Creating Your Coloring Book

I’m not going to lie to you. I have a natural repulsion to Adult Coloring Books. This is precisely why I chose to create one. I wanted to truly come to terms with why I didn’t like them by creating one that I could love.

Top 3 reasons I don’t like Adult Coloring Books:

  1. They do not engage your creative mind.
  2. They do not encourage you to think outside the box (or even color outside the lines).
  3. They waste your precious creating time.

This is what I see when I watch people coloring: They are focused on staying in the lines. They suffer over the decisions of which space should be colored which color. They are obsessed with messing up the picture. These pages indulge not their God-given creativity, but rather their most torturous insecurities and anxieties. When they quit after hours of coloring, they feel discouraged because they have only filled in maybe one-tenth of the page.

This is why I decided to create one where the creating of it was the journey not just the coloring in it. Although, this one would require that you take a journey as you color in it as well. Win-win! Yay!

I took the project to my most trusted group of creators: the clients in the Addiction Recovery Program at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. We pulled themes from the topics they were already exploring in their Recovery Process Groups. Each week, we explored different ways to express these themes visually, each time finding a way to add space for an individual story to be expressed within the page.


This image was created by Mathew Bonner. It inspired the following page in our Coloring Book.


The theme is Trust. The text that came from our discussions appears in the Coloring Book as follows:


An important part of healing a wounded heart is learning to trust again. Trust is moving toward life, knowing that you are never alone. Trust is letting go of control over people and situations and having faith that you will be guided to the life you are meant to experience.

Your hands are a beautiful symbol of trust. When you were a child, you experienced your world through your hands. You touched everything in order to understand the laws of the physical world. If you close your eyes and try to walk, the first thing you will do is stretch your hands out in front of you. Your hands are your first measure of protection when you are learning to trust. Rebuilding trust begins with an awareness of how it feels to trust.

On the following page there are two hands. One is a hand clenched in a fist. This hand represents what it feels like not to trust. Write and draw inside the shape how you feel when you do not trust someone or something. The other hand is open with fingers spread outward. This hand represents what it feels like when you trust someone or something. Inside this shape write and draw what it feels like to you when you allow yourself to trust.

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” —Frank Crane

If you like, feel free to print out the image of the Trust Coloring Sheet and try it for yourself. What comes up? What do you draw inside each hand?

©Bonnie Kelso and Creating Your ExperienceThese books are currently being used by groups at Rescue Missions as a modality for healing and self-expression. If you would like to order copies for your group to work with you can do so by downloading this Facilitator’s Guide. The Guide gives you tips and encouragement for leading a weekly group discussion and creative coloring session. Coloring Books for your group participants can be ordered on Amazon at the following link: Graceful Transformation: A Healing Coloring Journey.

This is not the end of my personal exploration into the world of Adult Coloring Books. My next challenge will be to work with teenagers to create a whole new book with themes that are relevant to them. More to come on that…

In the meanwhile, what would your Adult Coloring Book be about if you were to create one that explored what was important to you right now? Please share your ideas with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

Your Creativity Coach,


Bonnie Kelso is a Creativity Coach who uses Creating as a healing modality. She is the author of Vitalize Your Creative Life, a workbook for engaging with your inner creative child. She also facilitates creativity workshops and classes locally in Las Vegas, NV. She is the creator of the ABCs of Conscious Creating, a guided self-study program that delves deeper into the spiritual realm of your unique creative potential. Are you ready to start right now? Do you have 5 Minutes?

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