Express Yourself

Color Me to SleepBy: Alexa Hone

Lacy Mucklow is a registered, board certified and licensed art therapist who published the Color Me series adult coloring books illustrated by Angela Porter. Through coloring, older demographics are able to use coloring books to improve their quality of life.

As a kid, one sees a world of possibilities. Kids experience freedom outside the lines of coloring because staying in the lines isn’t a reasonable demand for kids. But as adulthood sneaks in, going outside the lines is seen as off limits, or as the world calls it, “failure.”

“Coloring has been shown to help people to calm down, to reduce anxiety, to improve overall mood, to increase focus and concentration, and to help manage everyday stressors,” Mucklow comments, nearly suggesting that staying focused on coloring in the lines provides an outlet for those caught in the whirlwind of stressful daily situations.

Mucklow’s Color Me series of coloring books are intriguing and allow individuals to explore a world beyond anxiety, stress and the inability to fall asleep- all common stressors for the everyday college students.  The series includes Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm, Color Me Stress-Free, Color Me Fearless and Color Me to Sleep.

Adults are now able to reflect their individuality again; they are able to focus on coloring books that once were seen as a world of scribbles when we were younger. But now they are not just an artistic release but also hold an array of health benefits.

“I lose focus on the outside world the minute I open my coloring book,” senior at USC Upstate, Hailey Venable explains. “I sit there for hours wanting to make the perfect picture, I forget why I was stressed out in the first place.”

Picturing this coloring so intuitively that ones mind is put at ease. It allows creative minds to explore because there is no right or wrong way to color in a coloring book, just as the world had learned that at such a young age.

“I loved coloring when I was a kid,” senior Ellen Bright adds, “I thought coloring in the lines was hard then but now, I truly have to put all my focus on what I am coloring or I will mess up.”

Mucklow discusses the misconceptions of coloring books stating. “The patterns in coloring books for adults are more complex and make use of the honed fine motor skills they have developed, which are different than what one might find in the standard child’s coloring book.”

Coloring has been used for fun for all ages, but now with a number of health benefits coloring can be seen as far more than just a freedom of expression, but rather freedom from bondage.