As a writer, staring at a blank page (or computer screen) can be daunting. But I never expected to feel intimidated by a black-and-white coloring page!

Health is Wealth HD2015 image - Barb 100715So it was a surprise when I opened a beautifully illustrated (and rather expensive) adult coloring art-book and found my hand unable to put colored pencil or marker to page.

I was intimidated.  Where to begin? What color to use? What if I go outside the lines by accident and mess it up? Or what if it looks childish compared to the inspiringly colored-in versions of this image I’ve seen in Facebook colorist groups?!

I suddenly realized I suffer from FOC — Fear of Coloring — or at least of coloring the detailed images like those in amazingly illustrated books available on Amazon and craft/art stores in my area (Michael’s, Aaron Brothers and Joann’s).

So this blog post is my way to gently come out of the FOC Closet — and hopefully discover I’m not alone!  If you experience FOC too, please COMMENT below!  If possible, feel free to share how you are overcoming FOC — or what has worked to help you feel the FOC and color anyway!

One of my self-help “cures” for FOC has been (ironically) co-creating Coloring Journals for Healthy Living books!  It’s impossible not to color when you’re creating coloring books — that would be like a shoemaker who goes barefoot!

Another is to color with others — in groups, at coloring parties, or just with a favorite color-buddy.

For example, I colored the image above (which is in our Heart’s Desire 2015 Coloring Journal Calendar) today at the Senior “Coloring Class” I attend in Sherman Oaks CA.  I started coloring it with crayons on the letters, then I shaded them a bit with markers before finally graduating to the image itself.  Having 90 minutes to color and others to chat with — about coloring as well as life in general — let me relax and become “mindful” as  time flew by.

If you would like to color with others, check out my new WHERE TO COLOR list under our Resources section.  I’ve also begun to host a series of “coloring pop-up parties” in Los Angeles — with the first one at my home.  Get info on our website’s EVENTS listings.  I’m also seeking other locales and co-hosts for future Color Us Creative-LA Parties and we’d be happy to help you get started in your area too!  Send us an email at ColoringJournals4HealthyLiving.com for info.

My final FOC “cure” so far has been finding inexpensive “starter” supplies at 99-Cents and Dollar Tree Stores.  They carry  lots of simple coloring books for kids, and I’ve found many that are just “my speed.” One is a Minions Coloring-Activity Book, since I at least know what color to use for the wacky little yellow guys.  Kid-oriented illustrations usually have larger coloring sections suitable for crayons if — like me — you aren’t yet ready for gel-pens and fancy markers.  Another book has images from “Inside Out,” my favorite animated film of this decade.

I also found coloring books with images by artist Lisa Frank plus Disney coloring books with Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, the Lion King and other beloved animals from my or my daughter’s youth.  There are also fun Winnie the Pooh or Mermaid coloring books — and many with action-icons for boys!

And only at the 99-Cents Store have I found coloring books using 3D — such as Copy Coloring Book’s “Princesses” which includes colored-in 3D pages to give you an idea of how the yet-to-be colored images can look, plus 3D glasses to see the colored versions in-depth.  How fun!

Let us know your FOC experiences — and what you’ve done to get comfortable with coloring.  We colored as kids — and now that we’re adults we get to appreciate it even more!  Enjoy!