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Adult Colouring Books by Johanna Basford

October 2, 2015

I expect by now, (if you have had your eyes open the last time you entered a book shop), you’ll have noticed a growing trend, a hugely successful trend which comes in the form of colouring book for Adults. You may well have seen a half dozen by the till, but I wonder if you also knew that the idea originated by pen and ink illustrator Johanna Basford ?

She graduated in 2005 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee with a degree in Printed Textiles and a portfolio stuffed with monochrome silk screen prints and drawings. Following that, she set-up a studio and set out on her mission to ‘vanquish the vector and champion the (wobbly) hand drawn line’. A task, I feel she is accomplishing with ease !

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The story goes that an Editor at Laurence King Publishing saw Johanna’s work online back in 2011 and thought her illustrations could work well for a children’s colouring book. Johanna came back with the idea of doing a book for adults and it went quiet for a moment, until she drew five detailed mosaic-like illustrations and the publishers were sold !

Since it’s release in 2013 her first colouring book “Secret Garden”, (printed by Laurence King) has sold more than 1.4 million copies in 22 languages, her follow up “Enchanted Forest” has sold out of it’s first print run of 226,000 copies and is onto it’s second. Her third book “Lost Ocean” is set to continue delighting and enticing her adult audience, allowing and encouraging them to rediscover their inner child and colour away to their hearts content. What’s not to like in that !!

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You can see a little more about Johanna’s work here.

Two other Illustrators who have both released their own line-work books are Melanie Mikecz who has appeared on Fishinkblog before.

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It’s easy to see how Melanie’s work translates perfectly into black & white, (please colour me in), pages of fun.

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A more textile/ floral book called “Bloom” is available by Caty Zocco. I guess that it all depends what kind of images appeal to you, to want to colour in. Both of these are available by Free Period Press.

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Great to see another reason for adults to return to their childhood again. Colour away everyone, the chill out time is good for you : )

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2015 5:29 pm

    May I “Like” this one million times? Yes, I have noticed (the revival of) this idea! In 1975, my mother-in-law bought me a large (for adults!) coloring book. I loved it! Going down in history as one of my best Christmas gifts ever! I saw these recently in a store and I have an array of luscious-colored felt-tip markers ready! ‘The Secret Garden’ is one of my all-time favorite books, so I must find that coloring book.

  2. October 2, 2015 5:36 pm

    Thanks Joy for your thoughts. I’m also glad it’s inspired you to revisit one of your all time fav books too.. double yay !

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