Before Christmas 2015 I heard that colouring books were going to be popular as gifts for adults. I was quite surprised when I walked into W H Smith's and saw a whole display unit full of colouring books for adults!
Remembering back to my own children and to teaching in junior school, the art of colouring in was a real skill. As a child I have uncomfortable memories of failing to colour inside the lines and being criticised for the lack of motor skills. It is also true that a child's early development was partly assessed for fine motor skills by looking at their ability to colour in.
Even though it was considered a fun activity to carry out on a rainy Sunday afternoon or as an end of term task, there have been adults quite happy to join in with the children in carrying out the activity. It is unsurprising then that finally a publisher has produced books for adults to colour. There are some interesting spin offs.
In a busy world, increasingly dominated by time spent in front of screens, grown ups are turning to the soothing art of colouring in. But the books we're talking about are not reminiscent of the freebie colouring sheets handed out at chain restaurants that we remember from our childhoods. These are intricately designed books, some created specifically to help you de-stress and focus the mind.
Can we really find relief in colouring carefully in between the lines? Hephzibah Kaplan, director at the London Art Therapy Centre thinks so.