The Windsor Marijuana March and Cannabis Culture Fest is coming up in a few weeks! As soon as I heard about it I knew I had to participate as a seller, which meant I needed printed books to sell, ASAP. I brought my coloring book files to Copy Shack yesterday and they were ready today. Introducing the very first printed Candy Hippie coloring books, modeled by yours truly:
I’ve got twelve copies each of Hippie Kitsch and Advanced Flower Mandalas to hock at the fair.
They’re my first books ever.
You bet I’m gonna sign ’em!
While I haven’t decided whether to sell printed books through the Candy Hippie Etsy Shop or even in my dot-com shop, these two and all the rest will be available in digital format for you to print at home or at a print shop far into the foreseeable future. I figure it makes the most sense to do it this way, since there are no shipping costs with digital files and no waiting. The valuable part is the data, not the paper, so why print and ship when we don’t have to? The future is now! :D
Still, all that said… it’s really nice to hold these babies in my hands.
I’m a busy bee playing catch-up as I try to fill my shop with all the items already listed on Etsy. I promised myself I’d update the blog at least every Monday, but I don’t quite have the time to write a comprehensive post today. Sorry, audience! (Though I doubt you’re here yet, since I haven’t started promoting the website yet, lol)
Here’s a sneak peek of an upcoming coloring page style: the Teeny Zine! It’s a six-page (eight if you count the front and back covers) little coloring book you’ll be able to fold from a single printed page. My first one will be available at the start of October and will have a Hallowe’en theme, making it the perfect treat to give to trick-or-treaters in place of (or with) some Hallowe’en candy. Here it is so far, with a pile of pumpkins, a haunted house, a spooky tree and a raven perched atop a skull with some candles.
As you can see, I still have to draw two more mini-pages, then digitize and add the front and back covers. Assembly is a little bit complicated — you’ll need a pair of scissors — but don’t worry, I’ll include instructions with the download.
Wow, this is exciting! My own website, my own shop, my own blog. My own space to serve as a ‘ground zero’ as I reach my artsy fingers out across the web distributing line art and mandalas. It’ll take a lot of work to get this place fully up and running and I look forward to the experience. I’ll make sure not to let the website development cut into my drawing and designing time too much, though.
I should tell the story of how I started making coloring pages. A few different elements coalesced. First, in February or so, I saw Johanna Basford’s “Enchanted Forest” coloring book while browsing Amazon and had to have it the moment I laid eyes on it. I bought a few mandala books too. Soon after the coloring books arrived in the mail, I started swimming laps nightly at the public pool down the road, and was so blissfully tired when I got home, all I could do was throw on some music and color for an hour or two while I recovered.
I started fantasizing about making my own coloring pages, since I have a creative streak and have been drawing from the time I could hold a pencil — though I’d almost stopped drawing entirely the last few years. Boo! That needed to change. Browsing online, I happened to discover the visionary art of artists like Alex Grey, Adam Scott Miller, Amanda Sage, Android Jones and Michael Divine. My eyes were starving. I couldn’t get enough of this wondrous, intense, profound, brightly colorful style. I also started meditating regularly. Just 20 minutes per day, an hour before bedtime, helped me feel happier, more focused and more relaxed. (I really should get back into the habit!)
I wanted to make some original, creative coloring pages, but I didn’t know how I’d sell my work. Then I discovered Etsy’s option to buy and sell instant downloads. I knew immediately that this was what I had to do with my urge to make some art. And so, in April, I was inspired to buckle down and really get to work. I brainstormed about a thousand potential drawings. I sat down and drew my first coloring book, Hippie Kitsch, over the course of a couple weeks.
During this time I also learned to digitally design mandalas, which I absolutely love doing. The symmetry is simultaneously comforting and invigorating; when it comes to math, I’ve always had a knack for geometry. I love playing with my tools and discovering what shapes come out. It’s a great problem-solving exercise, and the creation process is as meditative as the coloring process.
And now it’s time for me to start listing pages in my new shop! I’ll write again soon. Thanks for visiting. :)