Unicorn coloring pages coming soon!

Just a quick note to let everyone know I’m still hard at work, building my skills by sketching out some unicorn coloring pages. They’re as cute as toast, I dare say! I can’t wait to ink them. ^_^

sweet unicorns pencil drawing by candyhippie

sky pegacorns pencil drawing by candyhippie

I have been absolutely GORGING MYSELF on pink kawaii rainbow unicorn everything lately. Nothing raises the spirits like pastels, rainbows and adorable majestic creatures. Not that I need my spirits raised for any particular reason, thank goodness; it’s just nice to be even happier than usual. Right now I feel like I could make 300 kawaii coloring books full of unicorn coloring pages and more (and more and more). I have ideas for original characters with sweet backstories, too.

But here is the tricky part. Will I sit down and do the work (so much work!) through these last days of summer, rather than enjoying another long bike ride, or kicking the  ball around at the park, or going shopping for cutesy kawaii goodies? I’LL DO MY BEST! This may mean I’ll be flitting my way outside all the time anyway, but I’ll also be coming back in sooner than usual and sitting my butt down with my pencils and fineliners. I must! These themes are made for me!

This I can promise: there will be a unicorn-themed CandyHippie coloring book before Christmas 2018. It will include all of my unicorn mandalas, plus several hand-drawn unicorn coloring pages, including a unicorn teeny zine.

So, What do you think? Do you like my sketches? Do you have any requests for things I might include in my next few unicorn coloring pages? Leave me a comment below — I’d love to hear from you!

Free coloring pages are everywhere. Why pay for them?

Free coloring pages are everywhere online.

“Free coloring pages” is the most popular search term on the internet when it comes to coloring. It’s no surprise that my free coloring pages are the most frequently downloaded of all of my coloring pages and coloring books. Even when I tried to sell a small run of printed and bound coloring books locally, shoppers would ask the sales clerk in the co-op, “Why should I pay for this when I can get coloring pages for free online?”

Well, why should you? I know why! Free coloring pages do indeed have their drawbacks. Here are eight solid reasons to invest in Candy Hippie coloring pages and coloring books.

Try my free coloring pages

A page from Advanced Flower Mandalas.

Best possible quality. I put careful attention into all of my coloring pages. The free coloring pages you find online tend to be pixellated, blemished and messy, and come in strange sizes that stretch or look weird when you print them out. Even published coloring books sometimes have messy lines. My coloring pages are different. They’re post-produced so that every line is perfectly smooth and clean: the black is perfect black, and the white is pure white. My pages are also sized to fit standard printer paper.

No hassle. Candy Hippie coloring pages always come to you in PDF format. Just print them from your PDF reader or web browser, and voila, you have a page or whole coloring book sized just right for printing, every time.

Reusable. When you color in a bound coloring book, you get just one single chance to enjoy a page and get it right. If you make a mistake, too bad. If you want to color the same page twice just for fun, you’re out of luck. To get around this, you could try photocopying the pages from a bound book, but it’s hard to get the same quality with a photocopier. Photocopying might also violate copyright. Because Candy Hippie coloring books are digital, you can print and color them as many times as you like without sacrificing quality or violating copyright.

Try my free coloring pages

A page from Loving-Kindness Mandalas.

Giftable. You are welcome to give printed copies of my coloring books to your loved ones as gifts, while also keeping copies for yourself. Because the quality is so high, recipients won’t mind that their gift came right out of your printer. They probably won’t even notice!

Unbound. Coloring in bound published coloring books can be tricky for two reasons. First, the line art on a page can be printed too close to the seam of the binding, making it hard to reach for coloring. Second, it can be hard to move a bound book around in order to color the tricky parts from just the angle you want. Because my coloring books have no binding, you’re free to color every little nook and cranny from any angle.

Try my free coloring pages.

A page from Christmas Mandalas.

Get support from someone who cares. It’s rare for a customer to run into a technical difficulty when downloading and printing Candy Hippie files, but if you have any trouble, I’m here to help. Just contact me and tell me about your issue and I’ll do my very best to help you move that coloring page from your computer screen to your coloring desk. While I’m not a tech genius and can’t guarantee a fix, I have an excellent track record for helping customers get their files printed.

Offer support to an artist and entrepreneur. Candy Hippie is just me. I’m just one girl, drawing line art, designing mandalas, building my website and getting the word out about my art wherever I can. While I’m not quite earning enough to support myself yet, I won’t give up. I really believe in what I do: creating beauty and sharing it so others may bring beauty into their lives. All devoted artists deserve to make a living by following their passion. Support me by trying my free coloring pages, by buying my coloring books, and by sharing my links with your friends. All support is joyously appreciated.

More coloring pages. The more successful my business is, the more I’ll be able to invest in making more art, which means you’ll have a greater variety to choose from and more pages to color overall.

Thanks for spending time with me to learn about what I do. For the full experience, browse my shop! :D And if you’re still not sure, I have hundreds of positive etsy ratings and tons of reviews to back me up.

My Coloring Page Muse is Back in Business!

I took over a year off! Why? Because I ran out of inspiration. I loved this work so much that I wrung myself dry and just kinda dropped out of it all one day, spent. I had no more creative energy for coloring pages. But now I’m inspired all over again and looking forward to making more stuff. My coloring page muse is back in business!

I wasn’t slacking during my time off, though — just appeasing my alter egos. Besides designing coloring pages and maintaining both this shop and my Etsy shop, I write fiction and draw pencil portraits. I’ve also been getting a lot of exercise, and generally tidying up my life and my house. I’m into organization and self-discipline lately, which is tough to do as a creative. I’m used to just going wherever my creative winds take me. And that’s exactly why I needed to get more organized. My day planner is now my best friend!

All in all, the future of Candy Hippie Coloring is bright and rainbowy. Here are some of my hopes and plans for the next few months. I may not manage to tackle everything, but I’ll try my hardest:

  • Unicorns! I’ve got a unicorn coloring book in the works. It will have both hand-drawn and mandala coloring pages in it, and probably some bookmarks too.
  • Holiday bundles. This year I’ve already made a Valentine’s Day coloring bundle and a St. Patrick’s Day coloring bundle. Next up: Easter.
  • Surprise packs. I’m going to be releasing a few small packs of secret coloring pages. You won’t know what’s in them ’til you have them. These pages won’t be available anywhere but inside the surprise packs, and there won’t be any doubles among the surprise packs.
  • Pile Pages. That is, piles of different things in a style similar to my Mushrooms coloring page, which has been such a big hit. I might even manage a whole book of pile pages!
  • Website & Etsy updates and maintenance. SEO, organization, better photos, boring stuff. You don’t want to know. Ugh, neither do I. This isn’t the fun part! :P

Thanks for sticking with me, everybody!

Markers for adult coloring: the pros and cons

“What art supply should I use for coloring?” is the second question a new colorist asks — right after answering their first question, “Hm, should I start coloring?” with “Yes!” There are markers, colored pencils, crayons, pastels, paints and more to choose from. It can be a tough decision, especially if you’ve got limited funds to invest in your new hobby. Here’s a little ditty to help you decide whether to pick up some markers to use with your adult coloring books and pages.

The pros of coloring with markers

Bright colors: Markers typically lay really bright, solid color onto the page. Dry supplies like colored pencils and crayons can end up looking relatively washed out.

Consistent application: Because markers rely on a consistent flow of ink, the color they put down is similarly consistent. You can depend on even the moderately cheap ones to put down ink in a consistent shade.

The Candy Hippie "Bicycle" adult coloring page beautifully colored with markers by Deez.Low tension: Markers won’t tempt you to press down hard to get those bright, vibrant colors. They’re a great choice for colorists who tire easily, are prone to hand cramping, or suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.

Constant precision: Markers don’t need to be sharpened. As long as you don’t press down hard with them, their felty points should stay nice and precise for a long time.

Durable: Dry coloring supplies like colored pencils and crayons are delicate. Colored pencil lead can break even inside the wood of the pencil, ruining the whole pencil, and crayons can snap into little pieces if you’re not careful. Their inky counterparts are much more durable than this.

The cons of coloring with markers

Less color variety: A package of markers often has fewer colors for the same price as a package of colored pencils. You can get a lot of color variation by layering colored pencils and crayons, but it’s not so easy to do this with markers.

Layering trouble: Since the ink always goes on bright and dark, there’s little room left on the page to add another color on top without either darkening the color too much or causing the paper to pile and tear. Most of the time you’ll have to stick with the colors you’re given without the ability to create more.

The Candy Hippie "Yin Yang Moon and Sun" adult coloring page beautifully colored with markers by Ann.Bleed-through and cross-bleeding: Most markers, excepting some of the more pricy brands and those with notations on the package, are likely to bleed through your page. This makes them a poor choice for coloring books since they could ruin the line art on the reverse of the page and sometimes even the next page too. You’ll also need to be careful about coloring printable pages with markers, since inkjet printer ink is susceptible to smudging when dampened. Laser printed and photocopied pages are marker-safe, though.

Cross-contamination: Unless the owner is practically obsessive-compulsive about it, every yellow marker ends up with a black tip. This sort of cross-contamination comes from coloring with a light color over top of a darker color — or even next to a darker color, unless you color with such precision that your tip never touches the other color while still managing not to leave any white space. Not only can your lighter markers accidentally drag a darker color into a light space, the cross-contamination can carry over to the next project. Watch out!

Indellible: It’s not easy to fix a mistake with markers. Dry pigments can be erased or at least scraped away a bit, but once you’ve markered, you’re stuck with it. You’ll need white-out to remove a mark, but white-out doesn’t carry marker very well and will probably show on your finished product. In short, you’ll need to get pretty creative to fix any mistakes.

Sudden death: Markers don’t go out with a bang or with a whimper — they just go out. Usually right in the middle of a coloring job. If you’re lucky, the color will start to fade a bit to warn you it’s about to die, but you won’t have much time. In any case, you’d benefit from having a backup of the same color.

One more tip

Don’t buy the cheapest markers you can find. They’re more likely to dry up faster and put color down inconsistently. Don’t get super expensive professional artist markers either, as you may end up paying for features you’re not even interested in using. If you’re just starting out as a colorist, start with a set of markers that’s a grade or two above the bottom of the barrel. Choose the middle path. You’ll get a good representation of markers to experiment with, and if it turns out you don’t like markers as much as other supplies there will be no need for regret.

Coloring as Loving-Kindness (Metta) Meditation

LKcoversmallI’ve finished another coloring book: Loving-Kindness Mandalas. In this book you’ll find a lot of lotus flowers (symbols of purity and compassion), hearts (symbols of love of course), meditating figures, and a dharma wheel made of dharma wheels (symbolizing wisdom and understanding). For now the book is exclusively available at candyhippie.com. I’ll make it available in my Etsy shop at a later date.

Loving-kindness meditation, or metta meditation, is a style of meditation aimed specifically at reducing negative emotions and grudges, while strengthening compassion, well-being, appreciation and generosity. Loving-kindness is a basically an exercise in focused well-wishing, with the goal of cultivating postive habits in the mind.

The first four of the twelve mandalas in the new book are named after the four qualities of love cultivated by the practice: friendly loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha). Metta is a friendly, caring and embracing warmth which reaches outward. Karuna’s compassion is about having genuine empathy for people’s difficulties. Mudita is about feeling happy for someone, appreciating and feeling joy in people’s good fortune. Equanimity is a subtle result of cultivating the other three: a consistent, calm feeling of acceptance and caring toward everyone equally.

mettathumb4These four qualities are cultivated by wishing oneself and others be well. These wishes come in many forms. The latter eight of the mandalas in this coloring book are named and designed after eight popular well-wishing meditations: “May you be filled with love and kindness,” “May you be free,” “May you be happy,” “May you be in good health,” “May you be peaceful and at ease,” “May you be safe from harm,” “May you be well,” and “May you gain understanding.”

These wishes should not only be directed ourselves and our loved ones, but also strangers, difficult people, people we dislike, and even those we consider enemies. As a popular Buddhist phrase explains, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned.” A goal of metta meditation is to gradually rid ourselves of our angers and grudges.

mettathumb5To use these mandala coloring pages for metta meditation, concentrate on the words and titles of the pages, repeat them to yourself if you’d like, and in your mind, direct them toward the people in your life as you color, envisioning your coloring activity as a freely-given gift. Color the centre for yourself, and as you move outward, color for family, friends, neutral acquaintances, people you find difficult or unlikeable, and finally enemies, if you feel you have any.

You might find it useful to make up a personal system of color symbolism to help you focus as you practice. Certain colors might symbolize different people in your life, for example.

While using these mandalas for metta medtation, remember to genuinely direct the mandalas’ messages and emotional states toward their recipients, cultivating loving-kindness in yourself. This will increase your happiness and, with practice, will naturally manifest in your actions toward others in your daily life.

If you’d like to learn more about the details of practicing metta meditation, try these resources:

18 Science-Based Reasons to Try Loving Kindness Meditation – some are new to me!

Loving-Kindness meditation – an overview by buddhanet.net.

Metta Bhavana – in-depth instructions by Venerable Sujiva.

Loving Kindness Meditation – an instructional video.

Please do try out the Loving-Kindness Mandalas coloring book. I made it in hope that others could benefit from coloring it, as I have done in practicing metta meditation and in mindfully creating these mandalas.

Hooray, 1000!

Achievement unlocked: 1000 etsy sales!

1000bBack in April, my fiancee and I went to the theater to see Cinderella. I loved its prettiness, its otherworldly optimism, the Kinkadesque guilty pleasure of it. I hadn’t even opened my shop yet, let alone made a single sale, but I was so inspired by the film that I decided I would make 1000 Etsy sales, and so on the way home I bought a bottle of ice cider that I would use to celebrate upon reaching the goal. I decorated it, placed it near my workspace, and looked at it for eight months.

1000aI reached 1000 sales at the very tip of November 30th, just after midnight. I shared the cider and some 85% dark chocolate with my fiancee, who has been a tremendous help, though it was way too sweet for his palate. More for me!

Bet you can guess what movie I paired it with.


It’s starting to look a bit like Christmas…


November 7th was my two-year Quit Smoking Anniversary. After smoking for half my life, I haven’t even touched a cigarette since 2013! I don’t miss them at all. I’m so over the constant yucky throat, the dampered smell and taste, the nagging cravings and the expense. To celebrate my quittiversary, my fiancee surpised me with some Prismacolor Scholar colored pencils. They’re nice and rich and smooth. I got them just in time to color my new Christmas Mandalas coloring book cover and thumbnails.


I decided to make a duct-tape insert for an old wire mesh box I had sitting around, so now I have a pencil case. It even has a divider to separate the new Prismacolors from the others. These are all the colored pencils I own. A lot can be done with a only a set or two of pencils! A few of my favourites have been whittled down to nubs, so my set was definitely due for replenishing.

Hiking through fall colors

Does anyone else get tree cravings? It must be a form of going stir-crazy, city-crazy, something like that. I lay awake from time to time wishing for trees, not even entirely sure what I want to do with them. Walk among them, climb them, smell them, hug them, build a house out of them in them, cremate them under marshmallows. This craving can get so strong that it physically feels like a thirst, and I wonder how common it is. I should probably read more Whitman.

Fortunately, after a year or two of strong periodic craving, I got to spend the last week before Halloween in a Tobermoy cabin with family, working on my fire-building skills, soaking in the hot tub, harnessing the power of layering, sipping cider and most importantly, hiking. We explored the peninsula between Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay in several multi-hour hikes. Between the changing seasons and the crystal clear water, the colors were just breathtaking.

And the smells of composting leaves! I’d never been hiking before and it was nice to break in my new boots, and breathe and breathe, with no car exhaust stink, no emergency sirens, no trains, no noisy student neighbor parties. There’s nothing like the beauty of silence.

We had a calm day that left the lake like glass, and a windy day that howled and whipped up the night. Sadly, we couldn’t stargaze because it was the week of the full moon, which was like a massive flashlight in the sky whenever the clouds cleared away. Next time!

I also got to test my photographer’s instincts, and in the end took over 900 pictures of rocks and trees and water. I’ll spare you most of them, but here are a few of my favorites.













I have concluded that my instincts are OK but could use some honing.

Nature is the wellspring of artistic inspiration that they say it is, and I’ve had a better fill of fall than ever. I’ll be designing more line art in anticipation of winter all the way up until Christmas time.

Halloween, mua ha ha!

Halloween is less than three weeks away! Speaking of less than three, I <3 all of you who have already picked up some of my new Halloween goodies and left glowing reviews. Thank you so much! Your support keeps me creating, and grinning like a skull all the way. Except not emaciated and/or fleshless and/or dead.

I’ve finally got everything listed today. Phew. Time to call the roll.

halloweenmandalasthumb5b 1) Twelve single Halloween mandala coloring pages. Or technically, eleven Halloween pages and one autumn/Thanksgiving page, but I figure ’tis the season to group them together.

2) One Halloween Mandalas coloring book, comprised of the above twelve individual mandalas, for less than half the cost of buying all twelve individually.

HalloweenZinethumb43) One hand-drawn Halloween Teeny Zine mini coloring book, which in my honest opinion, has not gotten enough attention! It’s my favourite of all my Halloween creations. I’ll be making a pile of copies to hand out to trick-or-treaters and I think you should too! I just knocked a half-buck off, down from $4 to $3.50. Go see!

That’s that. I might draw something more, but I’m not sure what to do. My muse might be all Halloweened out. Which means… I must find my Christmas spirit. In October. Somehow. XD

The Third Annual Windsor Marijuana March and Culture Fest

12122409_529164503898710_6869255095443191481_nThe day of the Fest was cold, wet and blustery (we’re talking four-sweaters, touque-and-mittens blustery) and the picnic-style coloring corner I set up with pillows, free coloring pages, markers and crayons didn’t get much use, but we stuck it out and had a pretty good time anyway. My hemp necklaces got all soggy, rainwater wormed its way into the pinback buttons and I couldn’t really show off my coloring books because the rain would wreck them, but I and my selling partners still managed to make a decent number of sales. I gave out nearly all of my free buttons (with business card attached, wink wink), and sold a handful of coloring books.

12108031_529164507232043_2752243169744082659_nUnsurprisingly, we were in good company. We made some new friends, danced and chatted and enjoyed comradery with kind strangers. Spirits were high (pun!) despite the rain and wet. Two bands, Border Patrol and Sound System, provided great music while momentary mists of smoke wafted up from circles of sitting stoners. Due to our table’s close proximity to the hot-box tent I came down with some spacy giggles, which were soothed by some delicious pulled pork from the Snackbar B Q tent.

marijuanamarch1When it came time to march, I adopted my favourite sign in the pile: a big charicature of PM Stephen Harper hitting a bong. It was a true work of art. I used another sign reading “I want to be leaf” (veteran X-phile here) for strength against the wind and tried to take good care of it. Alas, by the end of the marijuana march both signs were in tatters from the weather and had to be thrown away with the rest. I want to reiterate that I did not draw the charicature myself! I don’t know who the artist is, but initials on the sign read “LW.”

12108772_529164567232037_1220385693032334880_n Many thanks to friends and family for your support and assistance, the transportation, setup, cleanup and company. And more thanks to everyone at Endless Heights and the Rockhead Comedy Quarry for organizing. Looking forward to next year — and hopefully some kinder weather.

For those who attended the Marijuana March and for those who didn’t, I’ve provided the event coloring poster I made, as well as a coloring page of the mandala by itself, for FREE in the shop: here you go!