Color Me Happy: Getting Creative as an Adult

Dec 5, 2016

Coloring books published for grown ups have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Mark Muller, an Iowa city based artist who just published his first coloring book through University of Iowa Press, jokes that when he first heard about the trend, he misunderstood what was going on. 

Some people don't think they are creative, but we are all creative in some way. - Jennifer Jackson, President of the Iowa Art Therapy Association

"When I first heard of the adult coloring trend, I thought it was pornographic," he laughs. "Then I realized it meant coloring books for adults. I think it's a really cool thing." 

Muller draws wildlife, and in his new book The Wild Midwest, he's tried to draw Iowa-native animals and plants that are as accurate to real life as possible. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, he talks with host Charity Nebbe about his art and about his new coloring book. 

Iowa City based illustrator and children's book author Claudia McGehee, who published her own coloring book about a year ago and contributed to IPR's new book Color Me Iowan, and Jennifer Jackson, who is president of the Iowa Art Therapy Association, also join the show.

Jackson says that adult coloring isn't art therapy, but she says that it's important for adults to do things that get them into creative headspaces. 

"People forget how expressive and wonderful art can be. We get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we forget about being creative and having fun," she says. 

"Some people don't think they are creative, but we are all creative in some way. It's so important for our daily lives. I would encourage people to think about things they did when they were young. Was it music? Did you go to plays? Were you in drama? What really sparked you and made you excited? Try and go back to that time in your life. It's okay to feel like a kid again."