ohanna Basford and Laurence King

(Courtesy: Johanna Basford)

Remember the childhood-bliss of a brand new coloring book and a fresh box of crayons? Was there anything better than that on a rainy day or on an afternoon when you just wanted to lose yourself for a few hours and forget about how bad you were at kickball, how your hair wasn't as straight/curly/blond/brown as you wished it was, or how you weren't invited to that stupid sleepover you didn't really want to go to anyway?

 

There may not be any actual science to prove that coloring in coloring books makes you happier and reduces stress (though there's lots about how creativity does that), but we don't need anything more than this: the fact that a British illustrator's coloring book for adults has sold over a million copies and that just by looking at the pictures from it makes us want to color all over our laptop screens:

ohanna Basford and Laurence King

(Courtesy Johanna Basford and Laurence King)

ohanna Basford and Laurence King

(Via Gizmodo)

 

ohanna Basford and Laurence King

ohanna Basford and Laurence King

(Courtesy Johanna Basford and Laurence King)

ohanna Basford and Laurence King

As Basford told Buzzfeed: “I think everyone has a creative spark; they just need the opportunity to let it flourish.  A blank sheet of paper can be daunting, but a coloring book has the outlines already there, making it easier to pick up a pencil and begin making your mark.” According to Buzzfeed, Basford added that adults seem to get so much joy from the books because 'coloring can often be a cathartic activity after a busy day full of draining adult activities': "Chances are last time you spent an hour or so coloring in you didn’t have a mortgage and you weren’t worried about a nagging boss or the financial crisis.”

Draining adult activities indeed!

We recommend hitting Amazon or your local bookstore for her books if you're wondering how to be more creative (yes, there's more than one!) — Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book—or going here for 5 links for free printables. We guarantee that the minute you sit down and start coloring—with crayons, colored pencils, magic markers, or even Basford's favorite pens (aptly named "Cult Pens")— you'll feel all your stress and worry and anxiety over all those draining adult activities just melt away. Even if you still can't help coloring outside the lines...

For more about Johanna Basford, go to her website: www.johannabasford.com.

 

(Courtesy Johanna Basford and Laurence King)