You can make your own coloring pages, even if you can’t draw.
Sounds a bit radical but this is what I do. This design is one of mine and is in my latest coloring book, Calm Yourself Coloring, which will be published in the next two weeks.
I’ve always had a creative streak. Mainly music and writing, but never art. I liked Spirograph and making patterns then doodling in them. That’s as far as my “art” went.
Admin jobs kept me occupied when I left school. At age 34, 16 years later, I went to Uni to do a degree in Geography and Creative Writing. The only reason I did Geography was so I could do coloring! Uni was an eye-opener (in more ways than one) – and I discovered there was a world beyond admin.
A few years in therapy introduced me to holistic therapies. I wanted to help people so trained as a life coach.
From Admin to Taxi Driver.
I kept working in Admin while I did my life coach training. Then I moved departments and got the “manager from hell” and experienced bullying in the workplace. Not a fun time!
To cope with the MFH, I put the life coach training on one side. It was a horrible time.
I decided to find another type of work that didn’t involve admin and meant I wouldn’t have a MFH breathing down my neck. You know what I’m talking about, right?
One of my mates was a taxi driver and loved it. I loved driving, people and cash. I had a clean driving licence so applied to be a taxi driver. My mum loaned me the money for a new car – my little Citroen C3 wasn’t big enough for the job.
Passing “the knowledge” (routes in my local area) boosted my confidence, and I started driving part-time for a local taxi firm.
I still worked for the MFH but driving the taxi kept me sane.
When I was made redundant from the MFH, I went taxiing full time. No more MFH was wonderful!
DVT and Pulmonary Embolism.
If you’ve been reading my blogposts for a while, you’ll know about this. I had to give up driving the taxi when I had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which lead to a pulmonary embolism. Sitting for long periods – like when you’re a taxi driver – contributed to the DVT.
It was “touch and go” for 2-3 days but I came through. I was in hospital for 12 days, weak as a kitten when I was finally discharged, and survived an hour at a time.
I know how it feels to fight for your life, and I know how it feels to have to rely on other people for help.
It was both a horrible and a lovely time – challenging, I had to swallow my pride and ask for – and accept – help from others.
The lovely bit was when I made friends with neighbours I’d lived near to for over 30 years, hardly speaking to each other. My bestie had told them I was seriously ill and could they keep an eye on my house, and take in any deliveries. They were fantastic.
Moved to a New Area.
When I was well enough, I moved house.
New work was needed. Partially trained lifecoach, qualified hypnotherapist. Time to get more qualifications.
I know it was cock-eyed thinking but that was how I was brought up.
So, trained in EFT then as a past life therapist. Hence loads of letters after my name.
One thing was missing but I didn’t realise until I’d spent two years trying to build a coaching practice. Unsuccessfully.
The thing that was missing was self-belief.
I knew how to coach others but couldn’t convert that to help myself.
I had a business coach who was coaching me in her method which didn’t work where I live. When no-one came to the sixth group coaching session I’d prepped and advertised, I walked away.
Bye Bye Coaching, Hello Coloring.
A chance conversation with my webbie introduced me to www.colormandala.com – a site where you can draw your own mandalas. Wow! For someone who couldn’t draw, this was wonderful!
She also showed me www.sumopaint.com, a site like Photoshop where I could do variations of mandalas.
I was hooked on making my own designs. You know what this meant? I could make my own coloring pages. Using those two means you can make your own coloring pages, too.
I spent all day, every day, creating coloring designs. It was wonderful! My stress disappeared and even I thought some designs were a tad brilliant.
It was when adult coloring had taken off and people were desperate for designs to sell, so I mentioned mine in a couple of FB writing groups. A couple of weeks later, I sold my first two packs. One to my webbie and one to a writer. This was my new career, even though I couldn’t draw.
I didn’t want to publish a coloring book. I’m a firm believer in not following the herd. Instead, I was going to sell my designs off my website.
I made a few sales but nothing to write home about. I made the executive decision to take down that site, knowing that I would have to publish a coloring book.
Truth was, I wasn’t that confident in my designs because I (wrongly) thought that I had to know Photoshop and Illustrator, and didn’t believe that my designs were any good (lack of self-belief again), compared to other people’s.
You can do this, too.
Make Your Own Coloring Pages.
I did some serious mindset work to get me over the hurdle of telling the world – okay, just CreateSpace and Amazon – that I was a coloring pattern designer.
Finally, in November 2016, I published my first coloring book, Patterns for Relaxation Book 1. Book 2 was published in February 2017.
I belonged, and still do, to a mastermind group. Another member of the group, Carrie Eddins of http://returnonconnection.com, told me she’d like to see them on sale in shops. I thought no more about it until a few weeks ago.
Carrie told me about a magazine that was looking for coloring designs to be submitted, and would I like her to send in some of mine. Reluctantly, I gave her three.
The magazine loved them and wanted to feature them as free download.
No More Hiding Away.
I thought this magazine would be a student rag. How wrong was I!
It’s a UK-national publication and is stocked in supermarkets and newsagents. And they wanted to feature my designs as their free download.
My designs. Oh. My. Gosh!
The link is under this blog post.
If nothing else, it’s been a fantastic boost to my to my confidence as a coloring book artist. Now I can put “As seen in….” on my blog 😉
Check out the link to the magazine: