To Relieve Stress Try Coloring!

I’ve been noticing a new trend lately that keeps growing by the minute.  Adult coloring books.  Seen on the shelves of my local art store, JoAnn’s Fabric store, Target, Amazon, there are dozens of titles suddenly appearing everywhere.

So what is driving this trend?  According to artist/blogger Joan Beiriger, publishers such as Dover Publications began marketing their coloring books by pointing out that coloring has therapeutic value.  Joan’s blog post led me to another blog, Quartz to read more about coloring in its post, “Color Me Happy”.  It says and I quote here:

“Many adult colorists have latched onto the idea that coloring promotes mindfulness, and can help reduce stress. They are right, judging by the latest expert thinking. Though there aren’t studies specifically on the benefits of adult coloring, play is important for both adults and children. Coloring can act as a de-stressor, art therapist Saba Harouni tells Quartz.

These coloring books can act as a reset button for adults who are moving too quickly from one responsibility to the next, or trying to do them all at once. The repetitive motion of coloring can be both cathartic and meditative, and you can focus on filling in the lines on the page. “You’re giving your brain some some space and something to focus on that’s meditative, that’s containing,” Harouni says.”
So, it’s not surprising that artists see this as another opportunity to find ways to put their art out there and have it be interactive with consumers.  Spread the joy!  My good friend Debra Valencia just released three wonderful adult coloring books on Amazon.com and is working on several more for later release.  They feature some of her signature patterns that she has successfully licensed to a multitude of surface design applications.
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Terrarium trend of the 70’s is baaaack!

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Going strong for a couple of years now is the terrarium trend.  Miniature gardens behind glass sitting on your coffee table were very popular in the 1970’s.  I recently visited the Descanso Gardens Sturt Haaga Gallery in La Canada, California to see the “Dangerous Beauties” exhibit featuring artwork and plants.

Part of the exhibit features examples from the plant world of the spiny, carnivorous and poisonous kind and terrariums!

I love the twisted pieces of wood and the insect eating Pitcher plant lurking in the back.

I love the twisted pieces of wood and the insect eating Pitcher plant lurking in the back.

Miniature desert scene with skinny cacti I haven't seen before.

Miniature desert scene with skinny cacti I haven’t seen before.

Another one with cacti and a succulent plant.  I have both of these plants growing in my garden.

Another one with cacti and a jade plant. I have both of these plants growing in my garden. The cacti looks like it almost has fur growing from it, but don’t dare touch it!!

Another one with nice twisted pieces of wood and moss.

Another one with nice twisted pieces of wood and moss.

Though I may not run out and buy a terrarium kit I want to point out how this trend translates to imagery on items we buy, such as greeting cards.

This cool greeting card design by Lindsey Chin-Jones on the Minted.com site caught my eye. Terrarium sticky notes from Up With Paper and

Terrarium diecut shaped cards from Blas Bleu.  I’m going to hit the drawing board soon and see what I can come up with.  Stay tuned!

Terrarium greeting card design

Terrarium greeting card design by Lindsey Chin-Jones

Terrarium sticky notes by Up With Paper

Terrarium sticky notes by Up With Paper

Terrarium Shaped cards

Terrarium Shaped cards