Adult Coloring Pages Challenge: How I Created My Muse
For the day’s Adult Coloring Pages Challenge, I thought of a pregnant woman as my subject. She would have a bulging tummy and late into her pregnancy. I doodled, doodled, doodled. Did lots of erasures. Fixed the lines. Doodled some more. When I was happy with my drawing, I inked and filled up blank spaces.
My coloring page is nothing that intricate, isn’t it? But inking sure did take a lot of my time. That design in my curtain gave me a blurry vision after. I had to focus and fix my sight on to coming up with clear and connected lines.That would save me time in the clean-up process.
After all the “hard” but fun and rewarding work, here’s what I came up with - a young pregnant woman blissfully expecting her baby!
It was not exactly how I planned her. I started with a general concept and went with my creative flow. It soon evolved into what she is now. That’s the beauty of creativity. You start with something and end up with something else. Most of the time, it’s way better than your seed idea.
“My kind of composing is more like the work of a gardener. The gardener takes his seeds and scatters them, knowing what he is planting but not quite what will grow where and when - and he won’t necessarily be able to reproduce it again afterwards either.” ~Brian Eno
Adult Coloring Pages Challenge: Tips of the Day
Tip #1: Trust your creative spirit.
Just like coloring, creating your own coloring pages is exhilarating and therapeutic. It’s also a creative process that could take you to faraway places you never knew existed or deeper into your core that you’ve never reached and explored. It’s a wonderful experience but you have to learn to trust yourself. Allow your creative spirit to engulf you. Battle your fear. Know that fear is not real. When you’re clear, your muse will show up and all your doodling will have meaning.
Tip #2: Make a clean inked drawing to make it easy at clean-up time.
I have not discussed nor shown anything about clean-up work at Photoshop but in my previous works, I spent unnecessary time doing so. When you do a good job at inking, it would save you a significant amount of time later on. Trust me. Just do it.
Tip #3: Find inspiration everywhere.
I am creative, alright. However, I admit that I have limited design ideas. I can only go so far. That’s why when I walk my son to or pick him up from the bus stop, it’s a great adventure for me. That’s when I:
- gaze at the flowers, leaves and trees
- memorize shapes, lines and textures
- count petals
- observe spacing in between leaves, petals and stalks
- notice angles or inclinations
- spot consistencies (or inconsistencies), uniqueness and special features
- take note of their surroundings and growth patterns.
When I’m not fully satisfied with all those, I pluck them, bring them home, and gaze some more using my short-range eyeglasses.
That’s how I find inspiration. Other than that, I also look at other artists’ creations. I’m always amazed at how brilliant their drawings are! I wish I could make them myself; but again, I have come to accept the idea that I have my own style. I must honor that.
Tip #4: Enjoy what you do.
I admit. If I don’t enjoy making these coloring pages, I would have retired to my comfy couch to read my books, write stories, or play guitar. But I enjoy this one so much that I dream of my subjects every minute.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~Confucius
Tip #5: Be patient.
You want to make a coloring book? You want to make it as quick as possible? Well, hire somebody to make them for you or buy those private label rights designs at Fiverr or other places online.
Soon, you’ll have your own adult coloring book plus a quick rush of instant gratification. You may not have much self-satisfaction. However, if you want to make your own from hand-drawn designs, I mean, your own creations, that would take a lot of time, patience and self-gratification!
“Rome was not built in one day but they were laying bricks every hour.” ~James Clear
What are you waiting for?
Keep creating. Keep moving. Soon, you’ll get there. I’ll get there.
If you had fun with this blog post and see some great possibilities, give me a shout out here and let me know that you’re in this as well.
That brings me back to my tagline. How do you make a coloring book? One adult coloring book page at a time!
For purposes of transparency, disclosure (and self-promotion!), that Fiverr link I gave you earlier is mine. Yes, I own a shop at Fiverr selling patterns and mandala coloring pages. Just not hand-drawn ones though.
Creating my adult coloring pages is like touring the world, meeting all sorts of women, engaging in a conversation with each of them, and virtually entering their lives and having a glimpse of who they are.
Muse for My Adult Coloring Pages Challenge: The Geisha
Today’s subject is the Geisha, which you’ll see in my inked drawing.
Geisha, otherwise called Geigi or Geiko depending on their place of work, are “traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Entertainment is a a big industry in Japan and Geisha play an important role because of their highly-valued skills.
Training to be a geisha traditionally started at a young age. Some girls were already tied to geisha houses even as children. Children whose mothers served as geisha were molded and brought up to be one.
Women in the geisha society hold high social status and are some of the most successful business women in Japan. In an interview with the Boston Phoenix, Mineko Iwasaki, a prominent Japanese businesswoman, author and former geiko, had this to say about the geisha:
“The geisha system was founded, actually, to promote the independence and economic self-sufficiency of women. And that was its stated purpose, and it actually accomplished that quite admirably in Japanese society, where there were very few routes for women to achieve that sort of independence.”
Adult Coloring Pages Challenge: Succeeding Tasks
It took me a while to draw this image as I had to research how a typical geisha looks. Apart from that, I also took a detour from my routine to explore another subject: cats!
Cats should then be my next project.
The tasks that I am mainly performing in line with my target adult coloring books on women from around the world are:
The materials that I mostly use are letter-size (8.5″ X 11″) photocopy paper, pencil, pen and eraser.
I still have to digitize and vectorize my images so that I end up with crisp, clean and high-resolution coloring pages that are appealing and worthy of publication.
Adult Coloring Pages Challenge: Tips for the Day
I browse through many coloring pages in bookstores, my bookshelf, and online on a regular basis. No matter how hard I try to imitate them, I fail dramatically. Lesson learned? I can never be someone else. My stroke is different from others and others can’t have my stroke. At least, not exactly. Therefore, be proud of what you bring on the table and celebrate your uniqueness.
Make friends with a trusty eraser.
In my entire life, I had never used an eraser in the way that I do now and I thank God for it as well as the manufacturers of all sorts of erasers. They make my work look more polished. I wish that’s how we could erase our mistakes in life!
Practice, practice, practice and never give up.
I can’t overemphasize this. If you want to be a master in your craft you need to practice. This daily challenge of creating my own hand-drawn coloring pages provide me my needed practice sessions to sharpen my saw. You’ll get discouraged, tired and bored along the way but if you want to reach the finish line or milestone, you must persist. Never give up. (Now, there. That’s actually a tip for myself!)
Please join me in my “Adult Coloring Pages” Challenge. I am in my sixth day and getting so much better!
Today is my fifth day and in keeping with my ongoing “Adult Coloring Pages” challenge, I drew and inked a dreamy girl. I know it may not be at par with my other socially-relevant or realistic drawings but for me, it depicts a picture of who women are. They dream. They have aspirations. They keep this burning ember of childlike excitement. This drawing is all that is.
I’ll be doing certain enhancements to this drawing. I plan to just delete the words so that it becomes all embracing. It breaks away from the image of a love-struck teenybopper. Well, that’s upon the suggestion of my hubby and he has a valid point.
I’ve done rough sketches of my Geisha that I’ll feature tomorrow. Watch out for her and while so doing, have a look at my other coloring pages:
Day 1 – Afro woman
Day 2 - Indian-inspired woman
Day 3 - Long-necked South African Ndebele woman
I look forward to having you in this journey of creating adult coloring pages as well as studying women from many walks of life. I can’t wait to have them in one of those awesome adult coloring books!
Adult Coloring Page Muse: Cancer-Stricken Woman
Today, I drew an adult coloring page of a cancer patient who is undergoing chemotherapy and is battling its effects, including loss of hair.
Look at her. Isn’t she lovely?
Cancer is a devastating disease. It is like a death sentence with a blank date. Despite its ill effects, many cancer patients refuse to give up and struggle to the end.
Life is never the same when someone you know has cancer, isn’t it? Despite all efforts and resources to combat it, finding a cure - not just a palliative - continues to be an uphill climb.
Let’s pay tribute to all women and men, young and old, battling and defeated, who suffer from cancer. Their loved ones and close circle of friends also deserve such tribute.
Adult Coloring Pages Challenge: My Takeaway
What is my takeaway from today’s work?
It has rekindled in me a sense of compassion to everyone facing all forms of difficulty, regardless of their situation. This takes me to John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” which depicts a world of perfection:
“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…”
I wish that’s possible.
Adult Coloring Pages: Tips of the Day
I don’t have a tip as I did the same things as with previous posts - sketching and inking. I’m sure to have loads of them in my succeeding posts; that is, when I deal with the technical side of how to make a coloring book.
Watch out for those tips.
If you’d like to read my previous posts, click the links below:
Day 1 – Afro woman
Day 2 - Indian-inspired woman
Day 3 - Long-necked South African Ndebele woman
In my earlier post, I declared my intention behind my “Adult Coloring Pages” Challenge.
Please join me in this exciting adventure of creating hand-drawn coloring pages every day. I am not merely coloring other artists’ adult coloring books. I am making and publishing my own.
If I can do it, so can you! Let’s do it together.
This “Adult Coloring Pages” Challenge is part of my artistic and entrepreneurial journey into the world of adult coloring. This challenge is a continuing artistic creation process that would lead to the publication of my coloring books. It is also an opportunity to connect with like-minded people who desires to go beyond coloring other people’s artwork but creating one’s own.
So where I am now?
Adult Coloring Subject: Long-Necked Ndebele Woman
Today is my third day of the challenge. To add up to my pages, I sketched and inked an image of a South African Ndebele woman who sports neck rings to elongate her neck. She belongs to the Ndebele group, which is one of the four distinct groups of the Nguni tribes of South Africa.
It’s interesting how I interacted with her as I drew her. I wanted to dig deeper into who she is.
Here is a list of questions that I would have asked her if we came face to face:
- How does it feel to have rings around your neck?
- Since when did you have them?
- How did you or they attach those rings?
- Until when are you supposed to wear them?
- Do you take them off when you bath or sleep?
- Don’t they hurt and leave scars?
- Aren’t the neck rings heavy on you?
- Why do you even have to wear them?
- What’s the significance of having those neck rings?
- Do all women in your tribe wear them?
- What are they made of?
- Where do you get those rings?
Well, since I didn’t have a chance to talk to her, I searched the internet instead and learned that South Ndebele women wear neck rings called idzilla as part of their traditional dress and as a sign of wealth and status. However, only married women are allowed to wear them.
“Ndebele women traditionally adorned themselves with a variety of ornaments, each symbolising her status in society. After marriage, dresses became increasingly elaborate and spectacular. In earlier times, the Ndebele wife would wear copper and brass rings around her arms, legs and neck, symbolising her bond and faithfulness to her husband, once her home was built. She would only remove the rings after his death. The rings (called idzila) were believed to have strong ritual powers. Husbands used to provide their wives with rings; the richer the husband, the more rings the wife would wear. Today, it is no longer common practice to wear these rings permanently.” (Source: Wikipedia.org)
The idzilla are not harmful to remove but women who have worn them for a long time may experience initial discomfort.
I know, I know. It’s just a basic understanding of her, and I have so much more to learn. Don’t worry. I’ll get there and, hopefully, the other women and men who’ll get to color her.
My Simple Coloring Page Creation Process
What did I do to come up with this coloring page?
- I decided to draw a Ndebele woman based on an initial idea of her - one with a long neck and wearing a stack of neck rings.
- I searched the internet for images and information to solidify my concept.
- I did a light sketch of her using my Staedler pen.
- I reviewed the entire picture and tweaked the image.
- I inked her with my Micron pen.
- I took a snapshot for safe keeping and sharing while organizing the finished drawing in a folder for digitizing.
Adult Coloring Page Creation Process: Tips for the Day
Tip #1: Develop a basic understanding of your subject.
My theme on faces of women around the world has social significance. I need to understand my subject. A tiny bit won’t hurt me. It may not be necessary when I draw trees, flowers, houses, mandalas, or patterns. But, hey, other people would argue against that. You do need some understanding of your subject, don’t you? It would give you more confidence in your execution. On the other hand, creativity can soar to different planes and heights, and you can do as you please. Well, just not the women in my adult coloring books.
Tip #2: Erase if you must until it feels right.
I did a significant amount of erasures on this coloring page until I finally inked it. I don’t mind doing more enhancements when I bring the scanned image over to Photoshop or Illustrator. In my other artworks, that’s what I did. I didn’t stop until I felt satisfied.
Tip #3: Honor yourself and stick to your artistic vision.
Creating art can be challenging. As I create my coloring pages, I can’t help but compare my kind of art to other artists’. As I browse through coloring books that I keep or come across in bookstores, I tend to doubt myself. How come their work is better than mine? I find this unfair, detrimental and counter-productive. I’m trying to kick this way of thinking and feeling out of my system. All creative artworks deserve respect. Each piece is a gem, and so is mine.
I found this video by Mr. Jake Parker of Inktober and says it all for me:
I enjoyed creating this artwork. I realized that beyond the finished page are a barrage of priceless intangibles - thoughts, feelings, insights, doubts, determination. People who color your page may not realize this but as the artist, you know better.
If you find this post a fun learning experience, please join me in my process. You could embark on your own “Adult Coloring Pages” Challenge, too. You share your daily coloring page, and I share mine.
How about that?
In a previous post, I declared my intention to embark on a continuing “Adult Coloring Pages” Challenge. Today is my second day of creating coloring pages for adults on the many faces of women as the central theme.
Adult Coloring Pages: Some Imaginative Work of Art
Today’s coloring page is a product of my imagination. I didn’t do any research work to come up with the picture of this woman. I drew what my creative mind whispered to me and went where my hands took me. As you can see, the image has an Indian touch to it given the feather earrings and straight hair. The flowers should just add more coloring elements and interest to the page.
Coloring pages for the succeeding days would be different. They would involve the following images:
- Cancer patient
- Aboriginal women
I don’t want to reveal too much to peak your curiosity and add excitement and expectation to my every daily coloring page challenge. Each day, as I add a page to my blog, I hope that you would be inspired to create yours as well.
Adult Coloring Page Creation Process: Tips for the Day
I promised you that I’d be sharing tips on how I create my pages. I have three tips for you today. Like anything, pick up what works for you and discard what doesn’t.
Tip #1 - Decide on a theme for your adult coloring book.
Nobody could tell you to constrain your imagination. You may create a variety of coloring pages as much as you want; the sky is the limit. However, wouldn’t it be great to have a theme that would tie up all your creations into one piece? At the end of the day, after you’ve done your pages, you are left with a thematic coloring book or a series of coloring books. And then, you could move on to the next theme.
Tip #2 - Have all your tools and supplies ready and within arms reach.
You could waste valuable time searching for tool and supplies that you need. It’s best to keep them in one place like a tin can, organizer, drawer or box. My youngest son put all his dominoes in one rectangular tin can, and I got the extra one for my pens, erasers, pencils, and ruler. It spared me precious time and energy from finding my 005 and 05 Micron pens when I needed them.
Tip #3 - Just do it.
Creating your adult coloring pages for the first time could be scary and paralyzing. When you’re on the brink of giving up even before you have started, always bear in mind that big things start from small things. You don’t build a castle or cathedral in a day. You build it brick by brick, second by second, day after day. You crawl before you could walk. You walk before you could run. Lastly, just do it. Nothing beats action. It’s action that changes the world, bit by bit.
As you follow me on my journey, you’ll get more tips on creating your adult coloring pages.
I’m not an expert on this. I’m a learner as well. Experience is my teacher.
Join me in my process of creating coloring pages for adults. Soon, you and I should see my first end product, an adult coloring book on the many faces of women around the world!
Don’t forget to check my Day 1 coloring page here.