Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Coloring is for all

This “Peter Pan market” has roots in publishing, beyond coloring books (the growth in sales of children’s and young-adult books to much older readers has been well documented), but it is far from confined to that arena.

Summer camps for adults, for example, have also gone from curiosity to viable enterprise. Following a near-death experience, Fidget Wigglesworth (birth name: Levi Felix), then the vice-president of a successful dot-com, turned off his phone and went backpacking for two and a half years with his partner, Brooke Dean; when they returned, in 2012, they founded Camp Grounded, a “Digital Detox” experience for which campers relinquish their electronic devices and engage instead in stargazing and sing-alongs...
“Coloring is so accessible,” she told me. “It unleashes the creativity we all have in a way that’s quite safe.”
- Adrienne Raphel, "Why Adults Are Buying Coloring Books (for Themselves)" found in today's www.newyorker.com

Kimi's "book" and her tentative strokes

By coincidence, my eldest child Kimi (no longer a child, really, she's 30) Kimi came home a few hours ago from National Bookstore with something that would "chillax" her from her online work: a coloring book. Her fear is she might get addicted to coloring books and not get any official work finished. Nah, Kimi has a Kai to support so she has to balance work and play.

Curly Kai wasn't going to be outdone. I pulled out a "spoiled" rubbercut print that I had done when I went to art school at the University of the Philippines Baguio and a tin box full of broken or used oil pastels and pencils, still not all dried up (keep 'em sealed always). One of our electives in the Fine Arts program was printmaking (then taught by Manolo Sicat).

Like I wrote in an earlier blog, I like partnering with Kai--this time I gave the given (not a blank canvas paper as I did over a month ago) and it's her turn to fill up the places and spaces with colors.

When I left her less than 30 minutes ago, she was still at it.

God bless James Barrie's eternal boy Peter Pan and whoever invented the adult coloring book. Also grandmas who don't immediately throw old works away. My rubbercut that has lemons and strawberries for its subject now has a life of its own, and it isn't wholly mine but Kai's, too.

Our curly-haired colorist giving life to an old black and white print Photos by Babeth Lolarga
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