Some three to four months ago, I saw a friend who lived in Tokyo posted a picture of her coloring works on Path.
"This coloring thing is so much fun! Who would have thought this would be so addictive, thanks to a friend who gave it as a birthday gift... :)," the caption read.
And I thought, really??
I never thought that coloring could be an adult thing. I have been buying coloring books since almost two years ago, and I actually stockpiled them. My colleagues, who are mostly moms, started to buy drawing and coloring kits at the nearby “sogo jongkok” (street market), which pretty much sells mother-kids supplies and export leftovers at cheap price.
I figured the three for Rp 10.000 coloring books are quite good bargain to pacify my niece and nephews. And it comes in various themes and cute stickers too. Hello Kitty, Disney Princesses and Frozen for the girls; Thomas and Friends, Cars or Ben 10 for the boys. Throw in some crayons and play Doraemon DVD; those toddler would keep quiet and be occupied and the grownups can chat with less interruptions.
Last month when I met up for late lunch and drinks with some friends at The Colony, Kemang, we made a pit stop at a Periplus bookstore in that building. My friend said she wanted to get a coloring book for adults there and bought the Secret Garden book. Impulsively, I got one as well. After comparing a few books, I chose to buy ZenDoodles Calming Swirls. It said that coloring can “de-stress” you and the effect is similar to meditation. Okay….
I had the books for around a week, but haven't figured out what to color it with. Upon a grocery pit stop at AlfaMidi nearby, I picked up Faber Castell 12 Watercolor Pencils and started my first piece. I wasn't so happy with the result, because the color was limited and my blending skills sucks, so I had to play contrasting colors. Then the following week, my boss came up with few local adult coloring books, priced at less than 1/3 of my ZenDoodle ones. I bought the first series of My Own Worlds from her, and another two books as birthday gifts for 2 friends. Later after office hour, I bought Faber Castell 36 Watercolor Pencils and a pink Mopad pencil sharpener.
And my coloring craze was unleashed.
The second swirls had a blue and green theme, which is rather calming to see. The third piece, in pink-purple-red tones, dedicated to Pink October and cancer survivors, was finished on the day of Jakarta Goes Pink. I moved to the other book and found a sketch of a couple of hippies under the tree, and decided to name it Windu & Defrina as my next “project”. The colors turned out okay, but apparently I need to work on the skin tones. And there's no better instant course than coloring tutorial on YouTube.
Being very vain, of course I posted those coloring works on my Path, Facebook and Instagram.
And since then this coloring thing has become quite infectious. I started seeing my friends working on the same sketch but different color schemes and they are all amazing. I also learned from them that there are different types of coloring tools than the usual 12-24-36-48-72 coloring pencils, watercolor pencils, fiber tip pen, fine line pen and crayons. On my next visit to the nearby Gramedia, I found out that there's gel pen and brush-liked pen with brand such as Sakura and Copic for professional artists.
It doesn't come cheap.
A set of Copic pen can be price up to more than Rp 3 million. The cheaper version of Sakura's Koi 24 Waterbrush Pen costs almost Rp 500,000, it was enough to make me drool. Even for the colored pencil, there are also specialized skin color tones or Rembrandt editions. With my limited coloring ability, those Hermes tools would be useless so I settled for Staedtler Luna 24 Fiber Tip Pen for Rp 47,000.
Another Pandora box is, of course, online shop.
Since artists’ tools are limited in bookshop, you can search for various brands and tools, thanks to Tokopedia. And not just that, it also has several adult coloring books made in Korea that's not available at bookshops.
All. Just. A. Click. Away.
Now if you excuse me, I'm still contemplating a Star Wars coloring book that my friend is going to get for me from Japan.
Detski is a mid-30 single female, who has a committed relationship with 8-hours/day sleep. She is aspired to be Charlotte, rather than Carrie, of SATC.