Relax and Color: An Oasis of Me-Time in Your Busy Day – A Review

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This beautiful paperback book was kindly sent to me for review by its author and illustrator Cara Stein. It is printed single-sided with a quote or question on the back of each image that is often thought-provoking or can be used for mindfulness while colouring. The book is square, slightly smaller than the well-known bestsellers by JB and MM and contains 30 gorgeous images. The book is glue-bound but the images don’t fill the whole page so nothing is lost into the spine. I’d advise using pencils or fineliners to colour with as the designs are some of the most delicate and intricate I’ve ever seen and felt-tips would swamp the details. The book contains images of flowers, birds, swirling patterns and soothing words. In her introduction, Cara has a very laid back approach to how her book can and should be used including copying the images for personal use (you may want to enlarge some of those with the tiniest details), breaking the binding so the pages are loose, and colouring as delicately or wildly as you like.

Mental health-wise this book is definitely only for those of you who have good eyesight, concentration and fine motor control because some of the images have really tiny details and none have large expanses to be block coloured. The designs are mostly drawn in very thin lines with a few illustrated in a slightly thicker style (see images below). The paper is bright white and thin but this isn’t a problem because the images are printed single-sided, just slip a piece of scrap paper behind your work if using any kind of marker as the paper does bleed a fair bit and this will save the design behind from any accidents.

I definitely found this book relaxing to colour and the images are really pretty. The quotes and questions on each page are a lovely addition that many colouring books could benefit from as they help give you prompts about things to think about, consider, and be mindful of. Cara has succeeded in creating a beautifully delicate book that certainly promotes relaxation – she has suffered from mental health problems herself and used illustrating this book to help her get through. It is a girly book filled with flowers, flourishes, patterns and swirls and will certainly keep your mind occupied focusing on colouring the details rather than racing thoughts. This book would be great for those of you who are practising mindfulness and need a little help or a specific thing to focus on while being mindful, the quotes are lovely and really do make you think and consider things. Cara has created a lovely book that has mental wellbeing at its very core. If you’d like to get your hands on a copy then head over to Amazon where it’s currently selling for £6.99 Relax and Color: An Oasis of Me-Time in Your Busy Day: Volume 1 (Adult Coloring Books for Personal Growth)The images below were coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Staedtler Triplus Fibre-Tips.

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