Adult Colouring Book “Color Her”
In case you haven’s noticed, adult colouring books are all the rage. Not just for kids, everyone can get in on the creative action and enjoy this meditative, fun or empowering activity. We’re delighted to have a fabulous colouring book made by local artists called Color Her. Here is a little more about Iris and Kat and their book for our online interview with them:
How do the two of you work together? Tell me a little about yourselves.
We’re professional designers, artists, moms, and longtime friends. We’ve been crafting and making art together for years: from designing jewelry, to decorating sticks with fabric and paint, to illustrating murals for Kat’s boutique. We’re no strangers to glue guns and sequins. We came up with the idea for this book over coffees and croissants in Montreal. A colouring book of female icons, from mythological to contemporary figures. We started a long list of who we’d include, and edited it down to the right mix of mythic and real. We wanted to strike the right balance of known figures and cool contemporary women, all ages and backgrounds. Then we came up with the mix ‘n match idea: we’d cut up each figure into 3 parts – head, torso, legs – and let people scramble the ladies to make their own unique combinations. It’s tough to say which combinations are our favorites. With 2000 possible mix-ups, we’re always finding new and entertaining results.
What inspired you to create this colouring book?
We were looking for a way to collaborate creatively as artists and make something fun. We wanted to make art that was accessible and that also had social impact. That draws people in, engages and is participatory. We’re both commercial artists in our professional lives (Iris is a graphic designer and Katrin is a fashion designer).
We think the colouring trend is great. It gets people offline; being creative, playing and using their hands. Colouring books are a great example of art that can get out there to the masses, that people actually use. They are functional and tactile. When we created this, there was not much in the colouring book world that had any social impact. Most colouring books sell themselves on their aesthetic qualities alone, and on the relaxation and mindfulness benefits. We started illustrating one that was just pretty drawings of fashionistas and fairies, but the minute we had this idea, it was clear that it was in alignment with our social values and it took over the direction of our work.
What do you love about it or what are you most proud of?
This book speaks as much to feminism as it does to girl-power. Its both for women who are comfortable identifying themselves as feminists and for women who don’t self identify that way but enjoy positive uplifting images of girls and women. It’s also for boys. It’s for creative people. We wanted the feminist message to be accessible to a lot of people, not too in your face, but still really obvious if you know what to look for. Our choices of characters include softer more feminine characters, as well as characters that wear work boots and carry tools. It’s a mix that can draw every one in and speak to all ages… Little girls that like mermaids and fairies, sporty teenagers, women who identify with the multitasking warrior goddess holding a baby and Granny artists. It portrays a wide variety of female characters with varying degrees of girly-ness.
What responses from consumers are the most surprising and/or affirming?
Most surprising is that boys don’t notice it’s supposed to be for girls. They just pick a head, some arms and some legs and start coloring. More mothers should think of giving it to their sons.
We are both moms and we wanted our children to colour images that are not just princesses and ballerinas or corporately owned characters. We intentionally chose a mix of mythology and contemporary characters that create a nice element of surprise and contrast. The experience is more thought provoking than meditative.
It’s a comment on the multitasking of our real lives, but there is also a fantasy element. Buy choosing your own three parts you get to build your own fantasy character. And that new character can be just what you are in the mood for at that moment in time. It is surprising to see how much care people put into choosing the trio they want to mix before they start putting pen to paper.
What suggestions do you have as creative alternative ways to use the book?
Cut them out after you colored them and make puppets with them. Tape the three sections together and on the back you can tape them to straws or BBQ skewers. It’s really fun and then you can use them for play or shadow puppets.
Want to know more? Check out their video on their website.