Let's Talk with Diane A.S. Stuckart

Color My World!

September 14, 2023

Not only is September 14th my brother David’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Bro!!), it’s also National Coloring Day. According to the crayon gods, today is the time to embrace our inner child and revert to a time when our biggest worry was picking the right shade of blue from the box of sixty-four.

Yep, coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Unless you’ve been living off-grid, you probably know that adult coloring books have been big business since the 2010’s. In fact, our friends at WebMD list seven benefits of adult coloring, one of which is helping induce a meditative state (and who can’t use that!). https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/benefits-coloring-adults

But coloring, like the craft of writing, is not without its controversies. And I’m not just talking colored pencils as opposed to crayons. The biggest among them may be the battle between the “coloring within the lines” camp versus the “scrawling all over the darned place” contingent. Lines folks tout the hand-eye coordination benefits along with general neatness. Scrawlers speak of the bold unleashing of creativity. The conflict rather reminds me of the old “plotter versus pantser” debate in the writing community. Neither of these approaches is wrong; they’re simply different ways to the same end. The books eventually get written, the pages are ultimately colored, and all is right with the world.

But segueing back to my brother. David earned his MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and spent many hours volunteering his time counseling homeless and low-income folks. I mentioned to him about coloring and mental health, and he had this anecdote for me:

“I had a middle-aged Navajo male client with memory issues. One session, he described how he loved to paint Cherokee powwow dancers as a youth [so] I brought colored markers and paper to the next session. [Finally] he confessed that his grandmother warned him not to paint powwow dancers out of respect for the ceremony, but then he told of fond memories how she influenced him growing up. This coloring activity brought back vivid memories without even a single stroke on the paper.”

Like writing, coloring can be a powerful force for good…particularly, for good mental health. So, grab yourself a pack of crayons and have a Happy National Coloring Day!

Are you an inside-the-lines type or an unrepentant scrawler? Comment by 9/20 about your coloring philosophy for a chance to win a paperback copy (US only) of PEACHY SCREAM by Anna Gerard.

While you’re here, visit our contest page to enter our September contest. One lucky person wins two books, including Nancy J Cohen’s Trimmed To Death and Debra H Goldstein’s Five Belles Too Many. Click for contest

Want to know more about author Diane A.S. Stuckart who writes as Anna Gerard? Visit her WEBSITE.

Posted in Let's Talk, with Diane A.S. Stuckart • Tags: , , , |  38 Comments


38 thoughts on “Color My World!

  1. I am an “inside the lines” type of coloring person. I admittedly am not very good at coloring (even at 55!) but am too neat and organized not to try it.

  2. I’m a inside the lines. I love coloring. It can be so relaxing. They have some really neat coloring books out there.

  3. I’m definitely an inside the lines type. Somes times I wish I could be scrawler, but it’s just not me.

    1. I’m more of a crafty person.. and I love doing crafts with my students. I also do coloring when my mood strikes. I am “color inside the lines” person, and always like vibrant or pastel colors. I like to keep things neat and clear and organized..

  4. I haven’t colored since I was a kid! I stayed within the lines but came up with interesting color combos.

  5. From childhood I have always been a color inside the lines person. I always thought that drawing outside the lines looked too messy for my taste and that viewpoint has not changed even as I have gotten older.

  6. Thanks for the shout out Diane my lovely sis! You made my birthday more special 🙂 For me, it’s fun to color inside or outside the lines- depends on my mood. Love, David

  7. Even back in kindergarten, coloring something that someone else had created never sat well with me. I always preferred starting with a blank sheet of paper to create my own images. I guess that’s why I wound up going to art school. 😉

  8. I’m an in-the-lines type of person. I also used to like Connect the Dots. I don’t think I’d have the patience for those adult coloring books. I’d rather do a Sudoku puzzle.

  9. I am a color within the lines person! I never liked messed up, ruined pictures in my coloring books in my youth and I am still that way. I have a movies coloring book and colored pencils that I have not used yet. I better get coloring!

  10. I haven’t colored since I was a kid. When I did, I usually colored within the lines and the colors had to go together.

  11. With a plethora of coloring books available for kids and adults, being artistic can be very relaxing. Even my 5 year old grandson expresses himself through drawing on paper with crayons or colored fine-tip markers; some even had glitter.

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