What’s Old Is New Again

Nostalgia, distraction, therapy, unplugging—these are just a few of the reasons for the new craze of adult coloring books that’s hitting the book and craft stores. Amazon’s list of bestseller books for 2015 includes 14 coloring books. There are stacks of adult coloring books at Barnes & Noble, Sam’s Club, Joanne’s Fabrics, and countless other chain stores.

Coloring books are no longer just for the kids.

A few of the finished pages from Kay's Coloring Club. Photo provided.

A few of the finished pages from Kay’s Coloring Club. Photo provided.

K’Lynn Grant, who looks like Princess Di and paints like Van Gogh, recently launched Kay’s Coloring Club in Aubrey, Texas. Kay’s Coloring Club is a club where women from across the DFW area travel to the Red Barn Events venue, located next to her house, to break out the colors and relax. With the preprinted pages, the women unwind and socialize while filling in the coloring pages. The coloring pages were designed by Grant, who received her undergraduate degree in graphic design from the University of North Texas and taught art at Denton Calvary Academy for about 10 years.

I sat down with Grant to hear a little more about Kay’s Coloring Club and the coloring book she plans to release in 2016.

How did Kay’s Coloring Club start?

“Typically, I would color just these graphic designs,” she says. “I would draw them in black and white, and then I’d color them.”

Grant says she can’t sit still and is always coloring. When Shelley Christner, co-owner of the Dime Store in Denton, saw Grant’s art, she told Grant it would make a great coloring book. Thus, an idea was born.

After speaking with Christner, Grant began researching coloring clubs on Facebook. “One lady that started a coloring club in another city said she literally made a post on her Facebook of like, ‘I’m going to have a coloring club this Thursday, show up at my house if you want to color.’ Now they meet in restaurants and reserve whole rooms. So I thought I’m just going to throw it out there.”

How did the first event in November go?

“Thirty-three women showed up. And I said, ‘Well, I’m going to try it just once a month and see how many would like to do it.’ And I put little evaluation cards at everyone’s seats, and for the most part, everyone said, ‘I love this. I’ll be back. So fun.’”

Grant says coloring pages can be a creative outlet, even for those who do not consider themselves creative. The lines provide the security, and the only decision that has to be made is what color the picture should be. This is a much simpler task than coming up with an image on your own. Grant also says coloring books can be a distraction from pain or stress.

K'Lynn Grant, creator of Kay's Coloring Club. Photo provided.

K’Lynn Grant, creator of Kay’s Coloring Club. Photo provided.

How are these pages different than some of the ones you have seen in the stores?

“One of the issues that my mom and her generation have said is that they’re so intricate. They’re these tiny little spots, and unless you’re using a sharp, sharp colored pencil, it’s hard to fill it in. So I did these big, bold graphics. I feel like they work for adults, they work for kids, kind of all ages.”

What makes Grant’s coloring pages stand apart from the ones lining the shelves of Barnes & Noble is the size of the illustrations. If you look at the adult coloring books currently in stores, many have small, complex designs. Grant offers a bold, simple graphic.

“I’ve heard that people find their inner child. We love to color when we were little, and so you sit down, and it’s just like you get creative, and you kind of revert back to ‘Hand me the green, and what color should I make this?’ And you just get so into it.”

Have you thought about making a coloring book?

“I’m definitely going to do that. I’m looking into putting about 20 drawings in a book and probably just putting it in some of the little shops and the Saturday morning market in Denton.”

How would you describe your art?

“I kind of describe it as contemporary, whimsical, bold, graphic art. It’s a fun thing for me in the sense of there’s not a lot of prep. I probably have 80-plus pictures ready that I have to kind of fine tune and get completely ready. It’s fun for me because I just get to sit down and relax versus stand up and teach, which is a little more prep and time consuming.”

Kay’s Coloring Club costs $5 for the first time, and $10 for the second visit. Grant plans to release her coloring book in 2016, and the next Kay’s Coloring Club event will be January 12.

Print out a page to color at home. Design by K'Lynn Grant.

Print out a page to color at home. Design by K’Lynn Grant.

Want more inspiration? Check out these local shops for inspired coloring pages.

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