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. ^_^
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I’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.
These 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.
To 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.
Back 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.
I 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.
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.
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.
3) 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 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. :)