I have a pretty kick-ass job: editing some of the creativity books is part of my job at Perigee Books. I’ve gotten to deliberately spill coffee on the publicity materials for Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. For Michelle Taute’s Fold Me Up, I spent hours at my desk tinkering with old-school fortune tellers, making sure they all folded in a way that would do my inner fourth-grader proud. (And if I find myself with a creative block, I can turn to books from my colleagues such as Lee Crutchley’s The Art of Getting Started or Michael Nobbs’s Drawing Your Life.)
Lately, however, I’ve been coloring. And my inner kid could not be happier—literally (to borrow Parks and Recreation’s Chris Traeger’s favorite phrase).
For every box of crayons I owned as a kid, without fail, there were two colors I wore down faster than the others: black—for outlining all my shapes and making them neat and orderly—and blue green—because, of course, it was the most beautiful color. Today, however, the crayons in my office drawer are looking pretty equally loved. I’ve been coloring in my copies of Outside the Lines—a chunky coloring book with images from contemporary artists including Buffmonster, AIKO, and Shepard Fairey—and Color Me Swoon—a dreamy activity book celebrating the likes of Johnny Depp, Idris Elba, and Ryan Gosling (this one is for my Tiger Beat-loving inner teenager).
There have been plenty of studies about how coloring and doodling are good for children’s motor and color skills as well as their general creativity. But I’m starting to wonder if there shouldn’t be a coloring book on every adult’s desk too—something to pick up when you’re sitting through a tedious conference call or when you’re waiting for your computer to boot-up after an irritable morning commute. I forgot what coloring does to you—the contemplative lull you slide into as you pick the best color and start filling in the page, the wonder as the image comes to life, the way your heart slows down and your pace steadies as you create.
If you want to see what my colleagues and I have been coloring, check out Perigee’s Tumblr page. And feel free to join us and share your images at with us here.
Whether it’s coloring, wrecking, working past your creative blocks, or just doodling for fun, I think that you’ll find inspiration in any one of these Perigee books, available at your favorite retailer:
Wreck This Journal
The Pocket Scavenger
Everything is Connected
The Art of Getting Started
Drawing Your Life
Outside the Lines
Fold Me Up
Color Me Swoon
The Trickster’s Hat (available December 31st)
SPONSORED POST by Meg Leder, Executive Editor, Perigee Books/Penguin Random House