Amelia’s Magazine | The Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today!

Kickstarter campaign image Ameliasccc
I am super excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today! Make sure you grab an EARLY BIRD BARGAIN

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is a unique collaborative colouring book for adults, featuring the work of 40 artists from all over the world. If you are hunting for an unusual, beautiful, high quality colouring book that stands out in the crowd then this is the one for you! It would make an ideal Christmas present

Alex Mcginn
Double page spread by Alex McGinn.

Eleanor Percival
Double page spread by Eleanor Percival.

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion was put together through an open brief and each artist has contributed a double page – with a full colour left page on the left, and a complementary black line image on the right to colour in. This limited edition book will be printed on gorgeous thick paper and bound using the lay flat binding process ensuring that it is a delight to colour in. 

Nanna Prierler
I am already colouring in the pages! Here’s one by Nanna Prierler.

Steph Moulden
And another by Steph Moulden.

I have released some early back issues (1,2,3 and 4) as rewards to help raise funds and there are some fabulous Early Bird bargains that are sure to be snapped up fast, so please do visit the campaign page to view a short video featuring a mock up of the book… I hope you enjoy the little surprise at the end!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alex McGinn, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Back issues, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Early Bird, ,Eleanor Percival, ,Kickstarter, ,Launch, ,Nanna Prierler, ,Steph Moulden

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Amelia’s Magazine | OPEN BRIEF for ARTISTS: Amelia’s Magazine Colourful Colouring Companion

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 cover colouring in
Have you noticed the huge trend for colouring books aimed at adults? It hasn’t escaped my notice: I included a series of colouring in pages in issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine way back in 2005, complete with a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover and a free set of smelly branded pens to colour in those pages (above). 10 years on the concept has gone mainstream, and the time is right to contribute something a bit different to the market: a beautifully curated colouring book that features the work of multiple contributors who are working in diversely different but appealing styles. I will include artwork that features a wide range of themes, creating a book that goes beyond the feel of most pretty decorative colouring books. I want this book to appeal as much to men as it does to women! (and I therefore encourage lots of male artists to contribute).

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Zakee Shariff colouring in pages
Zakee Shariff, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Birgitte Lund colouring in pages
Birgitte Lund, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

And the most exciting part about this project? Each artist will get two opposing pages to play with, just as they did back in 2005. One side of the book will showcase a fully coloured image, and the opposite page will showcase a similar or related image designed for colouring in. It’s a great chance for artists to get their work seen and admired by a wide new audience – all images will be credited and there will be a back section where short bios and links for all featured artists are shared. Let your imagination run riot.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Serge Seidlitz colouring in pages
Serge Seidlitz, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Colin Henderson colouring in pages
Colin Henderson, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

I have already conducted a bit of market research on my social media feeds to gauge enthusiasm for a colouring in book and here are just a few of the responses: I think we’re onto a winner!

‘Sounds so fun’
‘I’d buy it for sure’
‘Heck yes, I’d love to be involved’
‘I’d love to draw something! I would also love to buy a copy!’
‘Yes! I loved this back in 2005. And would love another similar issue today! x’
‘I’ve just completed two commissions for adult colouring books, they’re so popular right now go for it, I’d love to contribute!’
‘Would love to pop five on my Christmas gift list!’
‘I remember this! Great idea!’
‘Definitely, great idea! Would tick two of my obsession boxes…’
‘definitely! Perfect idea!’
‘sounds like a fantastic idea. I hope you decide to go for it, it would be a great project & I’d love to buy one.’
‘It’s a brilliant concept. Like a colouring compendium of up and coming artists.’

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Jim Stoten colouring in pages
Jim Stoten, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Technical Details:
Please read before you start your artwork! I cannot include artwork that is not correctly put together for the book.

Specifications:
The full colour page of your artwork should be designed to appear on the left hand side of the book (so please remember that some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter on the right hand side). Please note that this is the reverse of how it appeared in issue 4.

The colouring in page should be designed to appear on the right hand side of the book (ditto, some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter at the left side). Please make sure you create this page using a fine liner pen and make sure your lines are solid and can be coloured in easily (no pencil or brush lines please). Lots of small intricate spaces to colour in are good, but it’s okay to intersperse these with larger areas of plain ground.

Please make sure your pages work together: they could make up one large image when viewed together, or tell some kind of story next to each other. They should not be based on the exact same image. Please have fun with this concept; this will not be a twee colouring in book, so please get inspired by ideas beyond the usual. And of course, have fun with colour…

Size, Bleed, File type:
This book will be the same size as all my publications: 200mm wide x 245mm high. However you should produce your original artwork so it would fit an A2 sheet; 400mm x 490mm at a 300 dpi resolution.

Please also include a 3mm area of bleed around your artwork, as it will be printed full bleed in the book. This is a 3mm zone that you do not mind losing parts of when the pages are cut to size (so don’t include anything important).

Each of your two images should therefore be sized 406mm wide x 496mm high at 300 dpi, which includes the 3mm bleed zone around each side.

Create your colour artwork using the CYMK colour mode for lithograph printing and save as a tiff or psd file. Please create the line art for your colouring in page using the Grayscale mode in Photoshop or as an Illustrator file. The line art should be very black please.

Exclusivity:
Your artwork should be created exclusively for this project: please share tasters on social media using the hashtag #ameliasccc but do not share the full piece online until the book is published if you are chosen for inclusion.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Luke Best colouring in pages
Luke Best, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Send Me:
Please title your email ARTWORK FOR AMELIA’S MAGAZINE COLOURING BOOK.

Please ensure your artworks are labelled with your name or I may lose them.

Please send me a small version of your artwork: my Gmail account cannot cope with large files, so please ensure you resize each page to be no larger than 1MB. If you are shortlisted I will ask you to send a larger file via Wetransfer.

Website and Social Media:
You must have a professional active presence on social media channels, preferably on at least twitter, facebook and instagram.

Please include all relevant links in your email, including a link to the personal website which best showcases your work.

Please do start sharing news on the project using the hashtag #ameliasccc. I’d love to see your progress on twitter and instagram.

Words:
Please send me a 100 word description of your artwork: including inspiration, process and meaning if applicable.

Please also send me 100 word biography.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Babak Ganjei colouring in pages
Babak Ganjei, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Credit:
All artists will receive a complimentary copy of the book. If the book is taken up by a publisher I will endeavour to agree some kind of payment for all featured artists: but please note that if I self publish this book I will not be able to offer any payment. *So I can’t promise anything at this stage.*

Deadlines:
You have all summer long to work on your images, but please submit your artwork to art@ameliasmagazine.com by Friday 28th August 2015. My plan is to publish this book before Christmas, making it the perfect gift item for all those who have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of colouring in, but are looking for something a bit different from the average offering.

Publishing Plans:
At present I anticipate self-publishing this book through Kickstarter in the same way as I did with my limited edition 10th anniversary celebration book That Which We Do Not Understand: now sold out. However I am also actively looking for a publisher who understands my vision and is able to better promote and distribute this book once it is published. I don’t know which way it will go at this stage, but suffice to say that if you are a publisher or work for one and would be interested in chatting with me then do get in touch: I’d love to talk.

Disclaimer:
I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and hopeful this birth will go well and I can get back to work as soon as possible, but there’s always the potential for unforeseen problems, and if something does happen then I will have to postpone this project. So I am just putting that thought out there: I could not wait to post this brief and look forward to seeing what you produce.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Babak Ganjei, ,Birgitte Lund, ,Colin Henderson, ,Coloring, ,Coloring In, ,Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring In, ,illustration, ,Jim Stoten, ,Kickstarter, ,Luke Best, ,Open brief, ,Serge Seidlitz, ,Special Colouring Companion, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Wetransfer, ,Zakee Shariff

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Amelia’s Magazine | OPEN BRIEF for ARTISTS: Amelia’s Magazine Colourful Colouring Companion

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 cover colouring in
Have you noticed the huge trend for colouring books aimed at adults? It hasn’t escaped my notice: I included a series of colouring in pages in issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine way back in 2005, complete with a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover and a free set of smelly branded pens to colour in those pages (above). 10 years on the concept has gone mainstream, and the time is right to contribute something a bit different to the market: a beautifully curated colouring book that features the work of multiple contributors who are working in diversely different but appealing styles. I will include artwork that features a wide range of themes, creating a book that goes beyond the feel of most pretty decorative colouring books. I want this book to appeal as much to men as it does to women! (and I therefore encourage lots of male artists to contribute).

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Zakee Shariff colouring in pages
Zakee Shariff, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Birgitte Lund colouring in pages
Birgitte Lund, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

And the most exciting part about this project? Each artist will get two opposing pages to play with, just as they did back in 2005. One side of the book will showcase a fully coloured image, and the opposite page will showcase a similar or related image designed for colouring in. It’s a great chance for artists to get their work seen and admired by a wide new audience – all images will be credited and there will be a back section where short bios and links for all featured artists are shared. Let your imagination run riot.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Serge Seidlitz colouring in pages
Serge Seidlitz, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Colin Henderson colouring in pages
Colin Henderson, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

I have already conducted a bit of market research on my social media feeds to gauge enthusiasm for a colouring in book and here are just a few of the responses: I think we’re onto a winner!

‘Sounds so fun’
‘I’d buy it for sure’
‘Heck yes, I’d love to be involved’
‘I’d love to draw something! I would also love to buy a copy!’
‘Yes! I loved this back in 2005. And would love another similar issue today! x’
‘I’ve just completed two commissions for adult colouring books, they’re so popular right now go for it, I’d love to contribute!’
‘Would love to pop five on my Christmas gift list!’
‘I remember this! Great idea!’
‘Definitely, great idea! Would tick two of my obsession boxes…’
‘definitely! Perfect idea!’
‘sounds like a fantastic idea. I hope you decide to go for it, it would be a great project & I’d love to buy one.’
‘It’s a brilliant concept. Like a colouring compendium of up and coming artists.’

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Jim Stoten colouring in pages
Jim Stoten, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Technical Details:
Please read before you start your artwork! I cannot include artwork that is not correctly put together for the book.

Specifications:
The full colour page of your artwork should be designed to appear on the left hand side of the book (so please remember that some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter on the right hand side). Please note that this is the reverse of how it appeared in issue 4.

The colouring in page should be designed to appear on the right hand side of the book (ditto, some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter at the left side). Please make sure you create this page using a fine liner pen and make sure your lines are solid and can be coloured in easily (no pencil or brush lines please). Lots of small intricate spaces to colour in are good, but it’s okay to intersperse these with larger areas of plain ground.

Please make sure your pages work together: they could make up one large image when viewed together, or tell some kind of story next to each other. They should not be based on the exact same image. Please have fun with this concept; this will not be a twee colouring in book, so please get inspired by ideas beyond the usual. And of course, have fun with colour…

Size, Bleed, File type:
This book will be the same size as all my publications: 200mm wide x 245mm high. However you should produce your original artwork so it would fit an A2 sheet; 400mm x 490mm at a 300 dpi resolution.

Please also include a 3mm area of bleed around your artwork, as it will be printed full bleed in the book. This is a 3mm zone that you do not mind losing parts of when the pages are cut to size (so don’t include anything important).

Each of your two images should therefore be sized 406mm wide x 496mm high at 300 dpi, which includes the 3mm bleed zone around each side.

Create your colour artwork using the CYMK colour mode for lithograph printing and save as a tiff or psd file. Please create the line art for your colouring in page using the Grayscale mode in Photoshop or as an Illustrator file. The line art should be very black please.

Exclusivity:
Your artwork should be created exclusively for this project: please share tasters on social media using the hashtag #ameliasccc but do not share the full piece online until the book is published if you are chosen for inclusion.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Luke Best colouring in pages
Luke Best, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Send Me:
Please title your email ARTWORK FOR AMELIA’S MAGAZINE COLOURING BOOK.

Please ensure your artworks are labelled with your name or I may lose them.

Please send me a small version of your artwork: my Gmail account cannot cope with large files, so please ensure you resize each page to be no larger than 1MB. If you are shortlisted I will ask you to send a larger file via Wetransfer.

Website and Social Media:
You must have a professional active presence on social media channels, preferably on at least twitter, facebook and instagram.

Please include all relevant links in your email, including a link to the personal website which best showcases your work.

Please do start sharing news on the project using the hashtag #ameliasccc. I’d love to see your progress on twitter and instagram.

Words:
Please send me a 100 word description of your artwork: including inspiration, process and meaning if applicable.

Please also send me 100 word biography.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Babak Ganjei colouring in pages
Babak Ganjei, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Credit:
All artists will receive a complimentary copy of the book. If the book is taken up by a publisher I will endeavour to agree some kind of payment for all featured artists: but please note that if I self publish this book I will not be able to offer any payment. *So I can’t promise anything at this stage.*

Deadlines:
You have all summer long to work on your images, but please submit your artwork to art@ameliasmagazine.com by Friday 28th August 2015. My plan is to publish this book before Christmas, making it the perfect gift item for all those who have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of colouring in, but are looking for something a bit different from the average offering.

Publishing Plans:
At present I anticipate self-publishing this book through Kickstarter in the same way as I did with my limited edition 10th anniversary celebration book That Which We Do Not Understand: now sold out. However I am also actively looking for a publisher who understands my vision and is able to better promote and distribute this book once it is published. I don’t know which way it will go at this stage, but suffice to say that if you are a publisher or work for one and would be interested in chatting with me then do get in touch: I’d love to talk.

Disclaimer:
I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and hopeful this birth will go well and I can get back to work as soon as possible, but there’s always the potential for unforeseen problems, and if something does happen then I will have to postpone this project. So I am just putting that thought out there: I could not wait to post this brief and look forward to seeing what you produce.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Babak Ganjei, ,Birgitte Lund, ,Colin Henderson, ,Coloring, ,Coloring In, ,Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring In, ,illustration, ,Jim Stoten, ,Kickstarter, ,Luke Best, ,Open brief, ,Serge Seidlitz, ,Special Colouring Companion, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Wetransfer, ,Zakee Shariff

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | OPEN BRIEF for ARTISTS: Amelia’s Magazine Colourful Colouring Companion

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 cover colouring in
Have you noticed the huge trend for colouring books aimed at adults? It hasn’t escaped my notice: I included a series of colouring in pages in issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine way back in 2005, complete with a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover and a free set of smelly branded pens to colour in those pages (above). 10 years on the concept has gone mainstream, and the time is right to contribute something a bit different to the market: a beautifully curated colouring book that features the work of multiple contributors who are working in diversely different but appealing styles. I will include artwork that features a wide range of themes, creating a book that goes beyond the feel of most pretty decorative colouring books. I want this book to appeal as much to men as it does to women! (and I therefore encourage lots of male artists to contribute).

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Zakee Shariff colouring in pages
Zakee Shariff, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Birgitte Lund colouring in pages
Birgitte Lund, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

And the most exciting part about this project? Each artist will get two opposing pages to play with, just as they did back in 2005. One side of the book will showcase a fully coloured image, and the opposite page will showcase a similar or related image designed for colouring in. It’s a great chance for artists to get their work seen and admired by a wide new audience – all images will be credited and there will be a back section where short bios and links for all featured artists are shared. Let your imagination run riot.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Serge Seidlitz colouring in pages
Serge Seidlitz, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Colin Henderson colouring in pages
Colin Henderson, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

I have already conducted a bit of market research on my social media feeds to gauge enthusiasm for a colouring in book and here are just a few of the responses: I think we’re onto a winner!

‘Sounds so fun’
‘I’d buy it for sure’
‘Heck yes, I’d love to be involved’
‘I’d love to draw something! I would also love to buy a copy!’
‘Yes! I loved this back in 2005. And would love another similar issue today! x’
‘I’ve just completed two commissions for adult colouring books, they’re so popular right now go for it, I’d love to contribute!’
‘Would love to pop five on my Christmas gift list!’
‘I remember this! Great idea!’
‘Definitely, great idea! Would tick two of my obsession boxes…’
‘definitely! Perfect idea!’
‘sounds like a fantastic idea. I hope you decide to go for it, it would be a great project & I’d love to buy one.’
‘It’s a brilliant concept. Like a colouring compendium of up and coming artists.’

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Jim Stoten colouring in pages
Jim Stoten, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Technical Details:
Please read before you start your artwork! I cannot include artwork that is not correctly put together for the book.

Specifications:
The full colour page of your artwork should be designed to appear on the left hand side of the book (so please remember that some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter on the right hand side). Please note that this is the reverse of how it appeared in issue 4.

The colouring in page should be designed to appear on the right hand side of the book (ditto, some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter at the left side). Please make sure you create this page using a fine liner pen and make sure your lines are solid and can be coloured in easily (no pencil or brush lines please). Lots of small intricate spaces to colour in are good, but it’s okay to intersperse these with larger areas of plain ground.

Please make sure your pages work together: they could make up one large image when viewed together, or tell some kind of story next to each other. They should not be based on the exact same image. Please have fun with this concept; this will not be a twee colouring in book, so please get inspired by ideas beyond the usual. And of course, have fun with colour…

Size, Bleed, File type:
This book will be the same size as all my publications: 200mm wide x 245mm high. However you should produce your original artwork so it would fit an A2 sheet; 400mm x 490mm at a 300 dpi resolution.

Please also include a 3mm area of bleed around your artwork, as it will be printed full bleed in the book. This is a 3mm zone that you do not mind losing parts of when the pages are cut to size (so don’t include anything important).

Each of your two images should therefore be sized 406mm wide x 496mm high at 300 dpi, which includes the 3mm bleed zone around each side.

Create your colour artwork using the CYMK colour mode for lithograph printing and save as a tiff or psd file. Please create the line art for your colouring in page using the Grayscale mode in Photoshop or as an Illustrator file. The line art should be very black please.

Exclusivity:
Your artwork should be created exclusively for this project: please share tasters on social media using the hashtag #ameliasccc but do not share the full piece online until the book is published if you are chosen for inclusion.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Luke Best colouring in pages
Luke Best, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Send Me:
Please title your email ARTWORK FOR AMELIA’S MAGAZINE COLOURING BOOK.

Please ensure your artworks are labelled with your name or I may lose them.

Please send me a small version of your artwork: my Gmail account cannot cope with large files, so please ensure you resize each page to be no larger than 1MB. If you are shortlisted I will ask you to send a larger file via Wetransfer.

Website and Social Media:
You must have a professional active presence on social media channels, preferably on at least twitter, facebook and instagram.

Please include all relevant links in your email, including a link to the personal website which best showcases your work.

Please do start sharing news on the project using the hashtag #ameliasccc. I’d love to see your progress on twitter and instagram.

Words:
Please send me a 100 word description of your artwork: including inspiration, process and meaning if applicable.

Please also send me 100 word biography.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Babak Ganjei colouring in pages
Babak Ganjei, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Credit:
All artists will receive a complimentary copy of the book. If the book is taken up by a publisher I will endeavour to agree some kind of payment for all featured artists: but please note that if I self publish this book I will not be able to offer any payment. *So I can’t promise anything at this stage.*

Deadlines:
You have all summer long to work on your images, but please submit your artwork to art@ameliasmagazine.com by Friday 28th August 2015. My plan is to publish this book before Christmas, making it the perfect gift item for all those who have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of colouring in, but are looking for something a bit different from the average offering.

UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED until midnight Monday 14th Sept 2015. Thank you so much to over 60 artists who have submitted work so far, I have received some wonderful colouring in pages. My baby girl arrived 18 days after her due date so she is only 4 weeks old at the time of writing, and in order to ensure this book showcases a diverse range of styles I am keeping the brief open for a further two weeks. I am especially keen to receive innovative and thought provoking narrative artwork with lots of decorative detail to colour in: think landscapes, surreal, buildings, gardens, outer space, tattoo art, underwater, fashion, people, dinosaurs, monsters, stories. And if you are a guy please do get involved! I can’t promise anything but I will be showing the top entries to a major colouring book publisher who is interested in working with me.

Publishing Plans:
At present I anticipate self-publishing this book through Kickstarter in the same way as I did with my limited edition 10th anniversary celebration book That Which We Do Not Understand: now sold out. However I am also actively looking for a publisher who understands my vision and is able to better promote and distribute this book once it is published. I don’t know which way it will go at this stage, but suffice to say that if you are a publisher or work for one and would be interested in chatting with me then do get in touch: I’d love to talk.

Disclaimer:
I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and hopeful this birth will go well and I can get back to work as soon as possible, but there’s always the potential for unforeseen problems, and if something does happen then I will have to postpone this project. So I am just putting that thought out there: I could not wait to post this brief and look forward to seeing what you produce.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Babak Ganjei, ,Birgitte Lund, ,Colin Henderson, ,Coloring, ,Coloring In, ,Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring In, ,illustration, ,Jim Stoten, ,Kickstarter, ,Luke Best, ,Open brief, ,Serge Seidlitz, ,Special Colouring Companion, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Wetransfer, ,Zakee Shariff

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing Color On! Magazine: An Interview with Mary J. Winters-Meyer

Meditations-On-Serenity Mary J Winter-Meyers
I found entrepreneurial colouring book artist and magazine publisher Mary J. Winters-Meyer when I was searching Facebook to find groups that might like to know about Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion and came across her huge Coloring Books for Adults group. Following the links led me to Color On! Magazine, her new venture that caters to the international adult colouring community, featuring exclusive downloadable artwork from colouring artists. Mary is now a full time artist thanks to her new found love of colouring: proof, if ever there was needed, that colouring is a creative endeavour. This brilliant interview explains the lure of the colouring craze, and offers a fascinating insight into the rapid growth of this creative hobby.

Your first colouring book Dragons, Knots, Bots and More! features a lot of different styles, but you seem to be particularly inspired by Celtic knot patterns and Tibetan style Mandala designs. Where does this love stem from?
I’ve been interested in different cultures and mythology for as long as I can remember. I have an entire bookshelf of mythology books – Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse, etc. The Celtic and Norse mythology especially appealed to my creative side – I just find the Celtic knotwork both mesmerizing and beautiful. It may also have something to do with my love of needlecrafts, as it has similarities to the crochet and knitting that I enjoy.

My love of mandalas started when I first saw Tibetan sand mandalas. There was a demonstration at a local art gallery, where the monks came for a week to create one while people watched, and then swept it away at the end of the week. I found the idea of something so beautiful and yet impermanent both awe-inspiring, and also sad. When I got involved with coloring books, and decided to try my hand at drawing, the idea of doing work that was similar to those mandalas, but with themes derived from my other interests, appealed to me as a design that could be as intricate as the Tibetan mandalas, but in a more permanent form.

Dragons Knots Bots book-front-cover
What else inspires your art?
Science fiction, mythology, fantasy, mathematics, religion, games, nature – actually just about anything in life can inspire a design for me. Generally, though, my designs show my geeky side and love of science fiction and fantasy. Books, especially – I love the idea of creating my own interpretation, putting down on paper how my imagination completes the image created by an author’s words.

Where did you study and how did it inform the way you approach art making now?
I actually don’t have any formal art training. In fact, if you had asked me five years ago to draw something, I would have been rather vehement in my insistence that I couldn’t draw! For me, my mother was the “artist.” She attended the Chicago Art Institute, and worked in oil paints. She can take a piece of scrap paper, and in a few seconds draw someone’s likeness. To me, that was what being an artist meant – someone with the talent to create photo-realistic drawings without any effort.

But then a friend got me interested in coloring books. I enjoyed relaxing with them, putting color on paper and creating something lovely. But after I had purchased my first few coloring books, I found myself leafing through them, and not finding any designs I wanted to color. One day, while leafing through a space-themed coloring book, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could create something I wanted to color. Something fun, and geometric (since I still didn’t think I could draw) that just required a ruler and some lines on the paper. Or maybe something geeky, that wouldn’t be difficult to draw because I would have lots of reference materials from the internet. From that idea, I went out and bought a sketchpad, and the next thing I knew, I was creating art!

I was rather surprised to find that drawing wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Sure, I ended up doing a lot of erasing and trying again, but I was creating objects that could be recognized for what I meant them to be! I still remember how excited I was when I first drew a cardinal that actually looked like a cardinal, and a bear that actually looked like a bear. I kept showing my friends and family and saying things like, “Look! It’s a bear! And it actually looks like a bear!” Even now, achieving success at creating some new object or creature has that same sense of thrill for me.

I still approach art the same way I approach anything. I get online and start researching. It might be researching the topic I want to draw, or researching a new drawing technique, or even looking at dozens of images in Google Image to get a sense of the angles and perspective I want to use for a given topic. If I’m creating a mandala with a specific theme, I’ll then decide what kinds of images I want to use for that theme. I prefer to use symbols for ideas rather than concrete images.

For example, in my piece Meditations on Serenity (at the top of the blog), the theme was the TV show Firefly, where the spaceship is named Serenity. This piece was created as a birthday gift for my husband, who is a huge fan of that series. Since the show involves a future where Chinese culture had a huge influence, I created a mandala that has a lot of oriental elements. Each section of the piece represents a different character from the movie. Rather than drawing the actual characters, I drew objects to symbolize them. One of the characters loved strawberries, and often used a parasol, so I used those in her section. Another character was introduced in the first episode killing time by playing with some plastic dinosaurs, so I drew those for his section. It’s a lot of fun for me to research a show or a movie and decide what symbols to use to represent the characters involved.

Mary J Winter-Meyers portrait
When and why did you first pick up a colouring pencil to create your artwork?
When my friend introduced me to coloring, colored pencils were what she was using, so it seemed like the natural medium to use. When I started drawing, I never thought to change to another medium, and even though I now have some art quality markers, I still return to my pencils (or combine markers with pencils) when doing my own art. It’s also great because you don’t have to have any special setup to use them. All I need is my sketchpad and a small space, and I can work anywhere.

I love pencils for their versatility, and especially for the ability to erase mistakes! While you usually can’t erase colored pencils 100%, you can erase them enough that they don’t affect whatever color you use on top of them. I love that about them. I also love that I can create vibrant color with them, which many people don’t think you can do with pencils. When people first see my art, they often ask what medium I used. It’s fun to see their reactions when they learn it is colored pencils. They find it hard to believe you can get such saturated colors with pencils!

What are your favourite type of pencils to use and why?
When I first started, I was using Crayolas. They were the pencils I had purchased to use in coloring books. After my first trip to an art store, though, I quickly graduated to Prismacolors. They had a larger range of colors, and I loved how much more easily they lay down a rich layer of color. It was less aggravating to my hand and wrist! I actually gave my box of Crayolas to my nieces. I sort of regret that now, though, because I do occasionally want a pencil with a harder lead. I tried the Prismacolor Verithins and didn’t really like them. They were almost too hard. So I’ll probably go out and buy myself another box of Crayolas at some point.

nanobot-warmups Mary J Winter-Meyers
How did you get involved in the adult colouring community, and why? 
That’s a rather interesting story actually. I sort of fell into it by accident! As I previously mentioned, a friend had gotten me interested in coloring, but for me, it wasn’t a community hobby, just something I and a couple friends enjoyed doing. But then I started creating my art. I was attending art shows and science fiction conventions and not having a lot of luck selling my work. I wasn’t too worried, though – it was still something of a hobby for me rather than a career.

Then I got laid off. While I was job hunting, I decided that since I had the time, I would work at getting more sales from my art. One of the ideas in the back of my mind over the previous couple years had been doing a “geeky” coloring book from the line drawings I had saved of my various art pieces. So I started working on creating a book, and started doing research into the interest people might have in the idea. (This was before the first news articles about adult coloring, so I had no idea what kind of interest there might be.)

My research indicated a growing trend in searches for “adult coloring books” on Google. An entrepreneur group I belong to encourages people to find a “niche” topic to blog about to raise interest in your own products. So I decided to start a blog about adult coloring. My research had also shown there weren’t a lot of review sites for coloring books, so I decided to focus on that. And of course, my entrepreneur group said posting links on social media was a good idea, so I started looking at Twitter and Facebook, which led to finding several groups on Facebook devoted to adult coloring. I joined a few, before I had finished my website. I wanted to get a feel for what kinds of things the people in the groups were looking for, and what needs I might be able to meet. After joining the groups, I was enjoying the interactions with other coloring enthusiasts, so I stuck around.

Color On Magazine logo
When did you set up your website and Facebook group?
My Facebook group came first. I actually hadn’t intended to start one! My original plan was to set up my website, and point people to existing groups if they wanted to find a community. I figured that way I didn’t have to figure out all the technical aspects of starting a forum on my site. I had even selected a group for that purpose. About three days after I made that decision, the group in question announced it would be closing itself to new members, as the group admins were finding it difficult to keep up with things as the group got larger.

In the meantime, in preparation for my website launch, I had been contacting various coloring book artists to request review copies of their books. One of those artists was very helpful answering my questions about publishing my own book. When I mentioned my dilemma, she suggested I start my own Facebook group, and even offered to point her own group members to it, as her group was limited to posting only colored designs from her books. So I made an impulsive decision and started Coloring Books for Adults. I figured it was still easier than installing and managing a website forum, as I wouldn’t have to worry about technical aspects. That was in late January of this year (2015.)

My website launched a few weeks later in February, using reviews of coloring books I already owned, as most artists and publishers didn’t want to send review copies to an unknown blogger. It took over a month before I was able to get my first review copies. But as with anything, once I had a few weeks of reviews posted, it became easier. I’ll just say that I sent out a LOT of emails and Facebook messages during those first couple months! I was lucky in that a few independent artists were willing to trust an unknown, especially when I promised to link to the reviews in my group.

Mandoade-darasuum Mary J Winter-Meyers
Your Facebook group is huge and very active – how did it grow so rapidly, and what do you think sets it apart from other colouring groups online?
I often refer to the rapid growth as a combination of luck and research. When I was researching search terms in Google for my own website, I discovered that the two terms used most often by people searching for coloring books were “adult coloring books” and “coloring books for adults.” For my website, I was lucky enough to get the URL AdultColoringBooks.com and named the blog Coloring Books for Adults. It made sense to use that same name for the group, and I was lucky because that name had not yet been used for a group.

As for the rapid growth, that’s where luck played an important part. By April, when my book was released, I had about 300 members. At the time, I felt that was amazing and fantastic growth for my little group. Then the first news articles about adult coloring hit the media. Suddenly people were searching for online communities related to coloring. Overnight, my membership requests jumped from 1-2 requests a day to 10-20 requests! Then a month or so later, NBC Nightly News did a segment on the adult coloring phenomenon, and mentioned Facebook groups in the segment. While they didn’t mention my group specifically, several times in the segment they mentioned Coloring Books for Adults, so that term was primed in people’s minds. If I recall correctly, I was just about to hit 2000 members. That same night, within about 4 hours, I had over 500 membership requests, and after that my daily average increased to 100 new members a day. Thankfully, only the week before I had signed on some other admins to help with the group – I needed them!

Since the group was intended as a companion for my website, I set it up a bit differently from other groups. A lot of groups limit or ban advertising – understandable for many reasons – but since I intended to review books, and also wanted to advertise my own books, I decided not to do that. I also wanted to encourage artists to participate, as that would give me new sources for books to review. So my group was set up with a bit more leniency than most. I do have some limits – the ads have to be for products related to coloring, and once the group reached a certain size, I also limited people to only once a week so the group wasn’t flooded with ads.

We’ve also adopted a strict “no negativity” policy in the group. Coloring is a way for people to relax, to meditate, or to think of something other than the problems in their lives. Any kind of negativity, which is hard to avoid online, ruins that state of calm. So any negativity is deleted as quickly as possible. We will chat privately with people the first time they post something negative, to let them know that we discourage those types of posts. People who repeatedly post negatively are banned. It may seem harsh, but the group members appreciate that we work hard to have a community that is positive and encouraging. I also have trained my admins not to do any admonishments in public. I have many years of experience with online forums, and I’ve found that anytime you accuse someone, or warn them, or in any way “attack” them in a public forum, it just leads to escalating the negativity. But if you quietly delete the negative post, with a private message politely asking people to not do that, it most often results in an apology and a promise not to do it again.

Despite being singled out as a pastime to get away from the screen, many colorists are turning to online forums to share their art. Why do you think this has become such an important part of the process?
People love to share their hobbies, and things they’ve created, with like-minded people. I think at first, people went to online forums because they weren’t getting positive feedback from their family and friends. I’ve seen many posts from people who said their family thought they were silly, or childish, or stupid because they enjoyed coloring. I’ve also seen a huge number of initial posts from people saying they thought they were the only ones who enjoyed coloring. But online, they find communities of hundreds or thousands of other colorists who also enjoy it.

There also is a fairly large segment of people who find coloring helps them deal with various chronic conditions. It is easy for such people to feel very isolated, especially if their condition leaves them unable to get out of the house. Online communities give them a way to socialize even when they are stuck at home. And finding other people in similar situations makes them feel less isolated. In a way, I’m one of these people. I have a chronic pain condition, and coloring helps me deal with the bad days.

I think what keeps people coming back, though, is not only that encouragement, but the fact that they can interact with the artists who create the books they enjoy. People love to learn about the people behind the art they buy, and that is as true of coloring books as it is of any other artwork. The fact that so many independent artists involve themselves in the online communities is a powerful attraction.

Family-monogram Mary J Winter-Meyers
Can you tell us more about your colouring parties, they sound fun!
I tend to have colouring events, rather than parties. To me, a colouring party is like any other gathering people have in their homes, like a tea party or book club. People invite their friends over for an afternoon or evening coloring together. The hostess will let people pick designs from her collection, or everyone brings their own books and supplies for coloring.

What I do is similar, but in a more public venue, like a library or convention. While it is still a group of people gathering to colour, it’s open to everyone. In addition to having a bunch of pages printed out from my own book and magazine issues, and some basic coloring supplies, I’ll do a short presentation about coloring as adults, highlighting the therapeutic aspects or letting people know what resources are available. I’ll also give short tutorials on colored pencil techniques. And of course, offer to sell them my books or magazines! ;)

For example, this year, Dover Publications created National Coloring Book Day, to be held August 2nd each year. They encouraged people to hold coloring parties, and to color in public. My first colouring event was held at the Northbrook Public Library as part of National Coloring Book Day. Over 50 people showed up! The library received a lot of positive feedback on the event, and they have invited me back. We’re still working out dates, but I will likely have another afternoon of coloring in Northbrook, IL in February 2016. I’ll also likely have another event during next year’s National Coloring Book Day, but I haven’t decided where or when yet.

Why did you decide to start you own magazine? I understand it recently launched, which is very exciting. What can readers expect to find inside?
The magazine is sort of an extension of my blog. As the blog grew, and especially as my Facebook group became so large, I found that more and more of my time was being taken up by them. I was still job hunting, but finding it harder to drum up enthusiasm for the search. I found the blog and the group much more interesting, so I started trying to determine if there was a way to make a job out of my newfound “hobby.”

One thing I had noticed was that many of the same questions kept getting asked in the group: questions about coloring techniques, or about where to find adult coloring books, or even people asking if there was a magazine about coloring. I had also seen that several publishers were putting out “magazines,” but when I looked into them, they were really just coloring book collections that were released on a periodic schedule. Nothing I saw was being published with articles that answered the questions I was seeing in my group.

I was also seeing a LOT of independent artists in my groups, but when news articles were published about adult coloring, they kept mentioning the same “popular” artists or publishers. As an independent artist myself, I felt it would be great if I could help lesser known artists find an audience. I also love researching new things, and sharing that knowledge with others. It’s just part of my personality – learning for me is almost as necessary as breathing.

The magazine gives me a way to combine all these ideas and interests into a single product. When I mentioned the idea to a few friends, they thought it was an awesome idea, and Color On! Magazine was born. I decided to start it out as a digital publication, since publishing a print magazine has a lot of expensive start-up costs. I also knew from my group that there were a substantial number of international colorists, and I didn’t want to exclude them. Digital allows anyone with a computer and printer to access the designs published in the magazine.

Each issue of the magazine has a collection of at least 15 coloring designs from multiple artists. We always have one feature artist, who provides 5 or more exclusive designs for the magazine, and we interview the artist for one of the articles. The rest of the artists provide designs which may be exclusive, or might be from the artist’s existing publications. We never publish designs, however, that are available online as free samples. We’ve actually been very fortunate in our first few issues – most of the artists have been happy to create new designs for our readers.

In addition to the designs, we have a Coloring 101 column with basic tutorials for beginners, a Coloring 201 column with more advanced techniques, feature articles on various coloring topics, personal stories about coloring, lists of the previous month’s book reviews, lists of upcoming releases, and a humor column that might have a fun coloring activity or a humorous story.

JustAnotherRollOfTheDice Mary J Winter-Meyers
Lastly, where can fans get hold of your magazine, and what are your plans for 2016?
The magazine website is ColorOnMag.com, and the magazine’s Facebook page is ColorOnMag. You can also find us on Twitter @ColorOnMag. People new to the site can read one article for free each month without a subscription, although some articles (like the book reviews and new releases) are always available for anyone to read.

My biggest plan for the next two years is to grow the magazine to the point where I can consider this my full time career. While it is off to a promising start, the magazine has not yet reached the point of generating enough income to replace my former job. When I conceived the idea for the magazine, and considering the amount of time I was spending on coloring-related activities, my husband and I discussed if we could afford for me to stop searching for a job. It was a difficult decision for my husband and me, but he’s been very supportive of the idea. I’d like to see that support rewarded! Most small business fail within their first two years, so I figured that was a good timeframe to set to achieve my goal.

For the magazine, I’m planning on releasing “design only anthologies” – collections of the coloring designs from multiple issues, released as a printed book through Amazon. I’ve had a few inquiries from people who want a printed version, and this lets me explore that option without committing to printing a magazine every month. The first anthology is actually going to be released in early December this year, with the designs from the first 3 issues. I also want to add more video. From the start, I wanted to have videos to demonstrate the techniques from the articles in each issue, but right now I have barely enough time each month to get the issue out. But that is one of my goals for the magazine. After all, it’s a digital publication – I’d like to make use of that technology! There’s nothing quite like watching a technique demonstrated to help people learn.

I intend to continue selling my art, books and magazine at science fiction and fantasy conventions in nearby cities. I already have two conventions planned for next year where I’ll be doing a panel, or otherwise demonstrating coloring techniques.

The first, in January, is an adult ‘Relaxacon‘. This is an offshoot of the sci-fi cons. Members of that community started having “relaxacons” where they gather at a hotel for a weekend without the stress of planning or attending a lot of panels. So rather than a weekend packed with dozens of panels and lots of featured guests, relaxacons are mostly just eating good food, drinking, playing music together, or otherwise relaxing with maybe 3 or 4 panels during the weekend. The one in January, DeConPression, is held in Columbus on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. It is very definitely an Adult only con, so it’s not for everyone, but is a fun weekend for those with a raunchy sense of humor. Instead of guests of honor, the con has ‘Ghosts of Honor.’ This year, they are the convention’s founder Nick Winks, who passed away last year, and comedian Robin Williams. They’ve invited me to do an ‘Adult Coloring Panel‘ with a humorous theme. There will also likely be a coloring space set up in one of the common areas for those who just want to hang out and color. You can learn more about DeConPression here.

In August, I’ll be attending Musecon in Itasca, IL (near Chicago.) Musecon is also an offshoot from sci-fi cons. At most sci-fi cons, in addition to panels talking about your favorite books or movies, there is always a number of panels about music, writing, and other creative panels of various types. Musecon was started to feature just these creative panels. It’s a convention for makers, crafters, authors, musicians and artists, and people who want to try their hand at creating without having to commit to a large outlay in materials. Color On! Magazine will be sponsoring a coloring space, where we hope to have several coloring book artists sharing techniques, as well as small coloring projects that people can finish in an hour or so. You can learn more about the con at Musecon, although they haven’t put up next year’s information yet.

There may be other events or conventions, but those are the only ones I’ve firmed up so far. You can always learn about what’s going on with me by signing up for the magazine’s newsletter. You’ll find a form in the sidebar at Color On! Mag.

You can buy Dragons, Knots, Bots and More! on Amazon and grab a copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion on Kickstarter now.

Categories ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult coloring panel, ,Amazon, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Chicago Art Institute, ,Color On Mag, ,Color On! Magazine, ,Coloring, ,Coloring 101, ,Coloring 201, ,Coloring Books for Adults, ,Colorist, ,Colouring, ,Crayolas, ,DeConPression, ,Dover Publications, ,Dragons Knots Bots and More!, ,Facebook, ,Ghosts of Honor, ,interview, ,Itasca, ,Mandalas, ,Mary J Winters-Meyer, ,Meditations on Serenity, ,Musecon, ,National Coloring Book Day, ,Nick Winks, ,Northbrook Public Library, ,Prismacolors, ,Relaxacon, ,Robin Williams, ,Tibetan sand mandalas

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cover
I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately, getting inspired by the adult colouring community and discovering colouring artists such as Hanna Karlzon, who has created the beautiful Dagdrömmar (Daydreaming), a gorgeous volume chock full of dreamy imagery inspired by nature. Hanna talks to us about a love of Art Nouveau and Vikings, memories of childhood, and longings for summer. I can’t wait for Hanna’s next offering, Sommarnatt (Summernight), due out early next year.

HannaKarlzon portrait
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cat and bee
I believe Dagdrömmar means Daydreaming – what do you daydream about and how did this influence the images that appear in this book?
Yes, Dagdrömmar means daydreams and I think the illustrations in my colouring book give you quite a good idea of what I daydream about myself. I have been living in Umeå, which is quite a big town in the north of Sweden, for about 15 years, but I grew up in a small village about one and a half hours drive from here. So I have lived my life growing up close to nature and animals but now that I live in the middle of a city I really long for that closeness to nature that I used to have as a kid, and all that longing often ends up in my illustrations. I love nature, forests, growing stuff, flowers, animals, the quiet life on the countryside and I’m really not a city person at all. It’s a little bit hard to explain how or why I draw – I just do and I don’t reflect about it to much, but in a way I feel like I want to capture that closeness to nature I used to have and mix it with that fantasy world I often lived and played in as a kid, and I guess you could say that that’s the essence of my daydreams and my art.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon owls
How did your first colouring book DagDrommar come about?
For years I had been thinking and dreaming about making a coloring book. Just putting some illustrations together and printing it myself, that was my plan, but I had a lot of other work to do at the time so the coloring book idea kinda got pushed aside. But last year in November I got an email from Pagina, a book publisher based in Stockholm, Sweden, asking if I was interested in making a coloring book with them and my answer then was of course YES! They had been looking around for Swedish illustrators and had gotten a tip from a woman (who I don’t know) about me and my instagram account and well, Pagina liked what they saw and contacted me and the rest is kinda history.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon 1
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon crown
There were no clear directions about what kinda book they wanted, more than an actual coloring book, so I got to choose and direct most if it myself so it has been quite a journey since I had never done a book before. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a hard cover and for it to be a handy size of book. I came up with the name Dagdrömmar, the illustrations grew from that, and it took me about 5 months to complete the book, from start to finish. I did everything, from drawing the 100 illustrations to designing the layout of the book. The one thing that my publisher commented on was the cover, so we changed it back and forth a few times but I think the final one turned out nice. Making Dagdrömmar was the biggest task I have ever made in my work life as an illustrator, so far, and I’m really happy and proud that I pulled it off!

Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke 2
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke 2
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke.

Dagdrömmar has been causing a bit of a stir in Facebook colouring communities (which is where I first discovered it). Have you looked online to see how people are colouring your pictures and which ones are the favourite, and does this influence how you are producing the next book at all?
I’m a member of some coloring groups on Facebook but I actually seldom scroll through those gropus since a few times I read some updates from people who didn’t like my book at all and that was kinda hard to read when I had put my heart and soul into the book, so I stopped looking after that. Of course I understand that not all people like my books but it’s easier for me not to read about I guess, it keeps me sane, haha. But I do look at coloring pics that people post on Instagram and I really like that. It’s so fun to see and I try to keep up and “like” all the pictures that get posted.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtnay Personious
Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtnay Personious
Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtney Personious.

And as to the question of whether all these posts and pics influences me and my work on my next book, well, not really. It might sound harsh but I get ALOT of emails from people who want me to do this and that for my next book, soft cover, bigger format, more details, less details, another paper, less girls, no spreads, one sided print, more flowers, less flowers… and so on and I can’t do all that, I can’t make everyone happy when everyone wants different things so I just have to rely on myself and do what I think is best and hopefully you will all like that in the end. On the other hand we (me and my publisher) try to make a diversity of products, for example postcard books, poster books etc. so that there will be a bigger chance that everyone will find a product that suits them.

Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon
Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon
What can people expect of your next volume, Sommarnatt? Will the pictures evoke midsummer nights for people around the world or will they be quite Scandinavian in feel? (WIP above)
As my first book, Dagdrömmar, was inspired a lot by my surroundings, growing up in the north of Sweden, my next book Sommarnatt (Summernight) will be even more focused on that. I draw the animals and nature that can be found around me but with a dreamy touch as usual. So yes, it most def will have a Scandinavian feel!

Vinterdrömmar Hanna Karlzon
Vinterdrömmar postcard by Hanna Karlzon
You’ve just released a beautiful postcard book called Vinterdrömmar, what are your favourite parts of this time of year? And will this be produced in book format at some point?
To be honest I’m a summer junkie. I love hot weather, sun, blue skies and green surroundings. So, winter is kinda hard for me, at least that part from November to the end of January/February, it’s just really dark and cold, we don’t get a lot of sun hours here in the north during the winter and that really gets to me. But, in the end of winter when it’s almost spring and the sun starts to visit us again and it’s all white outside, glistening snow, and you can spend the day outdoors, skiing with the kids or making a fire, then it’s just so beautiful here! But, winter is not as inspirational to me as summer is, so it was actually kinda tricky to make the Vinterdrömmar (Winter dreams) postcard book, the illustrations doesn’t come to me as natural as they do when it’s a summer theme. So there is no book format planned for Vinterdrömmar, I have a hard time to imagine that I actually could come up with 100 illustrations on that theme, haha. But there might be another postcard book next fall, who knows!

Poster by Hanna Karlzon
Poster by Hanna Karlzon

How do you create your drawings?
I have a small studio in an old house almost in the center of the city. It’s really cosy and not big at all but I have everything I need here; it’s my own space. I have two kids and I leave them at kindergarden/school every morning and then I take my bike down to my studio and work about 8 hours before I go back home. My work days vary a lot depending on what commissions I have, but right now when I’m working on my book I usually draw almost all day. And when I draw I’m doing it the old school way, just a pen and paper, nothing fancy at all, no computer. Thats the way I like it. I often listen to a podcast on Swedish science radio with a history theme, and I love listening to that while working. The programs cover everything from everyday life at Versaille, to Vikings, to what did people eat 500 years ago and so on, super fun and nerdy, love it! If I’m not listening to that I’m hanging out at Spotify listening to everything from Country to Punk and Thrash Metal, it depends on my mood.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Tonya Gerhardt
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tonya Gerhardt.

Which pens and pencils do you recommend for use in your colouring books and why?
I recommend that you use the kind of colored pencils that you can sharpen, for example Staedtler ergo soft or Faber Castell polychromos. With them you can blend and make nice shadings. If you want colored (ink) pens Staedtler triplus fineliners with a fine tip or Steadtler triplus with a little thicker tip are good, they don’t bleed through the paper as other pens might do. I know that there are a lot of different pencils/pens out there and some might like another brand better but I like these, it can actually vary a lot what kind of pens you like depending on the way you hold your pen while drawing so the best thing is really to try different ones and see for yourself what kind you like. And keep in mind that when publishers in other countries make translations of my book they might use a different paper inside the book than the one we use in the Swedish version so always try your pens in a small corner of the book to see that they don’t bleed through.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Stephanie Rose
Dagdrömmar coloured by Stephanie Rose.

You draw a lot of birds, why is that, what do you find so appealing?
Well I don’t know why, it has just ended up that way I guess. Maybe it’s because you can alter the pattern of the feathers every time, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just because I love watching the swallows during summer, how they fly… well, haha, I don’t know, can’t answer that, next question!

Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker 2
Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker 2
Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker.

You have said you are quite influenced by the art nouveau period, what other time periods have had a bearing on recent work and how?
Well, I’m a nerd when it comes to old things, people and time periods. I love thinking about “how was it then, what did they think about, what did they eat, how did it sound, smell“… and so on. I don’t know why I find that so fascinating, I just do, and all that spills over into my art I guess. Now I have really been into the Viking age for a while and I’m really inspired by the jewelry and craftsmanship from that age, but I don’t know if it shows as much in my art as the Art Nouveau inspiration does. Art Nouveau is really decorative and it feels like it has a natural part in my art but the Viking stuff is more in the background. A few years back I was all about Marie Antoinette and drawing BIG hair… well, wait, when I think about it I might just still do that, haha.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Angelina Victoria
Dagdrömmar coloured by Angelina Victoria.

I see you have some tattoos and have read you are fascinated by tattoo culture, how has this influenced your approach to art making?
I just admire the skill of tattooing and the many great artists that perform this art so brilliant. It’s something really cool and terrifying about the fact that you only get once chance to make a good job, you can’t erase and start over. I like the thought of that.

Mural idea by Hanna Karlzon
You have done some amazing murals – where are they and how did they come about?
Well, I have only made one actual mural so far, in an apartment building here in Umeå, but I made this little project on Instagram that got a lot of attention. I snapped pictures of boring buildings that I passed on my way to work and then I photoshopped my illustrations onto these buildings and uploaded on instagram under the tag #mittumeå and it got a lot of positive attention amongst people and media. With the pictures I wanted to show that maybe the city we live in doesn’t have to be that static, maybe it could look another way, maybe it could be happier, more people friendly, less boring? Maybe we, as residents, could change our city together? And as I said, I got a lot of positive feedback and I think that shows that we often take the city for granted, the way it is and looks, but if someone shows you a better/different picture of the city, we start thinking “aha, maybe this is what it actually could be like, what can we do to change it?!“. I find that really interesting.

DagDrommar by Cheryl Doerner Vogel
Dagdrömmar coloured by Cheryl Doerner Vogel.

Where did you study art (and what discipline?) and how has your style evolved since you left college?
I have always loved art, and I have been drawing since I was a kid and I have an art teacher degree from Umeå University. My style of drawing has evolved just over the last 2-3 years, ending up in the ink drawings I make now but before that I used to paint a lot and before that I was into graphite drawing. So, my style changes over time, thats a natural process I guess, you want to try new things. In the future I hope to be able to make more art oriented ink drawings, black and white, super big and with lots of details and shadings. I kinda miss shading doing all these coloring book illustrations that are really clean, if you understand what I mean.

Dagdrömmar by Jessica Harrison
Dagdrömmar coloured by Jessica Harrison.

Why did you study to be a teacher and why did you make the decision to go freelance and run your own business?
Studying to become a art teacher wasn’t really my plan, it kinda just happened. I did realize after a year or two at the university that I didn’t really like the teaching part, it was just the art part I was after, but I decided to finish and graduate anyways. After graduating I had some different jobs (factory, shops etc) but after being unemployed for a while I decided it was time for me to start my own business. This was about 3 years ago and I have been working full time on my business since then. But now I’m kinda thinking about that teaching part again, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I have been doing some lectures lately, talking about my job and so on, and I really like that now so well see how that evolves and how I maybe can incorporate that into my current business in the future.

Dagdrommar by Shannon Dager
Dagdrömmar coloured by Shannon Dager.

What do you like to do to relax and zone out?
Well, when I get home from work I just hang out with my family and do as little as possible and when the kids are in bed I watch series to relax, like Vikings, Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders and stuff like that. On weekends we often visit my mom who lives in a really beautiful place, near the forest, with a big garden and nature around the corner. It’s my favorite place in the world. But, when I’m not a nature (or history) nerd I like to go to Punk Rock shows and hang out with my friends. Haha, It’s a good mix of this and that I guess.

Hare by Hanna Karlzon
Hare by Hanna Karlzon

What other projects are you working on and what are your hopes for 2016?
Well, right now I’m working on my second big coloring book, Sommarnatt (Summernight) that will be released in spring 2016. And, I have some other fun projects with my publisher that also will be released next spring/summer. My schedule is fully booked until August 2016 with new books/postcardbooks etc. that need to be made and after that’s done I’m hoping to get some time off work in August to spend some time with my family. And my hopes for 2016 are, first of all, that my family and I will be healthy and happy, and when it comes to my work I hope that my new book will turn out well and that everyone will like it and I hope, hope, hope that I will have the chance to keep doing what I do today; draw.

If you live in the US you can buy Dagdrömmar through Allison Camille Tucker at Colouring Creations, many thanks to Colouring Creations members for their lovely coloured artwork. Other photos are taken from Hanna Karlzon‘s website and instagram feed. Dagdrömmar (Daydreaming) is currently unavailable in the UK but can be ordered online from the Pen Store.

Categories ,#mittumeå, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Allison Camille Tucker, ,Angelina Victoria, ,Art Nouveau, ,Cheryl Doerner Vogel, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Creations, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Courtney Personious, ,Dagdrömmar, ,Daydreaming, ,Downton Abbey, ,Faber Castell Polychromos, ,Facebook, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,illustrations, ,instagram, ,interview, ,Jessica Harrison, ,Marie Antoinette, ,Pagina, ,Peaky Blinders, ,review, ,Scandinavian, ,Shannon Dager, ,Sommarnatt, ,Spotify, ,Staedtler ergo soft, ,Staedtler triplus fineliners, ,Steadtler triplus, ,Stephanie Rose, ,Summernight, ,sweden, ,Swedish, ,Tina Locke, ,Tonya Gerhardt, ,Umeå, ,Umeå University, ,Vikings, ,Vinterdrömmar, ,Winter dreams

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Suzie Scott: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Lipstick Faces Suzie Scott
Surface designer Suzie Scott was first spotted at New Designers a few years back. After a few years break she is now pursuing a burgeoning career based back in her hometown of Coventry. Suzie is featured in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, contributing a rich double page spread inspired by the works of Henri Rousseau.

suzie scott studio photo
Where did you study and what happened immediately after graduation?
I graduated in 2011 with a BA in Surface Design from the University of the Arts London. My degree show was followed by my exhibition at New Designers, where I was spotted by the drinks company Malibu. I was contacted by the drinks company and commissioned to create a concept for a limited edition bottle jacket for their summer bottle 2012. Unfortunately I didn’t win the final commission, but it was a great experience working with the brand especially so fresh out of University. I also invited Amelia to my show, but we missed each other! Never the less she still featured me on her blog!

Suzie Scott Lashes G16
Suzie Scott pexmas
What have you done since then work wise?
When I graduated I actually felt a bit burnt out from studying and wanted to take a brake from designing. I signed up with Artstemps, the university’s in house temping agency, and got a job in the 4D department at Central Saint Martins. Whilst I was working there I came across a local ad by Pexmas looking for creative stallholders and decided to try and make some extra cash around Christmas time. My style of illustration is colourful and bold but perhaps not what you would expect to find printed on wrapping paper. I thought this would be a great challenge so I applied for a stall. At the time I was still working a 9-5 so I had to be really disciplined with myself so that I could squeeze in time to design. At one point I felt like I was actually living at CSM!

Suzie Scott lipsticksG1
How has your work developed in the following years and what is your favourite process to create surface pattern nowadays?
Any down time I had whilst working at CSM, I began to spend drawing doodles and creating patterns in Photoshop. Because I was always in front of a computer, my work developed into a much more digital style than I had while studying. Around this time I was contacted by Customly, a design marketplace where you can buy, create and sell art, photography and designs on unique products. They had seen my work online and commissioned me to create some pattern designs for some products on their website. Applying the colour to a design or illustration is always my favourite part of the design process. I have a big collection of TRIA markers with a colour guide that I have stuck to my wall next to my computer. I use this to choose colours, often referencing back to my original sketch and sometimes-even colouring in sections to see what works. I also find coloured paper really inspiring. The flat matt colour of a fresh sheet of coloured paper seems to send infinite possibilities into my brain.

Suzie Scott desk space
Can you describe your studio space?
After 7 fantastic years studying and then working in the capital, I decided to move back home to Coventry, so that I could focus on designing full time. At the moment I work from a desk at home surrounded by books, magazines and colourful curiosities, which influence and inspire my work. I try to keep my desk space tidy but I find I create my best work when it’s a bit of a mess.

Suzie Scott 60s b&w
What is the art scene like in Coventry?
Coventry has an emerging art scene, and a number of contemporary art venues that include, the Warwick Arts Centre, Fargo Village and the Herbert Art Gallery. Fargo Village is a new development with a gallery, studio space and independent shops. It’s really great to see something like this open up in Coventry because it showcases the talent and potential the city has to offer.

Suzie Scott  dps
Why did you decide to enter artwork for this colouring book, what inspired your piece and how was it created?
Alongside freelance work I’m always on the look out for competitions and open briefs. There’s nothing quite like having the freedom to create whatever you want without the idea being subject to critique or change. Being featured in colourful colouring companion is a big deal for me right now. It’s my first illustration to be printed in a book, which is really exciting! I can’t wait to hold a copy in hands! My illustration ‘Midnight Jungle’ is a digital collage of illustrations and for this, I referenced imagery of plants from Google, tropical textiles from eBay and colour palletes from music posters found on Pinterest. I really admire the work of Henri Rousseau, and his famous jungle paintings inspired my own tropical piece. I like to start every illustration with a pencil sketch, and then import the sketch into Photoshop. I will then manually trace the lines using the paintbrush tool. I like the slight wobble to the lines you get using this tool, I think its gives them a bit more personality. I find that using the illustrator paintbrush tool makes everything look too perfect.

Suzie Scott NorthernSoulG17
What do you like to do to relax and how does it inform your art?
Whatever I’m doing there will always be music playing. I love northern soul and disco and there’s definitely a retro theme that runs through my work. My favorite way to relax is to listen to Eddie Piller’s eclectic soul show. In fact this show led me to research northern soul patches, which inspired my northern soul patch print.

DOLLY by Suzie Scott
What inspires you most?
I try to create designs that feel retro or nostalgic but look modern for today – you could say I have one foot in the past and one in the present. I love 70s and 80s textile design, and have a collection of silk scarves and dresses from these decades. If I am ever stuck for inspiration I look at my own collection of vintage pieces. Another great source of inspiration I find are vintage garments on eBay and Etsy. I look for the items with interesting print designs. These items can often be one offs, so I will screen gab the images and put them in my inspiration folder on my desktop.

Suzie Scott flamingo
What have you got lined up in 2016?
2016 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year. I recently won a competition by Textile Federation, who support and promote emerging textile designers. The competition was to design a silk scarf and the prize was to have it produced and sold in Topshop, Urban Outfitters and on their own website www.textilefederation.com. The theme for this design was bohemia and I named my scarf Janis after the late great Janis Joplin. This should be out early next year so keep an eye out! My latest project is ‘The Sketchbook Project’ which is a Brooklyn based collaborative art project in New York. This project has been going for years, and anyone can get involved. Up until now I have never had the time, but I am determined to complete it before the year is out. Once it’s complete, it will be available to view online at the sketchbook project’s digital library. So keep your eyes peeled on my website www.suziescott.co.uk for a link! I have recently been planning a working holiday trip to Australia and hope to leave in the New Year. I’m sure I will return with some fantastic new ideas, and I feel that some great stuff is yet to come! I am available for commissions & collaborations so please do get in touch!

I’ve run out of pre Christmas copies of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion but make sure you pre-order your very own colouring book to arrive in January 2016, just click here.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Artstemps, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Coloring, ,Colouring Book, ,Coventry, ,Customly, ,Eddie Piller, ,Fargo Village, ,Herbert Art Gallery, ,interview, ,Janis, ,Janis Joplin, ,Midnight Jungle, ,Pexmas, ,surface design, ,Suzie Scott, ,Textile Federation, ,The Sketchbook Project, ,topshop, ,TRIA markers, ,University of the Arts London, ,Urban Outfitters, ,Warwick Arts Centre

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Tiffany Baxter: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Tiffany Baxter 6
Recently graduated illustrator Tiffany Baxter contributes a whirling dervish of an image inspired by the Saint Vitus Dance of the medieval period, full of fanciful characters in colourful clothing.

Tiffany spreadsmall
Why did you decide to illustrate the St Vitus Dance for the colouring book and what is happening in your picture?
It was a subject I’d heard briefly about when researching witchcraft and I found it fascinating so looked into it more. Even though now it’s thought to be a mass psychogenic illness, beyond that there doesn’t seem to be any idea about what caused it. Historical imagery shows people affected by mania but in my portrayal I suppose I tried to demonstrate what could be going on from the point of view of the dancers themselves. As with most odd phenomena back then, it was frequently thought to be demons or magic forces behind it all so that was the angle I was going for – a happy but insidious trance.

Tiffany Baxter photo
How did you create the piece and what is your most used art material?
I started out sketching thumbnails and rough ideas in my sketch book but then the whole piece was actually drawn in Photoshop with a Cintiq tablet. Most used would be Photoshop for digital work or with traditional media I’ve most used a brush pen and a magic pencil lately!

Tiffany Baxter 7
How do you research the mystical and esoteric for your artwork?
It will sound rather boring I suppose but mainly it’s just a whole lot of reading! London has a few specialist bookstores where I’ve managed to find loads of interesting books that you wouldn’t really find anywhere else unless you really knew exactly what you wanted.

Tiffany Baxter 8
Which bit of history is your favourite, why, and how has this influenced your work?
That’s a surprisingly tough question! I much prefer the personal side of history as opposed to hard facts of wars etc, how people actually lived is so captivating, what was different but also the same. Also the mystery of it, my current interest has been in early British history, of which there is so much we don’t know because early Britons had no written record, so a lot is left to the imagination. As for its influence, I’m always world building and thinking of my own characters and the past is a great point of inspiration in making something simultaneously familiar but strange, even on just a design level.

Tiffany Baxter 3
Where is the best place for people watching… and drawing?
Usually on the train or tube. People are still for long enough to draw them, though you have to be a bit sneaky about it so they don’t think you’re strange.

Tiffany Baxter 2
How does a combination of the classics and video games influence your work?
With classics it’s more that, they’re classic for a reason, they’re ultimately just good stories that absorb readers into caring about the characters. Additionally video games as well as often having beautiful character/world design are so unique among media in that they’re on the border between being a passive and an active experience. You can create something that really touches the audience in an entirely different way than say a book or television; as the players have a say in the outcome and I think that’s really special. So in short I suppose, storytelling is what has really influenced my work.

tiffany baxter-willhouse
Can you tell us more about your recent project for the BBC?
It was part of a live brief as part of my university course, and myself and a few of my peers were chosen to continue on with the project. It was for a BBC2 documentary following families through generations from the Victorian era through to present day that has yet to air – they needed drawings to then be animated for zoetrope scenes. It was really fun working with the team as well as just learning the stories of these people and being able to represent them even in a small way.

tiffany baxter-waldahouses
Since you’ve graduated you are now between London and Milton Keynes, is there any exciting art happening in your home town that we should know about?
I’m slightly ashamed to say I’m rather out of the loop with the local art scene after being in London for so long, so I only know a few illustrators and of course the local art gallery. It would be nice to see art flourish here though, especially as Milton Keynes doesn’t always necessarily have the best reputation in that regard I don’t think!

tiffany baxter-Upholsterer+mockup
Where and when can people see your upcoming group exhibition?
The exhibition is called Veneficus and is at Treadwell’s Books on Store Street in London from the 23rd October through to the 30th. The Facebook event is here if you want to check it out!

tiffany baxter -fka twigs
Tiffany is joined by her fellow Camberwell graduate Percie Edgeler in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, interview coming soon.

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Camberwell College of Art, ,Cintiq tablet, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,interview, ,Milton Keynes, ,St Vitus Dance, ,Tiffany Baxter, ,Trance, ,Treadwell’s Books, ,Veneficus

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Amelia’s Magazine | Blomstermandala by Maria Trolle: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway

Blomstermandala Maria Trolle giveaway review
Maria Trolle is the creator of the wonderful images in the Blomstermandala series of books: a graphic designer, gardener, mother and all round amazing lady, she lives in a stunning location that influences all aspects of her life. Her publisher Pagina is based in Sweden, but she has deservedly garnered many fans from around the world. Read on to find out more about her life and inspiration – and discover how you can win yourself a copy of the beautiful Blomstermandala Målarbok.

Maria Trolle photo
Your work is stunning, for those who might not have heard of you can you tell us a bit more about your career to date?
Thank you. I am a self taught artist and an educated Graphic designer. I work mainly with illustration for different customers at the moment. Besides my publisher Pagina/Printworks I do drawings for a large Swedish garden magazine and a major grocery chain amongst others. And I work a lot with package design too. I also do graphic designs for books, lately my own books of course.

Blomstermandala susie_pala_Loir3
Blomstermandala coloured by Susie Pala-Loir

There are now a few different versions of Blomster Mandala, can you explain what is on offer and a few of the differences, as it could be a bit confusing for those new to your work?
I have understood that some people have found it confusing that my three coloring books are all called Blomstermandala, the first book I made with Pagina was the tavelbook/posterbook with 20 pages on really thick paper that you can pull out and put up on the wall. Three of these are photographed flowermandalas/flowerstillifes which I made from real flowers. We also made a postcard book with the same motives. Since these books sold well, we decided to make a full-scale coloring book, 96 pages but with the same theme and with some of the drawings that where in the 20 pages poster book. This is the way Pagina has made books with Hanna Karlzon (of Daydreams fame) aswell, only with here the full-scale coloring book came before the poster book. This new 96 pages coloring book is the one with the bunny on front. I have also made a japanese version of Blomstermandala, and in fact it is quite different too with some other motifs and a little less animals. It is called Wildflowers and is 80 pages.

Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng7
Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng6
Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng4
Blomstermandala coloured by Chris Cheng

Are your flowers drawn from photos, memory or reality? Or a mix of all?! 
When I’m drawing a flower I have’nt drawn before I always look at plenty of images (since most of the time you can’t look at them live) and then draw. But when I have drawn a flower a bunch of times I can draw it out of memory.

Blomstermandala Morena_vajak4
Blomstermandala Morena_Vajak5
Blomstermandala coloured by Morena Vajak

Blomstermandala Terry Cochran
Blomstermandala coloured by Terry Cochran

How do you find the inspiration for the arrangements of your floral mandalas and whimsical creatures? 
We have loads of real life creature inspiration in my garden, pretty much all animals that are in the book have visited our garden. We have made a better fence this year so hopefully we don’t have to have the deers eating our roses this year. And the hares munching on our kale… And the fox stealing our shoes and leaving smelly poo in the lawn… But they are beautiful, just not in our garden.

Blomster Mandala Sheila Strow Pechman
Blomstermandala coloured by Sheila Strow Pechman

Blomster Mandala Deidre Stewart
Blomstermandala coloured by Deidre Stewart

Nature is clearly a big influence, where and when are you happiest in nature?
I love strolling in our garden and looking at all new things that starts to bloom. Having a garden is blessing. It is so fascinating this season and all the way to winter, because it is constantly changing. But from time to time I tend to get a bit blind to all the beauty and only see what I want to change and what needs to be done and what didn’t work out as well as we planned… But most of the time it is pure joy. I also love walking in the fields and forests nearby. But I grew up in the west coast archipelago, spending my summers on a sailing boat with my family, so the west coast ocean is probably still closest to my heart anyway. The ocean makes me feel like nothing in the world is to hard to handle, it gives me feeling of peace.

Blomstermandala Michelle Byrne
Blomstermandala coloured by Michelle Byrne

Blomstermandala Jennifer Lyons 2
Blomstermandala Jennifer Lyons
Blomstermandala coloured by Jennifer Lyons

Where do you take your daily walks, can you describe the landscape you pass through and how it influences you?
We have a farm just 5 minutes walk from our house, we can hear the sheeps and cows from our window! It is a beautiful landscape with fields where the cows, sheep and horses feed in summertime. There is a lovely lake that we take swims in during summers situated just a few hundred meters from our house. Around the lake is a large nature preservation area, so the forests are old and beautiful. We also have a castle 20 minutes walk from my house, It is really stunning there, they have a park with flowery meadows, in June it is purple all over, a meadow of Aquilegias!

Blomstermandala Anne-Lie Granström 2
Blomstermandala Anne-Lie Granström 2
Blomstermandala coloured by Anne-Lie Granström

You keep a blog called Trolles Garden which is chock full of gorgeous photos from your garden. Where is your garden? It looks incredibly beautiful. What is your particular interest in gardens and can you please tell us a bit more about what you write in the blog because I can’t read Swedish? Thanks!
Thank you! Our house and garden is situated 20 minutes drive south of Stockholm. Our main interest is our very large flowering perennial borders, but also our kitchen garden that we really want to expand in the future. We dream of a greenhouse, but the once we want are really expensive so we’ll have to wait a little while for that. But in a few years from now well probably have one! I would also like to have chickens and beehives in the future.

Blomster Mandala Shirley Fraser 2
Blomster Mandala Shirley Fraser 2
Blomster Mandala Shirley Fraser 2
Blomstermandala coloured by Shirley Fraser

How did you hook up with Swedish publisher Pagina and is there any word that your book might get published elsewhere in the world? In the meantime where can UK buyers get hold of the book?
Pagina found my floral drawings through Instagram (!) a year ago and wanted to make book with me. The book has been published in Finland (only the poster book so far) and in Japan and of course Sweden. Maybe it will be published in other countries aswell further on, but nothing that I know of at the moment. The books are available for international purchases at www.penstore.com

MedBlommorochBlad_cards
Maria Trolle notepad_sketchpad
You have also done some lovely notebooks with Pagina, what other products feature your designs?
There is a notebook, a sketchpad and notepad with motives from Blomstermandala, but at the moment I don’t think they are available at Penstore. There will be some new products with my designs this summer, but that is for a different company.

Maria Trolle new book
Maria Trolle new book
Exclusive sneak peaks of Maria’s new book.

How much input have you had over paper choice and binding? How does that production process work with your publisher?
My Publisher decided the paper and binding, they know what papers work the best for coloring. I was really happy that they wanted my book to be hardcover since it gives the book a special feeling I think. Since I’m also a graphic designer I did all of the books designs myself, such as the cover and lay outing, typography etc.

Maria Trolle new book
Maria Trolle new book
More exclusive sneak peaks of Maria’s new book.

What kind of tools do you use when drawing and what size or scale do you work at? And how do you ensure a clean final image for print?
I sketch with a pencil and then I draw with fineliner pen, with thin tips, mostly 0,1 – 0,7 in tip size. I draw on a A3 size paper, (297mm x 420mm) And after scanning the image I correct little mistakes in Photoshop in my Macbook Pro.

Blomstermandala Chris_cheng5
Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng3
Blomstermandala coloured by Chris Cheng

How long did it take you to complete your most recent book?
My recent book took me about 4-5 months full-time to make.

Blomstermandala Jane Smith
Blomstermandala coloured by Jane Smith

What does your work space look like?
I have a workspace on the top floor of our house, but it is much nicer to draw on our dinner table so I sit there most of the time. There I get contact with the garden through our windows. When I didn’t have children I had a studio in Stockholm, but since our children are small it is to time consuming to work in the city. I don’t want them to have too long days in daycare/preschool.

Blomster Mandala Hazel Smithies
Blomstermandala coloured by Hazel Smithies

Blomstermandala meg_how2
Blomstermandala coloured by Meg How

I believe you have young children, how old are they and how do you juggle your role as mum and fit in your work around them?
My boy, Ulf is 5 years and my girl, Viola is 2 years. I must confess that it is hard work to be a mum and try to work as much as I do. There are many, many working evenings after they’re gone to sleep to be able to keep deadlines even though they both are in preschool/daycare during daytime now. A year ago when I was still on maternity leave with Viola I made the whole poster book only at nighttime. But it is still worth it I think, and I don’t work when they are awake, that time is familytime only.

Blomstermandala Morena_vajak
Blomstermandala Morena_Vajak2
Blomstermandala coloured by Morena Majak

Trolles Garden
How did you learn to create such beautiful letters out of flowers and leaves?
Hmm, I don’t know, basically it starts with just another drawing, and I make sketches before I do the real drawing with ink.

When did you get into producing custom screen prints and who produces them (and where)?
Two years ago I had an exhibition with a floral theme, and that was when I had some screen prints made at a small company that makes handmade screen prints.

Blomstermandala Michelle White Banaszak 2
Blomstermandala Michelle White Banaszak 2
Blomstermandala coloured by Michelle White Banaszak

You have said you would like to create your own children’s books – is this idea any closer to reality? I’d love to see what you do!
Actually it is! But nothing I can tell of yet so shhhh… ;)


Have you ever coloured any of your own work and if so could you share some examples with us?
I have not had the time yet, but it would be fun to try!

What are you working on next? Will there be any other colouring books, and specifically any more with black backgrounds as I hear those have been a major hit!
I’m working on a new coloring book that will be released in October. It will be quite different from Blomstermandala, and with fewer pages this time. It will be 48 drawings but on 96 pages, so only one side will have an illustration. The pages are made so that you can easily pull them out of the book, and the paper quality will be very good, thicker paper than in Blomstermandala. There will of course be lots of flowers and nature in this one too, but also other motifs. Hopefully I will be able to make some of the pages with black background in this one too. It will be quite exciting to see what people think about this book, is will probably be my most personal work so far. The name is yet not completely decided so I’ll have to wait to reveal that.

You can follow Maria Trolle on facebook here and instagram here and here. To win your copy of the Blomstermandala Målarbok please visit this post on my Facebook Page and leave a comment or a sticker. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 5th June. Open to UK readers only (if you are based abroad and would like to enter then please be prepared to pay for postage, which could be up to £12: it is a heavy book. If someone based abroad is chosen then I’ll wait 2 days for postage payment before drawing another winner). Good Luck!

Many thanks to the members of the following Facebook colouring groups for the use of their beautiful coloured pages:
The Blomstermandala Colorists (Fans of Maria Trolle’s Coloring Artworks)
Maria Trolle’s Coloring Creations
Coloring Creations
Adult Colouring Book Reviews

Categories ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Coloring Books, ,Blomstermandala, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring for Adults, ,Giveaway, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Pagina, ,Pagina/Printworks, ,review, ,Swedish, ,Ulf, ,Viola, ,Wildflowers

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas: 8 of the Best Colouring Books for Adults

Harriet Plaskitt Lorna Scobie
If you go into almost any shop in the run up to Christmas you’ll find a sea of colouring books fighting for your attention. With so many books to choose from it can be hard to know which ones to pick, but since I’ve become a bit of an adult colouring book aficionado over the past few months I thought I would share the 8 most unique and appealing ones I’ve found. This lovely lot should keep you and your loved ones busy through the Christmas holidays and well into 2016. Which ones will you choose?

Lost Ocean cover
1. Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford
This is the big one. Johanna kickstarted the whole trend in adult colouring books a few years ago with her bestselling book Secret Garden, and this year she’s back with another beautiful volume of intricate artworks inspired by underwater fantasies. The artwork is top notch, with lovely pacing of different types of image offering real scope for creative input from the colourist. Bound to be another worldwide bestseller. Read my interview with Johanna Basford here.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cover
2. Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon
A book inspired by the daydreams of Swedish illustrator Hanna Karlzon, Dagdrömmar features floating houses, cats with gems, owls, elaborate crowns, mermaids with tumbling hair, more cats, sailing ships, flowers and much more, all beautifully drawn with a Scandinavian flavour. The book is sadly not yet available worldwide, but it can be shipped internationally from the Pen Store. Read my interview with Hanna Karlzon here.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna_Scobie_2
3. Jungle Paradise by Lorna Scobie
Lorna Scobie has a huge following on instagram, where she shares her inimitable animal drawings to much delight. This book is chock full of the cheeky animals and cute critters she has become well known for, with each page featuring a different jungle scene or animal pattern. This beautiful volume has lovely green metallic print on the cover and would be ideal for someone who loves to colour animals and plantlife. Read my interview with Lorna Scobie here.

Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors
4. Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors
This book by artistic duo Good Wives and Warriors is inspired by A Christmas Carol, the famous book by Dickens – making it ideal colouring to get into the festive spirit. There are a huge variety of illustrations to colour in including pretty Christmas decorations, scenes that appear in the story and decorative typography (Bah Humbug!) Read my interview with Good Wives and Warriors here.

beautiful-birds-colouring book
5. Beautiful Birds Colouring Book by Emmanuelle Walker
Beautiful Birds began life as a lovely (and very colourful) children’s A-Z book, but has since been turned into a colouring book featuring the same huge variety of avian life, many translated into patterns that will provide wonderful meditative colouring. The book is published by Flying Eye Books (an imprint of Nobrow) and is therefore beautifully made, with a lovely pink spine trim. An ideal gift for bird lovers in need of relaxation. Read my interview with Emmanuelle Walker here.

Doodlers Anonymous Epic Colouring Book
6. Doodlers Anonymous Epic Coloring Book
The Epic Coloring Book was put together by an open brief on the Doodlers website, hub for a huge community of artists. It’s a diverse collection of images made by 90 artists from all over the world so there’s bound to be something for everyone. Expect lots of narrative scenes, surreal characters and images that would not look out of place in a graphic novel. Read my interview with creator OKAT here.

A Million Cats Lulu Mayo
7. A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo
Only recently released by Michael O’Mara Books, this book features a plethora of amusing and adorable cats in a range of surreal situations; playing music, relaxing on the sofa, taking tea with dogs, masquerading as vegetables and dressed in tuxedos, Decorative patterns have a Japanese flavour, with blossoms and temples featuring heavily. One for the cat lover in your life!

Kickstarter campaign image Ameliasccc
8. Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion
I couldn’t leave it off the list could I?! Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is a unique collaborative book that features the work of over 40 artists from all over the world. It will appeal to art lovers and colourists alike because it is so much more than just a colouring book; each artist has been given a double page, with a full colour image on the left to inspire a colouring page on the right. There are a huge variety of themes and styles to choose from, including landscapes, underwater scenes, food, Japanese folk tales, cats, lanterns, extreme frisbee and much more.

For more tips on adult colouring visit my recent blog 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Colouring Books For Adults. Happy Colouring this Christmas!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,8. Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,A Christmas Carol, ,A Million Cats, ,Adult Coloring Books, ,Adult Colouring, ,Beautiful Birds Colouring Book, ,Coloring, ,Colouring Books, ,Dagdrömmar, ,Doodlers Anonymous Epic Coloring Book, ,Emmanuelle Walker, ,Escape to Christmas Past, ,Flying Eye Books, ,Good Wives and Warriors, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,Johanna Basford, ,Jungle Paradise, ,Lorna Scobie, ,Lost Ocean, ,Lulu Mayo, ,Michael O’Mara Books, ,Nobrow, ,OKAT, ,Pen Store, ,Secret Garden

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