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Lisa Frank book brings adult coloring craze to a new level

Posted July 7

Around 12 million adult coloring books were sold last year, according to industry research. (Deseret Photo)

Lisa Frank, the artist behind the rainbow-colored and animal-filled designs that adorned school supplies in the 1990s and early 2000s, will soon add another title to her resume: adult coloring book creator.

"Coming soon … Lisa Frank adult coloring!!!" she posted on her Instagram account in mid-June, along with a scene from her book, which will be released in July.

"Lisa Frank shared just one image from the forthcoming coloring book: a dazzling, vibrantly colored collage, featuring a regal unicorn, a flirty bunny in a tutu, a skeptical puppy and a very excited bear," Bustle reported.

Frank's announcement is the latest and, at least for some children of the 1990s, most nostalgic development in the adult coloring craze that is sweeping through bookstores, libraries and online retailers.

"Nielsen Bookscan estimates that some 12 million were sold in 2015, a dramatic jump from the 1 million sold the previous year," The Washington Post reported earlier this year.

Coloring books have emerged as a fun and easy way for adults to reduce stress and reconnect with their younger selves.

"It's nostalgic, and it's a bit old school," said Mary Amicucci, chief merchandising officer at Barnes & Noble, to The Washington Post. "It reminds people of their childhood."

Recent research on the benefits of art therapy showed that coloring can calm people by reducing the level of stress hormones flowing through their bodies.

"Researchers had 39 adults take part in 45 minutes of art-making with markers, paper, modeling clay and collage materials," Mic reported. "Before and after the art-making, researchers measured participants' levels of cortisol — otherwise known as the stress hormone. Seventy-five percent of the participants had lower cortisol levels after 45 minutes."

The practice can also serve as a meditative tool, enabling people to focus on the pattern they're coloring in or, in the case of religious coloring books, a certain Bible verse or inspirational thought.

"In today's world of constant connectivity, coloring books take adults to a place of mindfulness and peace that's often missing from the stress-filled, screen-obsessed focus of modern life and work," the Deseret News reported last year.

Email: kdallas@deseretnews.com Twitter: @kelsey_dallas

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