Enlightened State

6 Adult Coloring Books to Get Your Creativity Flowing

CreativityMorgan VanekComment

Lately, I've been thinking back to my childhood.  I remember feeling magic flowing through the whole world. When I was a kid, using my imagination felt easy and natural.  I recall spending hours playing out elaborate scenes with the other kids in my neighborhood, writing entire stories after school, and spending endless summer days with my nose tucked in a book.  With my future in front of me, I could picture all the possibilities that life had to offer me.  

But as I started growing up, that changed.  I felt a lot of pressure to figure out what kind of person I was supposed to be.  Instead of engaging my imagination, I looked past it in favor of focusing on an image of myself that was capricious and unclear.  How to be smart, how to be interesting, how to be pretty and thin and get other people to like me.  Instead of making sense of the world, I was making sense of how I fit into it. 

This is a natural part of becoming an adult, and I know that everyone goes through this process as they get older.  But the problem with this paradigm shift is that it stifles our creativity and limits our ability to find inner fulfillment.  The world is so big, and that magic I used to feel is still there.  If you don't believe me, talk to a kid for a hour or two - he can still feel it, even if you're too wrapped up in your own head to find it.  And while it's true that letting your imagination run wild doesn't pay the bills, living without it leaves us feeling empty. 

Creativity and imagination are important parts of the path to happiness.  Spend some time focusing on them, and you'll notice those possibilities creeping back into your mind.  You'll feel inspired and content when you get back in touch with the childlike places in your soul.  Start thinking about things that are bigger than your own life, and get back to exploring the world in your free time. Revisit the books you loved in third grade and see if they still hold up. Go back to your favorite family vacation spot and play in the places that used to set your mind on fire.  Spend a Saturday morning watching cartoons with a bowl of cereal in one hand and a glass of chocolate milk in the other.  And grab a set of crayons or colored pencils and pick up one of these five coloring books designed especially for adults - the fun stuff isn't just for kids.

This is one of my favorite coloring books.  It isn't strictly designed for adults, but the designs are intricate enough to take you a little time, and it's so fun to re-imagine famous paintings.  I especially like coloring in my page, and then comparing it to the original printed on the inside cover of the book. 


Splendid Cities: Color Your Way to Calm
By Rosie Goodwin, Alice Chadwick

This is an excellent book to get your imagination going.  If you need a vacation, start coloring these beautiful drawings of real and imagined cities and let your mind get away, even if your body is stuck in the daily grind.


I've always been fascinated by fairy tales.  This coloring book will transport you into a story, and you'll be delighted by the hidden treasures you find as you color in these beautiful line drawings.  Take your imagination somewhere magical.


If you enjoy crafting in your spare time, you'll love this coloring book designed to relieve stress.  The patterns you'll bring to life are beautiful and fun.  It's the perfect choice for Pinterest users and fans of design. 


If you find yourself needing inspiration on the go, this is the perfect coloring book for you.  It's only 5x7 inches, so you can easily tuck it into your bag or purse with a travel-size set of colored pencils and take it with you.


If you love Bill Murray as much as I do, you need this coloring book, which depicts scenes from some of his most beloved movies.  Whether you're a Wes Anderson fan, or more of a Ghostbusters kind of person, there is something for everyone in this collection, which can only be called the best coloring book of all time.


How do you get in touch with your imagination?  What activities leave you feeling inspired?

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