by Lucy Fyles

happy-energizedThe Art of Mindfulness: Happy and Energized Coloring
Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books
Copyright: 2015
Number of designs: just under 100
ISBN-10: 1454709596
ISBN-13: 978-1454709596

This book is published and was very kindly sent to me for review by Michael O’Mara Books. This is probably my favourite book in the series, because it contains such a wide variety of images. This one contains a number of underwater themed images, which are really lovely. In addition to these, there are quite a lot of other natural images — animals, birds, plants, flowers and leaves. There are also some really quirky images of lamps, lanterns, hands and peace signs. This book doesn’t contain a large number of patterned images.

happy-and-energized-2This is the most nature-inspired book in the series, which is why it’s my personal favourite. I find that natural images are the best for calming and soothing the symptoms of mental illness. This books contains a variety of line thicknesses, but mostly it’s medium to thin. This would suit most colourists. It does have intricate and detailed images, but they’re not intimidating or teeny-tiny. They’re a great difficulty level for practicing mindfulness and really focusing on what you’re colouring. If you’re new to colouring and aren’t sure what you’d like to colour yet, (but think nature images may be for you,) then this would be a great book to try.

The image above was coloured using Stabilo .88 fineliners and Staedtler Triplus fineliners which did both bleed a little through the page.

Review Breakdown

  • Complexity: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Book Size: 7.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Design Borders: none
  • Design Lines: thin to medium thickness
  • Paper: thinner than average
  • Printing: double-sided
  • Binding: glue-bound

The Art of Mindfulness series is currently a set of 4, differently titled books, each containing almost 100 images, illustrated by various artists. The books are slightly smaller than A4 size, paperback and glue-bound. All of the images have a 1cm border around them, so none are lost into the spine. The paper is bright white and thin. Sadly, it does bleed when using water-based pens. There isn’t a lot of tooth, but it isn’t completely smooth, so you can blend and shade a little with coloured pencils.

The designs are printed double-sided, so you will need to be careful about what mediums you use to colour with, or make copies before coloring. The line work in each book varies from very thin to medium thickness, so this series isn’t great for those of you with poor vision or fine motor control. This is as you’d expect from mindfulness-themed books, since they require concentration. The images in the books vary in theme, but are mostly abstract designs and natural imagery of things like plants, flowers, weather, scenery etc.

All of the books are very pretty. They are ideal for people who are mentally ill or wanting to practice mindfulness. There are lots of intricate and detailed images to focus your attention on, so you’re distracted from your low and anxious thoughts. You can be in the here and now.

As far as books with a huge variety of images go, these are definitely some of the best I’ve seen. They’re all very different from each other, but also feel similar enough to be a cohesive series.

Editor’s Note:

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.)

Do you have this book? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments!

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