Coloring Book First Steps

Now that it’s summer and I’ve got some time to myself, I’ve started brainstorming for my goal “Design and Publish a Coloring Book.” Right now, I’m thinking of finding a self-publishing site. I’m not looking to make big bucks (or even small bucks) or change my career to professional coloring book author (although that sounds rad). I frequently teach art to my students, and one time a kid said, “Mrs. Deacon, you should TOTALLY make a coloring book and we could color it!” Being the great teacher that I am, I replied, “What a great idea – how about the CLASS each makes a page and then we can all color them?” And we made a class coloring book instead.

But the idea stuck: I really would like to make a coloring book of my own, and then if my students are interested they can print out the pages and theoretically design their own. Although I teach art and play around with a sketchbook on a regular basis, I’m a total amateur; no delusions here.

My brainstorming process has been to jot down things I personally like to look at, and am inspired to draw when I’m stuck in a meeting or on an airplane; then sketch several pages of things that are rumbling around in my head. I’ll probably do this for a couple weeks, and start drafting rough sketches of page ideas (I’m shooting for 10 – 15?).



tiny things


foods, plates, cups



parties, decorations

mazes or hidden items


If you have any feedback on anything, I welcome it. I’m totally flying blind on this one.





I’ve also thought a lot about the coloring books I have liked throughout the years, and which ones I have bought for the classroom (typically curriculum based). Here are some great coloring books I would recommend (and my students would agree).



Life in Old Japan


Victorian Houses


Jumbo Hello Kitty 


Human Anatomy Coloring Book (by Margaret Matt)


Mexican Designs Stained Glass


The Anti-Coloring Book


The Boys Doodle Book – BUT I MUST BE CLEAR THAT I HAVE A HARD TIME RECOMMENDING THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT’S SO OBVIOUSLY SEXIST. I don’t agree at all that the cool book (with all the pirates and skeletons and mazes and spaceships) is for BOYS, and the lame book with all the shoes and cakes is for GIRLS. I have literally ripped the cover off this book. That being said, it’s always a hit.



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