow and rejuvenate.

I decided to do some research on social media and uncountable results representing the trend appeared on Pinterest. Hash tags like #adultcoloringbook and #adultcoloring also have tens of thousands of associated images on Instagram. There is a Korean singer Kim Ki-bum (better known as Key) who even attracted more than 130,000 likes when he shared his own coloring efforts which proves the international appeal of this trend.

Another confirmation is the level in which the adult coloring book has taken the publishing world by storm in 2015 alone. Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford has sold around 2 million copies of her first book Secret Garden, an inky treasure hunt and coloring book that has been translated into 14 languages. In fact, Amazon reports eight of the top 20 books on their best-seller list fall into the adult coloring book category and Dover Publishing shared a similar validation stating the New Yorker hasn’t “seen a phenomenon like it in 30 years of publishing.”

British publisher Michael O’Mara Books states his company is in its 15th reprint of some of their coloring book titles as they just cant keep them in print fast enough. A spokeman for the publisher recently stated, “We cannot print them fast enough. We are getting orders of 60,000 at one time from some of our biggest retailers.”

The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto is riding the coloring book wave by offering workshops that come with live music and beer encouraging guests to “let your inner child out and kick it old school.”

I sense this trend could easily be adopted in hotels. Lobbies, the rooms, restaurants or bar venues could easily incorporate adult coloring books. Do you share the same vision?

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