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Adult colouring trend behind this year's 'it' Christmas gift

Most grown-ups would likely tell you they last owned crayons and colouring books in grade school. So it might surprise you to know that colouring books for adults are so popular they've become one of the “it” gifts of Christmas 2015.
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Liette Chiasson (left) and Louise Jones try out their colouring skills at the Greater Sudbury Public Library's colouring session for adults earlier this month. Photo by Matt Durnan.
Most grown-ups would likely tell you they last owned crayons and colouring books in grade school. So it might surprise you to know that colouring books for adults are so popular they've become one of the “it” gifts of Christmas 2015.

Laura Carlson, general manager of Sudbury's Chapters, said the craze started this past summer with the colouring books for adults released by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford.

“They were so popular, we actually kept selling out, and from there, Indigo has responded to this craze by ordering larger quantities of these adult colouring books,” said Carlson.

“The customer demand is just relentless still to this day. We'll have thousands in, and we'll sell through them because people are just really interested in taking up this adult colouring-book craze.”

For the Christmas season, Chapters has brought in more than 20 different titles, featuring images of everything from flowers to Star Wars characters. The store even sells pencil crayons and pencil sharpeners.

“Definitely it's an 'it' gift of the season,” Carlson said.

There's even a local option for adult colouring enthusiasts. Sudbury illustrator and zombie portrait artist Rob Sacchetto has some out with a colouring book featuring monsters, fairies and, of course, zombies.

The project was made possible because of a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign that raised about $4,600.

“It was basically presented to me — someone said to me one day 'Why don't you do one?'” Sacchetto said.

“I was like 'Hey, why don't I?' I kind of did a little bit of research in that I saw what was out there, and I said 'Gee, it doesn't seem that super fun. It's just kind of designs and shapes and flowers and stuff.'

“I thought maybe I could add something to the mix and do something a little different.”

The 20-page, oversized colouring book is currently available for purchase for $20 at Bay Used Books. Sacchetto said it will likely be on sale at Laurentian University's bookstore in the near future.

“It's literally flying off the shelves,” he said. “I have to go to Bay Used Books today and bring some more over there, because they sold out.”

Liette Chiasson said she became a fan of colouring books for adults after she bought one for herself at Walmart a few months ago.

She said she used to draw years ago, and finds colouring is a great creative outlet without the difficulty of drawing. Chiasson said she colours with her seven-year-old grandson. She also uses colouring as a way to relax before bed.

While some people prefer pencil crayons or crayons, Chiasson said she uses markers for her colouring.

Chiasson, an information technician at the Greater Sudbury Public Library, said she enjoyed her new pastime so much, she wanted to share it with others.

She approached her employers, and helped to set up monthly colouring workshops at the library.

The workshops now take place starting at 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month at the main branch on Mackenzie Street — the next workshop takes place Jan. 6. The library may also offer the workshops at other branches.

“It's a great place to socialize,” Chiasson said, adding that she provides materials for those who don't have their own.

“Sometimes it would be quiet and all you would hear was the scratching of the pencils, and then we would start talking again. It was very relaxed, and we got to meet new people.”


Heidi Ulrichsen

About the Author: Heidi Ulrichsen

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