If you thought colouring books were a thing of the past, confined mainly to your childhood, well, good news for you: they are making a comeback, and how. The latest trend taking over the US and China is also making its way to India, with people resorting to colouring books as a stress-buster. After recognising the potential of these books in therapy, Crossword, under its publishing arm The Write Place, has decided to introduce the books to the Indian audiences and teamed up with Humming Whale to design the books.
Founded by Ayush Jain and Mirik Gogri, IIT-Bombay grads, Humming Whale is young, restless and brimming with out of the box ideas – and they seem to be the perfect guys as far as designing something quirky and innovative goes. When we at NearFox heard about these books, which carry amazing sketches of Indian cities, we were equal parts fascinated and curious.
Here’s all the dope you need on these path-breaking books and what they offer.
When the idea of a colouring book came up, the team took inspiration from The Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book by Johanna Basford that had highly detailed designs centered around nature. Ayush felt that for a colouring book to work in India, it had to look Indian, be Indian and feel Indian. We felt an Indian audience would relate better to something that evokes a feeling of nostalgia and curiosity and what better than Indian cities? he says. He also adds that while nature and its surroundings work with a global audience, it wouldnt work with Indians who have an affinity towards anything desi.
When in India, do as the Indians do
The doodles of Indian cities have a dual purpose, says illustrator Jeenal Patel. Inspired by her travels, she has recreated intricate designs of prominent Indian cities, including the ones that should be on one’s travel bucket list. What we loved about the book was its attention to detail, and the flow from the start to the end. Travel is also a great way to unwind and relax, which Jeenal hopes her doodles will inspire people to do, keeping with the idea behind the books.
The book takes users on a tour of India starting at the North in Delhi, then moving West, South, upwards East and finally back to the North. Going with the theme, we loved the use of cute trucks throughout the book. Every doodle has a good mix of typically Indian things synonymous with the city in question as well as the lesser known, but equally important elements that form the essence of the city.
The Therapy of Travel
While psychologists across the world recommend colouring books as an outlet for creativity, the team behind ‘Around India in 40 Doodles’ decided to take things up a notch. Firm believers in the therapy of travel, Ayush and Jeenal hope that the book will inspire people to recreate Indian cities using their own imaginations and connect with their hometowns, cities theyve traveled to and the ones they wish to travel to. Hence the colouring book is as much a stress buster as it is a collectible and travel wishlist.