I'm really excited to share with you my new book THE MINDFULNESS COLOURING BOOK: ANTI-STRESS ART THERAPY FOR BUSY PEOPLE. It's a 100 page paperback colouring book that is small enough to fit in a coat pocket. It's filled with abstract, wavy, floral and animal illustrations to colour-in. Here is a closer look:
I couldn’t believe my ears when I was approached by Boxtree editor Cindy Chan to work together on this pattern led colouring book. Being both lovers of traditional wallpaper, hand painted tiles and Liberty fabric. Not only was it great fun, but it also felt natural to work together. And what perfect timing! Our meeting was just a week before I was to leave for Sweden to complete a textile and printmaking course to learn about the art of pattern repeat.
I've been practicing mindfulness the past three years. It has been a great way for me to wind down. As an illustrator and graphic designer living in busy London, I'm always working on multiple projects (actual ones and brainstorming new ones). My eyes are in continuous exposure to computer screens, tablets, and my iPhone. So my brain tends to go on overload with thoughts. Mindfulness has been helpful way to switch off my autopilot way of life.
I'm certain fellow illustrators will agree that illustrating can be relaxing and even therapeutic. There is something comforting about picking up a pencil and drawing. I forget about everything around me. I'm in the moment, feeling the blank sheet underneath the nib, hearing the sound of the lead scratching the surface of the paper. To me, it's the same with colouring-in. Maybe it's a feeling of childhood nostalgia, spending a day filling in scenes, choosing the next colouring pencil...hours free from thought.
One of the exercises I often practice is actually in the tube, when I feel I've had a long and busy day. I like to meditate on sounds around me. Being in a noisy wagon is perfect. I mindfully hop from sound to sound: the sound of the train vibrations, the doors closing, people talking, the sound of newspapers ruffling, someone on the phone, foot steps, high heel taps, a scratch, entering a tunnel, two trains passing in opposite directions, the doors opening, people running for the train, people shuffling out, phone conversations, zippers, earphones booming...whoever thought one could find peace from thoughts in a noisy carriage? And then I've arrived at my destination with a clear mind.
You'll find my colouring book here and in bookshops across the UK. And if you are reading this post in another part of the world, I'm happy to say that it will soon be available in 16 other languages including: Afrikaans, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Czech, Danish, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.