Back when I was young, I used to love coloring. In fact I even colored regular books and newspaper comic pages when I ran out of coloring books to use. Come to think of it, I didn’t remember getting scolded when I did that. Even when I wrote on the walls of our house, my mother just smiled an approving smile. Maybe she knows something I don’t. What was supposed to be reprimand, became words of encouragement, telling me how beautiful my drawings are and how vibrant the colors of my rainbows, that stretched seemingly unending across our bedroom walls. I was a good girl back then, how do I know that? Because my mother always told me so, and who in this earth would you rather trust than you mother. Maybe it was because of those coloring books. How I miss those days.
Looking back, it dawned on me that those same crayons and coloring books reflected innocently what I was going to be today. Coloring books with black and white images yearning for me to play with them, to put color into their otherwise dreary state, shouted at me that they want to live. Countless amounts of time thinking what would be a good color for the hills, for the moon, for the rivers and the sea, for everything under the sun.
Putting color into those coloring books taught me many things. Among the most notable I can remember are the following:
First, it taught me coordination. From what I thought in my imagination, my brain directing my hands, my fingers holding the crayon the right way and my eyes seeing where to put them, each of these takes a lot of work for a child who is still learning. Doing them all at the same time teaches coordination.
Secondly, it taught me obedience and focus. Putting color inside the boundaries and not straying beyond the lines takes focus. It is hard for a child with shaky stroke to adhere with it the first time, but keeping focus and practicing soon rewards him. The subtle teaching of following what is right teaches obedience. The bonus of a beautiful and pleasing colored image teaches the child that it pays to color only the areas within the boundaries of lines and not outside of it. Same as with everything in life, you are rewarded, in one form or another, if you do what is right.
Last but not least, it taught me self-expression and creativity. What the final image will be in a coloring book isn’t defined. It was up to me what it will eventually be. The outlined image is not the same after you color it. A once morose landscape in black in white becomes a wonderful place after you color it. Make it burst into life with brilliant hues. Or make it even bleaker with brooding shades. It exercises a child’s mind to imagine the desired look and feel that the choice of colors will bring to the picture thereby eventually triggering one’s creative potential.
Coloring books as adults also has their own benefits. For one thing, it can definitely sustain sharper minds. We can also use it as a form of meditation or to relieve the stresses of everyday life. Even the absence of a coloring book today poses no problem to us crayon devotees. One click of a mouse prints for you individual coloring pages of your choosing. I particularly like the My Little Pony coloring pages because ponies are little girls’ best friends, and I am still a little girl at heart. And also the Disney’s Frozen coloring pages because the movie reminds me of great times I had in the snow when I was a kid. Besides, when does anyone loses love for Disney characters? So what are you waiting for? Grab a crayon and color something today.