Paint books and coloring books emerged in the United States as a result of the 'democratization of art' process inspired by a series of lectures given by British artist Joshua Reynolds as well as by the works of Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and his adult student Friedrich Fröbel. Many educators believed that all students, regardless of background, stood to benefit from art education "as a means of enhancing their conceptual understanding of the tangible, developing their cognitive abilities, and improving skills that would be useful in finding a profession. The thought, too, that art helped with children's spiritual education, as well.
In the 1880's, the McLoughlin Brothers who are widely credited with inventing the coloring book first produced The Little Folks' Painting Book. They continued publishing coloring books until the 1920's when the McLoughlin Brothers merged with the Milton Bradley Company.
Richard F. Outcault was another early pioneer of coloring books. The author's Buster's Paint Book in 1907, featuring the character Buster Brown who he created in 1902. This launched a trend of issuing coloring or paint books to promote a wide variety of products such as coffee and of all things, pianos. Until the 1930's these books were specifically designed to be used with paint. Even after crayons came into wide use, coloring books were still intended to be used with paint.
Coloring books are widely used in schools for young children as they tend to increase the child's desire to learn. Plus there's the added bonus of increasing creativity. Coloring books are a predominantly non-verbal medium which means they are a great teaching tool where the student doesn't have a good grasp of the primary language spoken by the teacher. Coloring books help motivate students to better understand concepts of things that might not otherwise interest them. Some publishers have specialized in coloring books specifically for educational purposes. Coloring books have been useful in the healthcare field as an educational tool, as well. Young patients, it is thought, could be less traumatized by their medical procedures if they're given a coloring book beforehand with pictures of what they are about to experience.
Coloring books have been used in politics, too. In the 1962 cartoonist Mort Drucker, along with humorist Paul Laikin, created a satirical introduction to the Kennedy family and their administration, told from the viewpoint of Kennedy's eldest daughter, Caroline.
Adult coloring books offer therapy and have seen a surge in popularity since the 2010's. These books help to develop fine motor skills and vision, reduce anxiety and create focus and relieve stress in a way that is similar to meditation. They also bring back happy childhood memories.
I hope you've enjoyed our look at the history and benefits of coloring and paint books. Coloring for me is a great way to unwind. I become so involved with choosing colors and getting the picture "perfect" that I lose track of time. I find myself mentally recharged and ready to move on with my next project. If you haven't tried coloring recently, you might consider giving it a go. It's fun, relatively inexpensive to do, and does help relax while creating focus and deeper creativity.
I hope you'll come back tomorrow for a peek into my upcoming weekend activities. Until then, i wish you all