There are so many wonderful things about being a kid. No bills. Naps. Sleepovers. Summer camp. Birthdays. Snow angels. Art projects. We’ve all seen a kid sitting in front of a piece of paper, carefully contemplating all the options that Crayola has to offer and enviously oblivious to everything but the task at hand. Completely unintimidated by the possibility that his mother is going to have to label his dinosaur lest anyone confuse it for a green amoeba. There is no failure and the end product is irrelevant as long as he enjoyed the exercise. I miss that. Adulthood is not like that. Your boss will never tell you that despite the fact that your memo is more stream of consciousness and less cogent or rational thought, it’s ok because you seemed to enjoy writing it. Never. So I am all for anything that allows grown ups to exercise a little harmless creativity. Lately I have been experimenting with a few childhood art classics and I will be giving them out like candy…to adults. They are the perfect “unplug” gift.
Thanks to Easy 123 Art, you can now convert any photo into a custom paint-by-number ($). Imagine the possibilities! Just choosing which photo to use is a creative exercise. I used this poppy photo that my sister has always liked as my test case:
And while I am no artist (the genius of paint-by-number), here’s the end result:
I don’t really care whether my sister treasures this forever or “forgets” it in her next apartment move. Making it was the fun part.
I have also discovered that there are coloring books for adults! And according to the Boston Globe they are flying off the shelves. Today I walked up to our local bookstore Brookline Booksmith (featured in the Globe article) to see what all the fuss was about. I walked out with two coloring books and a box of markers determined to give it a go. I even managed to convince my husband to give it a shot, after which followed two relaxing hours of coloring (with a side of beer and wine). Here’s my work from Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest (a New York Times #1 Best-Seller)($):
It’s not perfect and it’s never going to make the fridge (that spot is currently occupied by a masterpiece made just for me by my friend Kristin’s daughter) but that doesn’t matter.