See that picture there? It’s from the first page of a Disney Princess coloring book that I colored the other day. Yup, the other day, not decades ago when I was a kid and coloring was cool. Actually, it’s kind of interesting that adult coloring books have completely exploded in popularity, and, as a former avid colorer, I totally get it. There’s something calm and peaceful about it, something exciting about taking something exciting about taking something dull and boring and giving it all this bright and exciting color. It’s an easy way to pretend you have some artistic inclination even if you have none.
Coloring is awesome, but I find most of the adult coloring books to be boring. There’s a lot of cool shapes and things like that, but I always enjoyed coloring because it was yet another outlet for my creativity. I explained this to my boyfriend once when we were looking at books at a store, and he, being the smart fellow he is, got me the same kind of coloring books I used to have stacks of as a kid for Christmas. He’s a really sweet guy who is more than happy to feed into the stupid little things that make me happy.
This is why coloring makes me happy. It’s the same reason why sketching makes me happy, even though I’m not that great and rarely finish any drawings:
THIS IS WHERE IDEAS COME FROM.
See, you’ll notice that Cinderella up there looks a little different, because she’s not Cinderella in this picture. She’s Veroh, from The Slayer Saga, and some random dog I guess. Maybe that dog will show up in Fearless. I had no intention of there being a dog, but, because I colored this picture, the idea is in my head and I’m considering it. Growing up, I never colored the princesses or Barbie or whatever other characters were in my coloring books “as they were.” What was the fun in that? I would color them with different hair, different clothes, different skin tones. Then I’d give them different names and different stories, and probably 60% of the Arynethian cast came from this creative process. So many new stories were born from me and a box of crayons and a hefty stack of coloring books.
I’ll admit that it’s a little bit childish to want to delve back into coloring in books intended for kidlets again, but, you know what? That’s the great thing about being a writer. Games and toys are not mere playthings anymore; they’re keys to unlocking incredible potential and new worlds, and we hold one of the few positions in the world that allows us to constantly tap into that and never lose our sense of wonderment and excitement at the silliest things.