Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Unpredictable Evolution Of A New Adult Colouring Book


Sometimes when we inquire of the Lord; He gives the most unexpected answers. I always find it is a good idea to listen, no matter how strange it may seem at the time. Recently, I questioned if He wanted me to continue in publishing.  I was financially stretched and it was demanding too much time from my family. I was in conflict. I knew He had initially called me to it, but the expenses outweighed the meager returns and I was tired. Should I continue? I knew I was touching lives with existing books but it was the 11th hour in practical terms. I hoped God would unveil new secure work opportunities and continue to use the existing books. What I heard was strange.

He told me to play; adopt the idea of creative exploration with no itinerary for a season. I had a sense that I may not earn anything for a time - to let go and trust. You’d think exploring creativity more freely would have been music to my ears, but I was disillusioned by the result of my efforts. Never the less, C’est la vie - I began to celebrate His instruction, decline most invitations for work and began to play.

Knowing what gives us joy

I experienced a relief as the demand lifted and began to get excited. A few things animated me; patterns, sketching in ink, hand lettering and typography. I challenged myself and questioned why I hadn’t adopted it before now. Around the same time I began sharing my illustrated church notes publicly. I was incredibly reluctantly at first but, it became easier as I saw God using my notes-powerfully! I began to combine all these areas in a daily indulgence of heavenly bliss!
A new illustration style blossomed, replicating elaborate line art suitable for adults colouring book illustrations. Friends began suggesting I make my work more accessible and to create a colouring book for adults.

I then realised what God was doing. His instruction lost some of its mystery. He loves to turn our passions into something special. He is also more interested in obedience than sacrifice. I couldn’t see a kingdom purpose but I could see a people purpose and that was enough for me. I also felt loved by His blessing my down time.

I began creating a colouring book as a collaborative experience. This colouring book would encourage others by combining affirming words and illustrations. Apart from scripture, these are the kind of words I incorporate into my life and enjoy blessing others with. The whole process was playful, exciting and invitational to everyone no matter what faith.

His way is the best and blessed way

Thankfully I have been blessed with pre-orders. I’m yet to see how successful the book will be financially but already seeing the joy it’s will bring others. The excitement from the community already has been electrifying. Should this be financial success I am planning eye surgery. I’m open to a miracle for my sight but if the funds become available through this book, it is laser surgery for me! Either way, metaphorically, it’s open my eyes to many lessons and blessings.

It’s my hope that the audience from this book draws more attention to other wonderful Christian books. It’s good for community to know Christians love creating books that build the health of our community and are not all are bible stories.

Positively Quote Colouring Book is unique. It is the first to be printed in beautiful sepia lines for an authentic artistic finish. The colouring book is A4 so illustrations can be inexpensively framed as gifts to encourage friends or displayed as reflections to encourage your own family. I pray it blesses you or a friend more now you know a little about the creation of it. More details here: http://kayleenwest.com.au/portfolio/shop/crafts-and-activities/positively-quote-colouring-book/



Kayleen West is a children's book Author and Illustrator from Victoria. 
Her picture books include Adoptive Father, Without Me?, Better Than A Superhero and Celia and Nonna
Her portfolio can be seen at: www.kayleenwest.com.au

19 comments:

  1. Hi Kayleen. It's been lovely watching you explore your new style through Instagram and Facebook. Here's hoping that this new book will not only be a blessing to you and to many others, but also a way of continuing your creative ministry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jeanette, I am glad you have enjoyed the process!

      Delete
  2. That's very exciting Kayleen. Congratulations on your new venture. It's a great time to be getting in on this new craze. I just showed this article to my wife who is currently obsessed with adult colouring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am revealed that so many people can enjoy a creative past time without stressing about performance Adam. I tried to create intricate illustrations that create interest for the person colouring and a sense of achievement without having to draw. Thanks for passing it on to your wife! :-)

      Delete
  3. That's a wonderful testimony, Kayleen. It's great to see people with obvious, God-given talents, using them to the utmost. And I love how our own joy is a factor in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Paula. Yes, joy is definitely a major part of the journey with Jesus!

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful testimony, Kayleen. Incredible how God times things so perfectly. Who knew that your illustrative work would coincide with a movement in de-stress. My wife is an active colourer so I will check your books out to see if Fi would be interested in them.

    I hope this season (some would call it a fad) continues for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it took me by surprise Ian. If it is not too late I have a girly tip for you - if your wife is an active colour perhaps surprise her with one? You'll be husband of the year! :-)

      I hear the trend will last for some time as people are testifying to its usefulness. I am hearing some incredible stories on the topic now I am exposed more to it. It is astounding!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing that Kayleen. It's so great that God led you to do something you really enjoy and then turned it into something to bless you and others. When I was at QBD the other day (big QLD bookstore), they had a whole display stand full of adult colouring books in a prime location. They're really popular at the moment, so the timing is brilliant. I hope it does really well. Now where did I put my crayons??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are quite a few out now Nola. I am a bit relieved that my version has a few extra differences. Hopefully it will keep it in good stead as more come into the market.

      I think you need to buy yourself something finer than crayons for this Nola. What about a new set of pencils or fine liners but keep them up high, away from your puppy! ;-)

      Delete
    2. LOL Kayleen - Holly does love to colour. Will keep the pencils up high :)

      Delete
  6. Around twenty years ago when our daughter was ill, I bought her a set of intricately drawn posters to colour in, which she enjoyed. Then a few years ago, I bought her a book where you could complete some of the drawings as well as colour in. So it's great to see such books are becoming popular again--and especially great to see your lovely ones, Kayleen. Well done to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply. I just realised my comments didn't publish!

      I have been surprised at how many adults have been colouring for years. They must be overjoyed that they finally have more mature versions to colour now.

      Delete
  7. I WANT THIS BOOK. I still love coloring in with my son.
    Will be getting a copy, Kayleen.

    Well done. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply Rose. I just realised my comments didn't publish!

      Wonderful! My 14 year old wasn't interested when I first mentioned it but now she has seen it she is a big fan. It is great to have this in common with our older kids. It can be a hard to find a mutual activity to do with the older kids.

      Delete
  8. Kayleen I am sharpening my Derwents in anticipation of purchasing your book! The idea of being able to frame a finished product to give as a gift is a WONERFUL idea, one I will be using. Thank you for using your gifts in this way...surely a blessing to many.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply Di. I just realised my comments didn't publish!

      Awesome! I am a big fan of Derwents myself - bit of a collector actually! I look forward to seeing what you do if you care to share :-)

      Delete
  9. Wow Kayleen. What a wonderful post. Love it how you listen to Him and are obedient and what God does with it. Play sounds music to my ears. Play is what God did when He worked I think. I can just imagine how He ordered the world and made wierd but cute animals and decided what kind of flowers to have and so on. He'd have delighted in your play. And well done on your new kind of colouring books. May God enrich all who use them and bless you as you create more of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the late reply Anusha. I just realised my comments didn't publish!

      you always say the sweetest things dear lady! I don't feel safe being anything other than as obedient as I can. I have always found He seems to know best and I can't always see what is ahead.

      Delete