An Interview with Cristin Frey

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What made you decide to become a coloring book artist?

I’ve always loved drawing, painting, and doodling.  I used to draw a lot in high school but never pursued it as a career because I wanted a job where I could make money!  Then life happened and I didn’t create anything for years.  I always doodled, though.  I love drawing letters so I would always decorate birthday cards and things with fancy letters.  About two years ago, I read an article, with supporting research, that doodling helps with stress.  So, I began to set aside time to intentionally doodle.  It was very therapeutic and rewarding and I began to post my creations online.  That was just about the same time the adult coloring book craze hit.  I had friends and family telling me I should sell my pages and make a coloring book.  The rest is history!

How do you create your art?

Do you create your drawings by computer or do you prefer old school pencil and paper?   I absolutely have to draw old school style with pen and paper.  I tried using a computer once and even unnamed (1) purchased a Wacom drawing tablet.  It just wasn’t the same.  I didn’t get the satisfaction from it that I get from working in a sketchbook.

What is your inspiration for the different types of art that you create for your coloring books?

Because the majority of my art is textual and sayings, I get a lot of inspiration from memes.  If a meme can make me laugh, it’s sassy enough to make a coloring page into.  My other coloring pages that aren’t sayings, like my mandalas and zendoodle pages, they aren’t inspired.  I just go with whatever design comes to mind and I never know what it will look like in the end.

And of course, I get tons of inspiration from my followers.  Did I just say followers?  Kinda sounded like I’m running a cult there for a second.  I meant colorists.  The people who connect with me online and give me ideas and suggestions.  They challenge me to do things I wouldn’t have thought to do.  Like… draw a narwhal.  I had to google it!

Do you ever color your own work? And if so, what’s your favorite medium? Do you like pencils, markers or are you dipping into random reserves around the house for anything that can apply color in an interesting fashion?

I do color my own work, but I prefer not to.  It’s not relaxing for me because it’s like I’m still in work mode.  As I’m coloring it, I’m thinking about the imperfections in it, how I can use it to market, things I should have done differently, etc.  I prefer to color other artists’unnamed pages because then I can just relax and enjoy it.  I really really love to see how other people color my pages, though.  They do a much better job than I ever could and it’s amazing to see the same page colored so many different ways! My go-to mediums are my Prismacolor markers and Prismacolor pencils.  My best colored pages have been ones where I use both of those mediums together.

How do you define success and how do you measure it?

I think success is happiness.  I’m far from being rich and famous, and not even close to being financially stable, but I’m happy.  I have my dream job and wake up every day ready to leave my mark on this world.  My family and friends support me and I’m so grateful for that.  So, by those standards, I’m hugely successful.  But I also feel successful when I hear people tell me how coloring my pages has helped them – whether it’s through a stressful day, a hospital stay, helping them forget about their pain for a bit, or even just giving someone a giggle when they read one of my pages.

 

Besides yourself, who is your favorite coloring book artist?

No way am I picking just one!  First and foremost are my fellow queens, Cheri Lyn Shull and Jamesa Leyhe.  Without them and the bond we’ve created from collaborating together, I wouldn’t have as much fun doing this.  I love so many other artists’ work too and I know I’ll forget a bunch, but here’s a quick off-the-topof-my-head unnamed (3)list: Kim Flodin , Steve Turner, John Tommervik, Jason Hamilton, JA Early Riser & TJ Crayons, Sue Chastain, Heather Peacock Land, Shelah Dow, Anne Manera, Alice Best Jackson, Manja Burton, Sarah Renae Clark, Ligia Ortega, Carling Tyne, Christopher Kerry … and so many more! What color or colors do you most love to work with? My favorite color palettes always tend to have one or more shades of gray in them.  I love gray.  It’s such a neutral color and can bring out other colors, create a shaded appearance, or even make something look white.

Outside of creating coloring books, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you love?

My hobbies are keeping the coffee makers and boxed wine industries in business.  Seriously, I don’t have many other hobbies.  I enjoy spending time with my family and my dogs.  My husband tells me I’m a workaholic and that doesn’t leave much time for hobbies, but I do find time to play some Candy Crush.

What are your plans for the next year?

Do you have any new coloring book releases planned? I’m currently working on my third book and it will be just as sassy as the first two, minus the swear words.  It’s all about the “joys” of menopause.  (“Joys” was just written in sarcasm font.)  I’m also extremely active in my Facebook group (Queens of Coloring) and have lots of fun things planned for the year in there.  I have TONS of coloring book ideas unnamed (2)written down, so I’m not going away any time soon.   What are the titles of the last three books you have read or movies you’ve watched? The last three movies I’ve watched were: The Conjuring 2; The Green Room; The Shallows (I love horror movies!) If you were an animated character, who would you be and why? What a fun and random question! I’d be Suga Mama from the Proud Family.  She’s sassy with a sense of humor.  She’s direct and says what’s on her mind (and sometimes that gets me in trouble) but she’s really nice and loves her family.  Plus she dotes on her dog way too much like I do!

What color or colors do you most love to work with?

My favorite color palettes always tend to have one or more shades of gray in them.  I love gray.  It’s such a neutral color and can bring out other colors, create a shaded appearance, or even make something look white

Outside of creating coloring books, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you love?

My hobbies are keeping the coffee makers and boxed wine industries in business.  Seriously, I don’t have many other hobbies.  I enjoy spending time with my family and my dogs.  My husband tells me I’m a workaholic and that doesn’t leave much time for hobbies, but I do find time to play some Candy Crush.

What are your plans for the next year?

Do you have any new coloring book releases planned? I’m currently working on my third book and it will be just as sassy as the first two, minus the swear words.  It’s all about the “joys” of menopause.  IMG_0425(“Joys” was just written in sarcasm font.)  I’m also extremely active in my Facebook group (Queens of Coloring) and have lots of fun things planned for the year in there.  I have TONS of coloring book ideas written down, so I’m not going away any time soon.

What are the titles of the last three books you have read or movies you’ve watched?

The last three movies I’ve watched were: The Conjuring 2; The Green Room; The Shallows (I love horror movies!)

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

What a fun and random question! I’d be Suga Mama from the Proud Family.  She’s sassy with a sense of humor.  She’s direct and says what’s on her mind (and sometimes that gets me in trouble) but she’s really nice and loves her family.  Plus she dotes on her dog way too much like I do!

 

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