The digital revolution has had many varying effects on humanity. I did not expect the rise of adult colouring books to be one of them. Though when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Time, along with thoughts of work, responsibilities, Twitter and fears of missing out, are suspended as we focus fully and completely, childlike on the task at hand. A sort of holiday for the brain.
Our obsession has reached fever pitch. The embargo on the new Johanna Basford book The Lost Ocean (arguably the biggest illustrator in this market) was ridiculed by one reviewer last week regarding the signing of a non-disclosure agreement before having access to view the material: “What was I going to do, say there’s an octopus on page 12 and that I’m going to colour it purple?”.
But, from this deep sea of madness has emerged something different, something even I would pick up – The Liberty Colouring Book. A pocket-sized collection of blank Liberty prints to bring to life at your leisure. If anyone knows prints and pattern, it’s Liberty of London. There’s a sense of being let loose on their archive, and tampering with it feels almost blasphemous – what if I want to colour the iconic 1933 ‘Betsy’ print entirely in green?? Who cares! There’s even some William Morris in there, to which the geek in me is excited to stay true.
So free your mind, but do it in style.