Many adults remember coloring during their childhood. Coloring books featuring famous comic book characters, cute animals, and lovely princesses are popular with children, and coloring is considered an appropriate hobby for kids under eight. However, these days, coloring books for ‘adults’ have started to emerge. Surprisingly, they are popular; many adults are buying them and concentrating on coloring highly complex pictures inside. SMT reporter, Heejin, wondered why many adults were becoming enthusiastic about a childish hobby, so she decided to investigate why coloring had become ‘joyful’ to adults.
Wondering about Coloring
Before the reporter started on her coloring book, she had read a news reporting that experts had discovered coloring has a similar effect with meditation, releasing adults’ mind. Actually, the reporter had had enough of her multi-tasking days and often thought of giving up delight since she was having trouble managing her life. Sometimes, the reporter couldn’t sleep at night, plagued by nervousness from work and external activities. Therefore, when the reporter decided to purchase a coloring book, she did so with reservation. First, she hoped the coloring would be the hobby she had been seeking, but she also feared it would lead to more work and be a waste of time and money.
The best known coloring book is Secret Garden, which was world’s bestseller for almost every bookstore in Korea, so the reporter went to a bookstore to buy Secret Garden. Surprisingly, upon arriving at the bookstore, the reporter realized that there were so many kinds of coloring books for adults in stock there. Each coloring book had a different cover; they varied from sea animals, to famous Europe cities like Paris, to kissing lovers and so forth. After looking at all the available books, she chose a coloring book that featured Paris, France on its cover because it reminded her of her trip to Paris, which was really memorable. The price of this coloring book was 12,800 won. She thought that the price is quite high hoping it would be worth the price.
Realizing Work Constraint I made
At first, upon purchasing the book, the reporter had planned to color pictures for 30 minutes a day. However, two days after buying book, she hadn’t even opened it because somehow it felt like another chore. Unwittingly, she saw the coloring as ‘homework’ or ‘task’ rather than a pleasurable hobby, because she hadn’t had a hobby being done by hands since she graduated from middle school the reporter was sick of doing.
After two days of being perplexed, on Thursday after a day of tiring assignments and other works, she suddenly thought of the coloring book and its stress releasing effect. With little anticipation, the reporter finally opened the coloring book and started on one of the pictures with her twelve color pencils. Surprisingly, as she concentrated on the coloring, she felt her mind freed itself of anxiety and anger. For the picture was complex and had many spaces to be colored, she could concentrate more on coloring. After completing half of one picture—30-minutes—she no longer felt irritation and returned to her required school tasks.
This initial start brought about the desire to color, so she colored pictures whenever she had spare times at home and school like during break times, after finishing assignments, and whenever boredom was upon her. In just two days, she found that she’d completed two pictures. Some may say the results are too small; however, the reporter was not concerned with how many pictures she had finished. What impressed the reporter was that she could finish coloring pictures with little stress unlike at the beginning. Once the reporter started considering coloring a hobby, the pressure was gone. Through this experience, she thought that she might had had stress by thinking of a work too seriously.
Nothing is Perfect
Although the reporter came to enjoy coloring, one of the reporter’s friends who gave up coloring said, “The pictures in the book are too complex, so I was constantly irritated with coloring them.” In fact, each picture in the book becomes more and more complicated, so people who hate tedious detailed work might despise coloring. Also, the book is quite heavy. The book the reporter used has longer length than her usual school textbooks, and it is thickness equaled her class handout storage file. Whenever the reporter brought the book she felt her bag weighed twice as heavy as it did without the coloring book. Even though bookstores also sell coloring postcards, which are lightweight and easily shared with other, but the reporter didn’t buy any of those, for she thought them too expensive for a hobby. In fact, the amount of money required for this hobby could become quite burdensome because the pictures are quite complex and require much effort to complete. Twelve color pencils or twenty four color pencils will not be enough to complete one coloring book. Fortunately, the reporter had lots of coloring tools like crayons, pastels, and twelve color pencils, so she didn’t have to spend lots of money. However, coloring might be a bit of an economic burden for people who do not have these supplies.
One Step Goes Further
Although there are some flaws in coloring, the overall effect is clear; it lightens one’s mind while one is coloring. In addition, from her coloring experience, the reporter not only relieved her stress, but also learnt a good lesson based on an old proverb: “Well Begun is Half Done.” Many people consider a start very important but they are afraid of starting poorly when they have to challenge new things. The reporter was also concerned about starting seriously, too. Also, at first, she viewed coloring as a must-do task; therefore she thought she had to start with a good and clear mind, after finishing all other works. However, after starting to color, without a good mind, she could successfully finished, coloring two pictures by doing it between times. The reporter realized that starting good or bad is irrelevant, and that worrying does not help a start. The most important thing is to start. As taking one step at a time eventually leads to the top, one can go further than one’s expectation by merely starting. Therefore, instead of “Well Begun,” we need to just “Begin” for beginning is half done.