I’ve got a book! It’s available on Amazon right now –
To see pics of the book, including the inside please scroll to the bottom of this post!
Why I created this adult colouring book
So when I got diagnosed with cancer I sort of focused on two things:
- I started panicking thinking that I needed to produce products which would sell even when I’m gone, and make money for my family (one of whom isn’t even born yet), and
- I thought a lot about the nature of stress or anxiety.
My thoughts about stress revolved around one surprising thing – even though I was in an extremely stressful situation when measured in reasons that seem socially ‘valid’, I’ve definitely been more physically and emotionally affected by stress in the past. I figured out that there is no sliding scale of how stressed a person ‘should’ be, and we should never assume that one person’s stress is less because their reasons might be ‘less’ in our eyes.
For example, in the realm of PTSD many people might not come forward because the situation that caused their mental pain is or was less extreme than someone else’s situation. I’ve never really officially admitted that I’ve been adversely affected by being under mortar fire in Iraq because I compare my situation with people who have witnessed their best friends being killed. How can I complain when other people have had it so much worse?
So 1) Stress affects each person differently & 2) Stress is not greater dependent on other peoples’ judgement of your reasons.
Then I thought a lot about how I up my creativity levels when I’m affected by stress, I find it’s a big release. But at some point in the transition from child to adult, we’re encouraged to stop doing creative things unless we’re good at them.
Don’t sing you have an awful voice.
Don’t dance, you look like an idiot.
Don’t play that instrument, you’re hardly stage material.
Don’t create art, it’s not exactly sellable quality.
Where does that leave adults who would be helped by being creative?! Unless they took up a hobby as a child and have perfected it, adults often feel embarrassed to pursue a hobby other than in secret!
So that’s why I created an adult colouring book. I love that adult colouring books became a trend, and I love even more that they’ve been around long enough that I think they’re more than a trend.
About my book in particular
When I set about creating my book I browsed books in the store and online. I looked at the reviews and considered my limitations. As I’m not a well-established artist I couldn’t hope to be picked up by a big publishing house, so the thoughts of beautiful high-quality paper were quickly dismissed!
With that, I decided that my book pages would be one sided only so that colouring pens could bleed to the back of the page without ruining a different drawing.
I also made sure that the images didn’t get caught in the spine, I included a faint line so that the page can be cut precisely leaving the image in the middle of the page.
I made the choice to make the book quite thin – it’s only 12 drawings. I did this because I feel a personal sense of dismay when faced with a huge thick book. I feel like blank pages are ‘wasted’ and have a sense of incompleteness. These feelings go against what I want to achieve, hence making this decision!
I enjoyed designing the cover, but my favourite part is the end of the description on the back:
You don’t have to stay within the lines!
Kim Debling is a Hampshire, UK based designer and Director of her own company Kestrel Design Ltd. She is mum to Rose and Harvey and wife to her best friend Steve. She’s fighting off Stage 4 Lymphoma and sharing her story along the way, mainly via YouTube. Kim is passionate about being happy, mental wellbeing and in particular art and creative pursuits as therapy during tough times. She teaches online at Udemy, has published books and has art and printables available for sale.