Art therapy to reduce stress, remain calm, truly relax & create art. Adult Colouring Books have recently become popular for good reason - they allow us to take a moment to be calm, still and relaxed. In today's stressful world this is more important than ever! Mandalas have long been used as a method of meditation and as a symbol of wholeness. They are pleasingly symmetrical and contain both complex and simple shapes to focus on. In Mindfulness Mandalas! An Adult Colouring Book there are 12 mandalas paired with little phrases to help you focus on yourself and your life. Each page is blank on the back and has room to cut the page from the spine so that you can frame your completed artwork. Remember... You don't have to stay within the lines!
About Kimberly-Ann Debling1. I'm currently 37 weeks pregnant and during my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with cancer. I realised that even though I'm now in a hugely stressful situation I had been more stressed and anxious in the past under less 'socially valid' reasons!
It made me really think about the way we deal with stress and how creativity helps so much. I feel that any creative pursuit is sometimes hard unless we're naturally good at it, or have practiced since childhood. Don't sing unless you have a good voice, don't paint unless you're an artist, don't woodwork unless you create sellable items, don't play an instrument unless you're stage-worthy! At what age do we tell kids that its not right to do creative things unless they're already a pro?!
I've always been interested in stress-relieving activities due to my previous life as an Air Traffic Controller, so I wanted to combine a few things that I've always loved to bring myself calmness - art and mindfulness.
2. My art journey has always tended towards the 'design' end of the spectrum. I'm passionate about packaging design (someone has to be)! But a lot of my joy was creating surface pattern and computer-drawn vector designs to include within the graphical elements. I just love how a beautiful pattern in combination with great typography, a barcode, and an ingredients list can become a real physical item that gets on shelves and in customers' hands!
3. My book is deliberately simple, but the things that make it a little different from your average adult colouring book are:
- it is not too thick that it is overwhelming - there's actually a good chance that you will finish all the pages. I always feel a sense of waste when I see too many un-coloured pages!
- it is printed on one side only so that if you use pens the bleed through doesn't ruin the next page, my medium of choice for colouring is often alcohol based pens so this was a huge factor for me.
- each page consists of a mandala plus a mindful phrase or saying to focus on. I wanted there to be a definite focus so that the 'mindful' part of the colouring has a special place for each page.
4. I'm obviously in awe of some of the more famous colouring book artists, but I also love Lichtenstein, Mucha and Dali. Mucha is probably my most obvious influence. I'm working on another book which will be a coulour-in diary but this time hand-drawn, I can see lots of Mucha-inspired elements creeping in!
5. I have a Midori style notebook/diary system and one of my inserts is devoted to notes and sketches. I sketch all the time but often away from home so most of my sketches are in biro! I rarely refine the sketches as I work directly on the computer either in vector or bitmap form. I love that if something doesn't work I can shift around elements to play with different arrangements. I get very obsessive so I often have to tell myself to just stop! I love working with clients and I make it clear to them that all feedback is positive. I usually love the finished design after feedback much more than the initial drafts.
6. How has the cancer affected your life? Actually, I really feel that being diagnosed with cancer has improved my life dramatically. It sounds crazy I know. For 5 weeks or so I had no details so became really introspective about so many things. My own mortality, the way I feel about life, how I feel about my husband, the kind of parent I want(ed) to be to my child. I was put into the very best care and when the doctor told my husband and I that my prognosis was excellent and that I would be treated with light therapy (essentially I have fancy sunbed sessions twice a week) we felt like we'd won the lottery. Before all this I was your standard person who had ups and downs and rushed through life either doing too much or wasting time. Now I really do enjoy every moment and no longer tell myself that its 'rushed' or 'wasted'. My husband and I are so much stronger in our relationship. I work with clients better. Even my designs seem better to me now that I don't critique myself so much! I'm so much happier now that I could cry - those 'silver linings' really do exist.