It's hard to express how happy I am to be launching my first colouring book, and this website, my first proper online store. I've been working as a graphic designer for over 15 years, created many designs for print, but this is the first book where everything was created by me. It's both incredibly nerve-racking, and incredibly energising at the same time!
In many ways, creating the book happened by accident. Last year I was fortunate enough to get an iPad Pro 10.5 with Apple Pencil, then earlier this year Autodesk announced that they were making their Sketchbook app free. So, I checked it out. And while most of the features it has do not suit my workflow, it does have two features that really resonated with me. These were elliptical and straight edge rulers, plus a symmetry mode that allows you to draw in one part of the canvas and see that repeated. I fell in love with it. Doodling, learning, making mistakes, finding things that worked. As I shared my experiments with friends quite a few of them commented on how suitable they would be for colouring in.
This led me to do a lot of research into colouring, what types of things other people were making, what appealed to colourists. It became apparent that my design sensibilities actually did line up with what some people look for in colouring books. So, I set about working on one.
I struggle with a few mental health hurdles and so empathise with those who use colouring as a way to manage their own hurdles. Some use it as an escape, others a pleasant activity where there are no mistakes, just happy accidents (to quote the late, great, painter Bob Ross). I found that creating the framework for colouring brought me many of the same benefits. Trying to find a balance between making a design simple enough to be coloured, yet complex enough to be interesting, has been a challenge, but one I relish.
I've also been colouring-in my designs. Usually I digitally colour-in using the app Procreate as I find it handy to only carry the iPad around with me, but I've also been printing out and colouring with pencils and markers. This has helped inform the designs, as I'm getting personal experience with both digital and non-digital colouring methods.
In conjunction with this, I've road tested some designs with colourist friends and listened to their feedback. This has helped to open my eyes to the many ways in which people enjoy this hobby.
'Unwind with Geometry Book One' is at the printers right now, and I'm super proud of how it has turned out. I have enough designs prepared for a Book Two and most of a Book Three as well! So, please let me know what you think of Book One, as all feedback will be used to make future books better.
<3 - Sye