by Lucy Fyles
Art Therapy: My Fashion Colouring Book
Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP
Number of designs: 100
This is a very stylised book that is quite far removed from the standard adult colouring books that most of us are now used to.It contains many images of women in un-patterned clothing with very large expanses to add designs to as you wish. This book is very suited to those who are more artistic and who enjoy doodling and drawing in addition to colouring, rather than those of us who just want to colour in a pre-drawn design.
If you’re someone who struggles with ideas, or isn’t interested in doodling or adding patterns, then I’d suggest this book isn’t for you. There isn’t that much actual colouring that can be done in this book because the expanses are so large, limiting you to use coloured pencils or felt-tips (which often streak over big areas.) If you’re into zentangle then this could be a great book for you.
This book is like an issue of Vogue with all the colour removed. It’s very similar to a fashion catalogue. It includes pictures of whole outfits as well as jewellery, bags, shoes – even lingerie. However, as someone who is not a doodler, I struggled to pick pages to colour in. I found it challenging to come up with patterns to add to the designs
- Complexity: Beginner to Intermediate
- Book Size: 8.2 x 11.8 inches
- Design Borders: None, approximately 1/4 inch margins
- Design Lines: hand-drawn, so it varies
- Paper: above average thickness
- Printing: double-sided
- Binding: glue-bound, with hard covers
I did get there in the end. In some ways, the challenge did me some good and got me out of my comfort zone. However, I didn’t find this book calming, which is the main reason I colour. It did add to my stress levels, so bear that in mind if anxiety or low frustration tolerance are issues for you.
For anyone interested in fashion or design, this is a must though, particularly if you’re not great at drawing people. If you just want to design clothing, the hard bit is already done for you! If you do purchase this book, I’d recommend investing in a good set of fineliners so you can create coloured doodles and patterns. (I did that with the shoe designs. I drew them in using Stabilo .88s.)
Lucy is a UK member of my Facebook group, Coloring Books for Adults. She reviews books specifically for those suffering from mental illness. Lucy is able to bring a unique viewpoint to this target group, as both a person who suffers from her own severe anxiety disorder, and as someone who has worked with psychiatric inpatients. You can read Lucy’s blog for more information, or connect with her through Facebook.
(Since the UK uses the alternate spelling of “colour”, you’ll find “coloured pencils” and other alternate spellings used in her reviews.)
I do partially disagree with Lucy’s review on one point. I’ve seen that a lot of beginner colorists enjoy designs with large spaces, as they are less intimidating. Also, some people find them more relaxing than coloring images with lots of tiny details, because they have to worry more about markers bleeding over the lines. So if you prefer larger spaces, this would be a great option.