Welcome to November

November is the month we stop to feel gratitude for all we have in our lives. The hustle and bustle of Christmas is around the corner. We’re planning our holiday meals and seating arrangements for those spectacular events. We’re ever so gently beginning to pull our hair out. Gratitude? Forget it, we’re stressed out! The pumpkin spice lattes no longer bring us back to that holiday serenity. Grab your gel pens, we’re going to help you relieve some of that stress.

Our feature artist for November is Christopher King. Christopher has drawn five exclusive images for us. We also have images from Antonina Kalinina, Bridget Flood Hurley, Darlene Nemeth, Robin Gulack, Romy Maimon, Sena Carroz, and Tammara Wright.

Thank you  Alex Whisman, Kim Bussey, Larry Pierce, Melissa Pierce, and Travis Baribeau for another magical issue!

A Chat with Christopher King

What made you decide to become a coloring book artist?

Everyone knows somebody, if not directly yourself, who is suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or some other diagnose-able form of mind disorder. When members of my family were suffering, including myself, I realized that the thing which brought me the most serenity, calm and peace was to just draw. Something which did not take too long and which was easy to do and rewarding for me.  Usually after exercising, which worked well for me. I wanted to share this mind space and sense of clarity and calm with people, so by combining my art with mindful themes, creating colouring books was an obvious choice. It was only when I had some time off between finishing an Engineering role at the manufacturer Dyson and beginning my new role that I had some time to create a book and put my artwork together.

How do you create your art? Do you create your drawings by computer or do you prefer old school pencil and paper?  

I’m all old-school pen, pencil and paper! I like to share my process – if you see my youtube, Instagram or FB feeds @cdkingbooks, I have many shares of some rather manic videos which capture this stage. I have been looking into tablets like the Huion range and some Wacom products, but I haven’t found one which I am willing to sub for the mighty pen yet! There’s something about the feedback and sound of a pen or pencil on paper that can’t be recreated – even a millisecond delay or something which feels unnatural with the tablet products, then I am calling up customer service to return them! I will probably invest in a higher-end model at some point in order to streamline my process, as an addition to pen and paper, but definitely not as a replacement at this point in time.

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

I love anything that is surreal or unusual like in children’s literature, epic stories and adventures like Lord of The Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter books and so much visual inspiration from classic Sci-Fi films like StarWars, Star Trek or Blade Runner. My Mum used to read bedtime stories to my brother and me when we were little, the Indian in The Cupboard and anything Enid Blyton went down well.

Nature and anything fractal are always getting stored in my visual memory – like plants and patterns which feed my imagination, when I am out and about.

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 have some videos on youtube which show me using melted Crayola Crayons as a bit of fun, with a hairdryer to colour “Molly” a character I created – check it out @cdkingbooks! But marker pens, coloured pencils and graphite are my usual choice of weapons if I am colouring my own work. I choose graphite and coloured pencils as these are good to give demos which this crowd love to see – eg my Dragonfly or the various monochrome videos I put out on my feeds.These are monochrome so they are colour neutral, but the same principles of blending and shading apply.

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

If people can engage with my work and if I can keep peoples’ minds occupied even for a while, to help them focus their minds, then it is all worthwhile. If people colour, post and talk about my work and buy my books, then this is all good love too!

Besides yourself, who is your favorite coloring book artist?

I like lots of them because they create for different reasons. I have only recently been aware of other colouring book artists beyond the obvious ones like Johanna Basford since I started. So the ones who I am drawn to (no pun intended) are Kerby Rosanes, Steve and Tim Jeffs. Also Bennet Klein, who I’ve only recently discovered. Their styles and themes are somewhat similar to mine – someone said my grey-scales are like Tim Jeffs on acid (see T-rex from Awesome Beasts)! But Hanna Karlzon triggered my inspiration for my next book,  Dreams and Nightmares, which I shall be releasing before end of this year. I completed this book about a year ago – stay tuned! I found new artist friends in the various groups who are my favourites because they inspire me to keep going – Marty Woods is a constant boost with his positivity, support and art. UK based artists Antonina Kalinina who lives locally to me in Oxfordshire and Steve Turner who inspires me with his humour, too.

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

My favourite colour is green, but I actually like working with blue and purples as they have very deep hues. However, this might sound a bit controversial, but I love to work with monochrome. Since it has no colour, it can be applied to all colours – and sets the tonality, which is why it is used in my grey-scale illustrations.

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

Art in general, but socializing, eating out with friends and family. Also I like to keep active with snowboarding, the gym and running. Oxfordshire has many secrets and beautiful places to discover just by being outdoors.

What are your plans for the next year? Do you have any new coloring book releases planned?

Yes – I have mentioned Dreams and Nightmares, which is a surreal journey inspired by children’s literature, sci-fi and dream-like imagery, perfect for escaping into a world of imagination and mystery. There is so much material, it may be released in two parts. Also my Awesome Beasts collection of posters, which went into Blackwell’s poster shops will be made into an artbook/ colouring book with grey-scale edition.

Also, I plan to release material from my sketchbooks which may be random subjects, but I hope to curate or group them into themes, without being too editorial or fussy over it.

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

I need to make more time to read, but the last time I sat down with a novel to completion would have been the forth Harry Potter Book – Goblet Of Fire and the fifth – Order Of The Pheonix. I love the world JK creates around her characters, and I think colouring books and art books should be able to take you into a deep imaginary world in the same way, but without words.  Otherwise, I am usually skimming through newspaper articles and popular short articles in science journals. Film-wise I saw a repeat of Toy Story 3 on TV the other day, and I saw Hacksaw Ridge, Contact and Star Wars Rogue One on a long-haul flight to China, which was my first attempt to binge-watch anything! Instead I ended up getting my sketchbook out and creating a series of android characters with the films on in the background – George Lucas is kick-ass inspiration!

If you were deserted on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?

Sketchbook, a knife and a flask for water…or ink (I think ink just about edges it, for matters of survival)!

You can find Christopher’s books on his website http://www.cdkingbooks.com.

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2yTEKSq.

Follow @cdkingbooks on FB and Instagram

Subscribe to his YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/2xuyRKx

 

Why Coloring Matters

By Anisa Claire

Adult coloring exploded back in the summer of 2015. Interestingly, there were quite a few people who had already been coloring for most of their lives but were doing so ‘in the dark’, so to speak. This was for a few reasons, but one of the main ones being that because it was viewed as a child’s activity, there simply were no books on the market to purchase. Well, all of that has changed and thankfully so.
Throughout history, becoming an adult, traditionally, has meant becoming mature, working, taking care of your family, and, basically, forgetting about everything that made you, well, you. Sad, right? Playing with toys, coloring, sitting on the lawn for countless hours watching the clouds pass by all became ‘childish’ and ‘a waste of time’. But why is that?
Children are full of life and energy. They are creative, enthusiastic about learning and excited about life. They live in the moment and wear their heart on their sleeve. A child does what they love simply because they love it. I think there is a valuable lesson here.
As we age, we begin to lose the ‘magic’, as I call it. We become stressed, overworked, overwhelmed, underappreciated and we get bored. It seems, rather than living IN the moment, we are constantly looking into the future and, worse, into the past. We remember when life was good, we dream of when life will be better, but we rarely say, hey, life, right now, is amazing. What happened to us? I’ll tell you what happened… we became adults and we lost the ability to see what is right in front of us. Happiness.
This is why coloring matters. It brings us back to being in the moment. It gets our creative juices flowing and gives us the ability to accomplish something we see as valuable. What is that value? Simply, it is expression of self. We put a little piece of our ‘soul’ (or whatever you would call it) into what we color. We choose pictures that speak to us and fill them with colors we love. It’s an extension of us.
Coloring also allows us to learn, and all humans have a desire to learn and see progress in what they are doing. Coloring does just that. There are many different techniques, mediums, and styles. Often times, coloring and art will expand our horizons, too, and push us to extend our creative acceptance. 
The world is changing and indulging in ‘childish’ hobbies is no longer viewed in the same light as it was fifty years ago. Many adults collect figurines, play games and doodle. We are beginning to see the value in hobbies being rewarding and refreshing. We are beginning to find ourselves again and that is a beautiful thing.
So, go ahead! Get crazy. Do some finger painting, build a sandcastle… be who you want to be. Take time to discover you before it’s too late. Don’t leave this world regretting things you could have easily changed. Live in the moment, and don’t lose your magic.

Reviews From A Dude

 

By Larry Pierce

Today I will be reviewing Ink Feast Volume 1 and Ink Feast Volume 2 from up and coming artists Jamil and Jamal Caminiti. If you are a fan of street art and old school rat rod style art then you’re going to love these two books. I’m not going to lump this into one big review that encompasses both books because that would be an injustice to the art.  So if you’ll bear with me, I’m going to give you TWO reviews for the price of ONE.

Ink Fest Volume 1:  Bombs Away

I’ve always been a huge fan of graffiti and street art.   From the sides of buildings, to the city overpasses (How in the world did they get up there?) this book is full of “tags” and various other art you see in the city.   The paper is standard weight, which means that if you are going to use markers or other mediums that might bleed through you’re definitely going to need a backer to keep from bleeding onto the adjacent pages. The good news about that is, the book comes with blanks in the back for that express purpose.  The images are super clean and the line work is crisp and heavy enough that none of it washed out no matter what medium I threw at it.  All and all I was super impressed with this outing from the Caminiti Bothers.

Ink Feast Volume 2:  Extreme Road Ragers

What can I say about this book?? Man, it’s cool!!  If you like cars, babes, monsters and just super cool images this is the book for you.  The art in this book is reminiscent of the old school Rat Rod art with the larger than life characters and the outrageous autos.  Most of the images in this book are in landscape format, which really makes the images stand out on the page, and as with the previous book images are clear and the line work is heavy.  Like I mentioned in the first review, the paper is standard weight, which means that if you are going to use markers or other mediums that might bleed through you’re definitely going to need a backer to keep from bleeding onto the adjacent pages.

Overall, I really enjoyed these books and would recommend them to anybody out there interested in gritty street art and cool rides.

November Feature Colorists

Are you new on the adult coloring scene? Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the books and coloring media available to you? We can help!  Join us at  Coloring Books for Adults to learn more about coloring, meet new artists, and make new friends.

Our November feature colorists:

Deborah Taylor –  Deborah colored an image from Molly Harrison’s book Autumn Magic. You can find Molly’s book here: http://amzn.to/2kGvT4d.

Kristen Leigh – Kristen colored an image from Chardonnay Minx Collector of Things by Collette Fergus. You can find Collette’s new book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ygXwFM.

Charlotte Schroeder Beeston – Charlotte colored an image from Inky Galaxy by Helen Elliston. You can get your copy of Inky Galaxy here: http://amzn.to/2z0KCtl.