Why more and more grownups are hooked on coloring books | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Director Chris Martinez is hooked on Colorfy and enjoys giving his new twist on famous paintings, with funny names like “Teka Monet,” “And Seurat’s I’m Standing Here” and “Klimt Eastwood.”
Director Chris Martinez is hooked on Colorfy and enjoys giving his new twist on famous paintings, with funny names like “Teka Monet,” “And Seurat’s I’m Standing Here” and “Klimt Eastwood.”

Ccloring books continue to fly off bookstore shelves as more and more people discover the joy of spending a quiet hour or so filling in pretty pictures. Coloring apps are growing in popularity as well. It’s not just fun, people say; it’s good for their well-being, too.

We asked six colorists what they love about their new hobby.

Sleeping better

“I started coloring in mid-July. I’ve been coloring every day. It’s really therapeutic. I find that I’ve been sleeping better in the weeks that I started coloring daily. I also observed that my cognitive abilities are more enhanced. I can understand complicated stuff, I read faster, and I don’t really know if that’s because I’ve been watching TV less and coloring more.

“I prefer books because you cannot blend colors in the app! (Can you? Parang tap lang and that’s it.) I like the coloring sheets from local artist Mark Dean Lim (“Color Me Doodle”). I’m eyeing the books by Thaneeya Mcardle, which I think will be my favorite. Her drawings are quirky cute! I also like ‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book: Anti-stress art therapy for busy people’ by Emma Farrarons,  a Philippine-born French artist. It’s a small book, fits in the bag perfectly so it can be brought anywhere. I color with Colleen colored pencils. Cheap, but quality is high-end!”


No more Candy Crush

“I just started this week. It relaxes me and weaned me from playing Candy Crush Soda Saga. I love that it brings me back to my childhood, when you’re just there alone with your crayons, feeling excited at how the final picture will turn out.

“I prefer apps because I can color while on the road, between setups during shoots or while waiting for meetings to start.  I also love that the apps have ‘undo’ buttons so you can redo stuff. And they have famous paintings, and I get to re-title them like ‘Teka Monet’ and ‘And Seurat’s I’m Standing Here’ and ‘Klimt Eastwood.’ I’m addicted to Colorfy, but I just discovered another app, Momi Coloring!

“I do it all the time when I am stuck in traffic. Also, before bedtime. It’s calming.”

Chris MartinezDirector for film, theater and TV commercials

Keeping still

“I love to color what I draw— my costume and fashion plates, makeup charts and the doodles along the margins of my notes. Doodling helps me keep still and pay attention to class lectures. I got hooked on coloring books since I got my ‘Sesame Street characters do famous paintings.’ My current favorites are coloring books with historical clothes. Then comes (the app) Colorfy! I can’t stop, it’s not funny. I still prefer using my colored pencils on printed subjects, but for now I just want to unlock the other volumes of Colorfy.”

Marlon RiveraFilmmaker, fashion designer and Publicis president

Bonding with daughter

“During a book fair visit last year, I noticed that a lot of the publishers had adult coloring books highlighted in their booths instead of the usual bestsellers and books by famous authors. As soon as I got samples, I started coloring and didn’t notice that it had been a few hours already. I just knew then that they had to be made available at National Book Store and Powerbooks. People line up for it in our stores and have been hoarding it to give to family and friends.

“Besides the fact that it’s been great for business, it truly is stress-relieving and fun. You get to bring out your creativity with the color combinations and doodles that you draw. I also love the fact that you can choose from a wide variety of designs, from animals to landscapes to fashion and many more.

“It is something I look forward to every weekend. I get to bond with my daughter and friends over adult coloring books, although we don’t speak much unless we’re already comparing who had the best colored pages.

“Coloring books give you the complete experience. The fun begins with choosing the coloring books and materials that you want. I like using Prisma colored pencils for finer details and Chameleon color tone pens for bigger spaces.

“You may even frame the page that you have finished as art for your walls or to remind you of the great memories you had while coloring. My favorites are anything by Johanna Basford (can’t wait for ‘Lost Ocean’) and Millie Marotta. What I’m also loving right now is Kerby Rosanes’s ‘Animorphia.’”

Xandra Ramos-PadillaManaging director, National Book Store


“I started coloring almost a month ago. It relaxes me big time. I find that activities like coloring, cutting paper or even wrapping gifts calms me.

“I have to make a conscious effort to not do it because I could just spend the whole day coloring. Now, I just color on weekends when I have more time to ‘waste.’

“I prefer coloring books over apps. I love seeing my materials laid out on the table. Makes me feel like a real ‘artist,’ LOL. I started with Crayola coloring pencils and Stabilo colored fine pens because I have those already from a previous project. Now I have Staedtler water color pencils, brush pens and more fine pens!

“Since I just recently started, I have only one book. It’s ‘Enchanted Garden’ by Johanna Basford. I should have started with something simpler because ‘Enchanted Garden’ can be intimidating for beginners. But I’m still happy I took the plunge because it’s so pretty!”

SheilaA B & Me (www.abandme.com) 


“A month ago, during my trip to the US, my sister-in-law recommended buying some coloring books for adults, particularly that of artists Angie Grace and Johanna Basford. I was curious about this latest fad and read about it on the web. It piqued my curiosity enough to buy some books. After finishing my first pattern, I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to work on the next.

“When I can, I try to finish a pattern every night. It’s therapeutic. Coloring actually helps me de-stress after a long day at work. It’s a fun way to bond with my nieces, as well.

“Honestly, I haven’t tried any of the coloring apps. Comparing coloring books and coloring apps is like comparing printed books with e-books. I still prefer the feel of printed books. I love the patterns in Angie Grace’s ‘Balance.’ Colored pencils are very easy to use.”

Ging LejanoLawyer

Follow the author on Twitter @turbochicken and Instagram @pajammy

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