PAGES FOR CRAZY TIMES
May 18th, 2020
During this strange time, innovative companies are thinking of creative ways to engage with and give back to their communities. Sunday Afternoons is one of those companies. When they reached out to me with the idea of creating a few coloring pages they could share with their audience, I immediately wanted in. As an outdoor hat and accessories company, Sunday Afternoons’ mission is to enhance everyday adventure. They encourage people to get outside and connect with nature, ourselves, and others. If you’re able, this is a perfect time to focus on unplugging from regular day-to-day tasks to spend time outside and engage in creative activities we often put low on our priorities list.
Many of us are out of our normal routine right now. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world and that can create anxiety in all of us. An excellent antidote to anxiety is mindfulness. There are many forms of mindfulness, and coloring happens to be a really fun one! It helps calm your mind by focusing on a single activity while engaging the creative side of your brain. Plus, it's so satisfying to have a piece of art as an outcome. Some ideas to make the most of this coloring time:
- Get the whole family involved. Coloring is a relaxing activity you can do with your kids and your loved ones. You can even schedule FaceTime coloring dates with your friends who are far away.
- Take your coloring outside. Use this time to fully unplug and enjoy the beautiful spring weather while tapping into your creative side.
- Listen to some good mood music while you color. Trust me. This will totally elevate your experience and lift your spirits.
Here are a couple of ways to personalize your coloring page:
- Challenge yourself to stick with a certain color palette. One great way to make a coloring sheet feel more unique is to choose your colors ahead of time. If you love pink, try using only different shades of pink for a monochrome look. Or if you prefer to use several colors, try for an analogous palette using similar colors and shades. For example, use only shades of yellow, green, and blue, or any colors that are neighbors on the color wheel.
- Use a lightbox or a sunny window for tracing. You can trace illustrations onto a piece of watercolor or bristol paper if you have a light source behind your drawing. I recommend drawing as lightly as you can with your pencil while tracing, which will make erasing your lines later much easier. Once you have your design traced out, start painting. When you finish painting your masterpiece, wait about 30 minutes to let the watercolor paint dry thoroughly, then carefully erase any leftover pencil lines.
Brainstorming ideas for Sunday Afternoons, I knew I wanted to show off the wide variety of hat styles they offer. Seriously, there is an option (or two or ten!) for everyone. I love that their styles are unique and practical, and I thought all the details on these hats would make for very interesting coloring. Since they are based in Oregon, I wanted to incorporate some Pacific Northwest inspiration and imagery. It was fun to break out of my normal desert style artwork and work with a totally different set of flora and fauna.
I start every drawing by making a light pencil sketch first, then I trace over all of my lines in black ink and erase any remaining pencil. From there, I scan it into my computer and play around with the layouts and the sizing of everything, then I edit any lines that aren’t quite right.
Like every artist, I have creative blocks where I run out of ideas and it feels impossible to get any work done. I know when I get to this point, the best way to break through the block is to get outside. I end up taking lots of walks around the neighborhood during the work day, and I find that breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sunlight, and getting out of my office helps to immediately shift my mood and get the creativity flowing again. Sometimes I'll even take my drawing supplies outside, where the change of scenery helps to lift me up, inspiring me to create once again.
About the Artist
Drawing was Courtney’s first love in life. As a kid she was constantly drawing and working on various art projects. As her love for drawing and art grew stronger, she pursued a degree in Fine Art Drawing at Arizona State University. Today she is a full-time artist who loves the idea that creativity is a flow. While Courtney enjoys working with a variety of media including watercolor, pen and ink illustrations, chalkboard art, and big outdoor murals, nature is a recurring theme throughout her pieces. Living in Arizona, Courtney loves the desert and all the peculiar animals and plants found there: Saguaro blossoms, moths, rattlesnakes, and palo verde beetles seem to make their way into her paintings and drawings. You can find Courtney’s art and follow her wanderings at www.theycallmespindles.com or on Instagram @theycallmespindles.