The Anti Coloring Books


ImageHave you heard of the Anti Coloring Books by Susan Striker?  They are alternative drawing books, developed to promote originality and creativity in children.

If you’re like me, you probably grew up with the traditional coloring books; you know, the ones with the stereotyped pictures drawn by adults.  We were told to do our best and color in them and STAY WITHIN THE LINES.  They’ve been around so long, they seem natural and normal.  And we in turn have given them to our children.  But if you think about it, where is the creativity in these?  A child is told to color a picture someone else drew, and is applauded when he/she stays within designated boundaries. With the exception of maybe different colors, everyone’s product looks the same.  It reminds me of  cars made on an assembly line: they are all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

Here’s another thought:  When children color in the “traditional” coloring books, they see only the stereotype images.  When they are asked to draw their own picture, what will they do?  Try and copy what they’ve seen, of course.  And feel inferior when their drawing doesn’t look much like the one in the coloring book.

Our children deserve a chance to reach into their own mind and share an original idea.   They deserve a chance to share their own visual impressions.  Children’s art work is fresh and real, unique to them.  They are born artists!  I think, as adults, we can help nurture this ability by promoting and encouraging them to make their own drawings and coloring them.  They can do it!  And they like doing it.

Check out Susan and see for yourself.  This lady is an educator, author, and founder of an art school among many other things.  Read about her ideas and see what you think.

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