Does your coloring inspire you?
Since you’re here, you probably already know that coloring books are an amazing way to unplug from the digital world, at least for a little while, and enjoy the calming motions of moving pencils or markers over paper. We all have our favorite types of coloring books, but some of the most meditative are those with abstract patterns, which give you the space to just slow down and think about different ways to match up the colors you love.
The coloring books I’m here to share with you today provide the perfect patterns to meditate over — they even have some inspirational phrases interwoven throughout some of the pages! Check out the in-depth review below, then scroll to the very bottom of this page to enter to win. Good luck!
Scroll to the bottom of this article to enter! This giveaway will be accepting new entries until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, December 11th, 2016. Three lucky winners will be drawn at random on December 12th to receive the three prize packages described below. Enter today!
Only valid in the United States due to giveaway laws. No purchase necessary. Winner must respond to an email within three days to claim their prize, or a new winner will be selected.
A huge thank you to the team at Creative Life Studio for providing the review copies and the prize packages for this showcase/giveaway! Also, this page contains some affiliate links. That means that if you buy anything, at no additional cost to you, you’ll be helping support Cleverpedia and my coloring book addiction. Thanks a million!
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I am thrilled to have the chance to introduce you to Creative Life Studio’s Be Inspired volumes 1 and 2! These books have a loose, Zentangle-esque style that is organic and sort of doodly, perfect for coloring unique works of art.
Three lucky Cleverpedia readers will win copies of one or both of these books, along with some high-quality coloring supplies to fill them in with!
Check out the full set of prize packs below, and keep scrolling for an in-depth review of each book. Don’t forget to stick around to enter the giveaway at the very bottom of the page!
Three lucky winners will receive one of the prize packs below!
- Be Inspired vol. 1, $11.95 list price
- Be Inspired vol. 2, $11.95 list price
- Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 48 count, $98 list price
View the prizes in this image, and pin it to share with your friends:
Be Inspired: Adult Coloring Book for Stress Relief vol. 1
Be Inspired: Adult Coloring Book for Stress Relief vol. 1 is a full-size coloring book filled with 30 original illustrations to color.
The images in the book are inspired by nature and illustrated in a Zentangle style, containing motifs of earth, water, fire, and botanicals. Many pages include an organic, real-world element like flowers or a leaf, and then doodle outward from that element, including mandala-like portions, geometric shapes, and other patterns.
This book includes 30 full-size illustrations printed on just one side of the page, with the back left blank except for a colorist credit, a place to write the medium used to color the page, and some additional information about the linework and Creative Life Studio.
In the back of the book there are also five pages of half-size illustrations, for a total of ten of these miniature images, which are a great spot to test color combinations before you commit them the page.
The pages are relatively thin, printed on 60lb paper, so make sure to protect the pages behind the one you are working on with some additional sheets of paper if you plan to use markers, gel pens, or another wet media. I use a really light touch with my Tombows, so I didn’t get more than a heavy shadow of the ink on the other side of the page, but your results may vary. You may also need to fight the curl of the page as you add more color; I have often found that I need to lay pages I’ve colored from books with this type of paper under a heavy book for a day or two to completely flatten them out.
These pages are not perforated, but I went ahead and used my x-acto knife to remove my pages from the book — it is just a matter of personal preference, but I greatly prefer working on a single sheet clipped to a clipboard than inside a book! You can easily do the same to remove the pages from your own copy. Just make sure your x-acto knife has a fresh, sharp blade (mine was pretty dull, and you can see I tore the edges a bit — oops!), then carefully run it down the page next to the spine. You may find that a metal ruler to guide your knife makes this process much easier!
Here is the page I finished from this book, page 16, “Rising Wind”:
I had fun coloring this page! It is a relatively simple design, but that doesn’t mean the process of coloring it in was boring at all — in fact, the thin swirling lines were the right level of challenge to fill in with the brush tip of my Tombow brush pens. I also liked the quote that curves around the top of the image.
I really enjoyed matching together some nice pairs of colors to fill in the waves. I often draw inspiration from patterns that I collect on Pinterest; for this one, I used this pattern as a color guide:
I left part of the image white to make it feel a little looser!
Overall this page took just about a half hour to complete. I think the end result is really pretty, and since it’s an abstract design I’m already thinking about all the crafty things I could do with the finished page. I bet it would make nice wrapping paper for a gift!
Overall, I am very happy with this book! I think the patterns inside are really pretty, and they definitely feel more “handmade” than my other coloring books, in a refreshing way. Since they’re abstract and include some nice quotes, they’ll be great for crafting or scrapbooking. Definitely a great book to add to my collection!
Be Inspired: Mini Adult Coloring Book for Stress Relief vol. 2
Be Inspired: Mini Adult Coloring Book for Stress Relief vol. 2 is a travel-size coloring book filled with 49 hand-drawn illustrations to color. It clocks in at 5.5″ by 8.5″, and is the perfect size for slipping into a purse or backpack!
The images in this book are similar in style to volume 1, with a doodly, organic feel; in fact, many of the pages from volume 1 are repeated here at a smaller size. There are also some new illustrations not found in the first book, as well as a “sneak peak” at the end with images from Creative Life Studio’s upcoming book of hand-drawn mandalas.
On the back of each image is a space to write the colorist credit and, interestingly, a six-swatch color chart where you can test and record the colors you use in the drawing on the opposite side. This is a really neat concept and not something I’ve seen before in a coloring book. I always love when the artist gives me a place to test my colors! I would caution you, though, that if you plan to use a wet medium like markers, I wouldn’t recommend using these swatches as it could bleed through to the front of the image.
Like the previous book, this book is printed with 60lb paper, which is a relatively thin sheet. My earlier advice about protecting the pages behind, or removing the page you are working on from the book, still stands! I did notice significantly more page curling in the two pages I colored from this book, which was annoying while coloring and especially while taking photos (hey, I tried my best), though by no means a dealbreaker for me.
Another thing I noticed in this book vs. the larger version was that some of the thinnest lines were shrunk to the point that they turned stuttery or even disappeared in places. I found myself thinking of the lines in this book as more of a texture than spaces to individually fill with color, because they were so close together! As a result, I think I actually like the pages I colored in this book more, because I was thinking more about the texture of the color over a set of lines instead of the spaces being individual units to color, but it’s worth mentioning if you are someone who prefers to color one space at a time.
Like for the other book, I removed my pages using an x-acto knife. I finished two pages for this review.
This is the first page I colored from this book. I chose it mostly because I thought the swirly circles in the background would look lovely colored like abstract roses, and I am super happy with the way those turned out! I used three very similar shades of pink from my 96 set of Tombow dual-ended brush pens, and treated the circles like a texture rather than spaces, like I described above.
For other parts of the image, I used Staedtler triplus fineliners, especially in the mandala portion of this image, where the fine tips made a big difference.
Here is the second page I colored from this book. Since the texture thing made so much sense to me as I colored the first image, I wanted to take it a step further in this one. To get this effect I first colored over everything extremely quickly and expressively using my Tombows. It’s hard to see in the photo unfortunately, but then I went over everything with blue and white pencils from my set of Caran D’Ache Pablos (pictured, because they photograph so beautifully!). The effect is sort of Van Gogh esque, don’t you think?!
This is definitely my favorite page of these three, just because it was so different from how I usually color. The design really made that possible, because it already had a really loose, swirly, organic feel that just made the expressive coloring with the markers feel so natural. I really had fun with this one, plus I whipped it out in about 30 minutes while listening to an audiobook on Audible. Whee!
Honestly, despite the worse curling issues I had with this book over the larger volume, I probably enjoyed coloring in this one more! As I said above, the lines are very close together, which actually felt very freeing for me — no longer are they spaces, but now they are texture, ready to be expressively colored any way you like! I also appreciated the smaller size and how it meant I could very quickly get a page to completion during a short break or bit of time I was able to find at the end of the day. Both are great books, and I would recommend them even if I wasn’t helping give some copies away!
Speaking of which…
IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME! Enter here for a chance to win one of three prize packs of Creative Life Studio books and coloring supplies!
This giveaway will run for one week only, beginning today and ending at 11:59pm EST next Sunday, December 11. The three winners will be drawn at random on December 12th from the full pool of entrants, and the chosen prize winners will have three days to respond to the announcement email before a new winner is drawn in their place.
Sorry, United States entrants only!
Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Step right up and click the options below to enter the giveaway! Share with your friends via email, social media, and Facebook groups to earn the most possible entries, because each friend you refer will earn you an additional entry!
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Thanks again to the team at Creative Life Studio for providing the review copies of their books and the giveaway prize packs!
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