As children, coloring was often an activity that we found enjoyment in. Projects that we colored at school were often hung on the refrigerator at home, where we could regularly take pride in our artwork. Coloring may not be a regular activity for you as an adult, but coloring has been shown to provide many mental health benefits even at an older age. Coloring can also be considered a form of art.
Reasons Why Coloring Is Considered an Art
There are a wide range of activities that can be considered art. What makes something art is the purpose behind the activity. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the definitions of art is “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination, especially in the production of aesthetic objects.”
Art can be shown through drawing, coloring, painting, architecture, sculpting, and many forms of performing arts. We consider coloring a form of art because you are actively using your imagination when you are coloring. Even if you use coloring pages that were previously designed, you are completing the design by adding the color.
When you are coloring, you are using your creativity to pick what colors will go the best for your specific design. Your creativity is what helps you make the coloring design complete. Without using your creativity and imagination, the colors wouldn’t come together quite the same. The right part of the brain is essential when coloring and creating art.
Another reason why coloring is an art is you get to decide what methods you want to use for your coloring. Even if you are using a coloring book with designs that are already made, you get to decide if you want to use crayons, pencils, or paint. There are no rules when it comes to coloring and art. You can create your designs in any way you want.
There are countless versions of art. Since art is a form of expressing yourself, art can be anything you decide to make and is up to the creator. No one else can decide for you if your creation is art or not. Art is all about freedom and being free to express ourselves.
Art over the years has changed dramatically. In the early years of art, it was much more traditional, and the main forms of art included painting and sculptures. However, art has changed and expanded in many ways over the decades. In today’s world, art can be anything you want it to be.
Background of Coloring
The first coloring book was created back in the 1880s. Education professionals realized how coloring would develop cognitive abilities and increase conceptual understanding for their students. Instructors noticed how students developed skills at a quicker rate when they regularly participated in coloring activities. This increased the popularity of coloring.
Coloring is still widely used for school-aged children. Coloring allows children to learn their shapes, and colors and develop their cognitive abilities. In school, coloring can also provide children with joy and allow them to be proud of the work they’ve created.
In the years before the 1930s, coloring books were made specifically for someone to paint in the coloring book instead of coloring with crayons or pencils. Even in the years after crayons became popular in the 1930s, it was still common for people to paint in their coloring books, which is no longer accurate in today’s world. Although some may still prefer to use paint in their coloring books, it is not the most common method used.
The use of adult coloring books first took place in the 1960s. However, at this point, the coloring books were not known yet for all of the therapeutic and mental health benefits. Then in the years 2010 and after, the popularity of adult coloring books skyrocketed and has continued to be common among adults. Brands like Crayola have even released their adult coloring books after they became popular.
The increased popularity of coloring among adults is largely due to the large amount of screen time that most adults experience both in their work and personal lives. As adults have started spending increased amounts of time on their phones and computers, coloring has become a way for us to get away from our screens and get back to ourselves.
After the increased popularity, there are even digital apps available now for coloring. Therapists also started using the activity of coloring to aid in the emotional healing of their clients who may have experienced past trauma. Coloring has even been used for accident victims, to help them improve their hand-eye coordination.
Coloring with Complimentary Colors
A part of what makes coloring a form of art is the activity of putting together complementary colors. When you are coloring, likely, you are not putting together random colors. It is much more likely that you’re carefully thinking about what colors you want to use in each space, ensuring that all of the colors complement one another.
Deciding on the colors that you will use allows you to express yourself and also allows the design to be more pleasing to the eye. It allows you to express yourself because you are often picking colors you enjoy yourself and you’re picking a combination of colors that you think will go well together.
Putting together specific colors is a part of other forms of art as well, like painting and even architecture. If you look back at history, it is known that Van Gogh’s paintings use very bold color choices. After it was analyzed, it was shown that he used a lot of complementary colors in many paintings.
In using complementary colors in his painting, he was using colors that strongly contrasted each other. A color’s complementary color is placed exactly opposite from it on the color wheel. For example: Blue is a complementary color for orange. If you want contrast in your coloring designs, complementary colors can help you achieve that.
How Coloring and Creating Art Reduces Stress
Along with helping students learn at a quicker rate, coloring and creating art has a large amount of mental health benefits as well. Coloring helps reduce stress and anxiety that may be experienced in our daily lives. The activity of coloring has a calming effect.
If someone colors regularly, they are much more likely to experience less stress in their daily lives. We recommend coloring weekly to enjoy all of the mental health benefits it has to offer. Coloring is an excellent addition to a self-care routine. Coloring after a stressful or rough day can also help you relax and decompress before going to sleep.
A big part of why coloring helps reduce stress is it allows you to focus purely on another activity. When you are coloring a page in a coloring book, your focus is likely completely on the act of coloring. It gives you a great opportunity to stop focusing on any trouble that happened during your day and also prevents you from worrying about the future as well.
Another therapeutic part of coloring is it reminds many adults of their childhoods. Since many adults may not have colored since they were a child, the activity can bring back joyful memories of being carefree and coloring regularly as a child.
Coloring Increases Other Art Forms
One large benefit of coloring as an adult is it increases your creativity. After beginning to color regularly, some adults notice that they begin participating in creating more forms of art in their free time. Even those who first start by using coloring books with designs may start drawing their designs to use for their coloring.
Others who begin coloring as an adult may also take up painting in their free time since it has many similarities to coloring and provides more freedom than you may experience with a traditional coloring book. When you use paint, you can mix colors easier and you can also create your designs easier than you can when you use coloring books. Many coloring books available today are not made to be used with paint.
By increasing the amount of art they create, adults will continue to see more mental health benefits and more joy in their daily lives. Art in all forms allows us to express ourselves and is known for reducing stress. By increasing the amount of art you create, you also increase your creativity, which will likely benefit you in your personal and work life as well.
All forms of art will help you reduce anxiety and stress. Creating art has a soothing effect on everyone. All forms of art also help you focus. Like coloring, you are purely focused on creating when you are making any form of art. Since you are focused on creating, you are less likely to focus on any of the troubles you had that day or future worries.
Other forms of art you may start to take part in are pottery making, creating music, or participating in performing arts. Once you open yourself up to the world of art, you can find the methods that work the best for you and that you find the most joy from. The purpose of art is to find what you love the most and what allows you to express yourself the most.
Coloring in any way is a form of art. It allows you to express yourself and use your creativity. Art and coloring are both about freedom. Coloring as an adult also reduces stress in your life. It can be a very therapeutic activity, along with increasing your focus. Including coloring in your regular life will prove to have many benefits!
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