The adult craze for colouring-in has taken hold in Canberra.
Colouring-in is said to have benefits when it comes to de-stressing and achieving mindfulness. The tactile nature of the task, and the focus it requires, have a positive effect on people whose minds are otherwise working overtime, and who might struggle to concentrate on the present.
Now, Canberra artist Paul Summerfield has produced a colouring book that draws the user into a world of secret cities and hidden, imaginary places.
Secret Cities: Onsens and floating gardens is Summerfield's first foray into the world of colouring books, and was inspired by a trip he took to Japan in 2009, from which he returned with dozens of sketches.
"I have been drawing line art for years, and even made adult colouring zines back in 2010, so it has been an interest for a long time," Summerfield says. "But these drawings kind of got shelved for a rainy day while other projects and exhibitions have kept me occupied.
"For the past two years, my friends and family have been dropping hints that my line drawings would make a great colouring book."
Summerfield decided to make the project a reality by crowdfunding for production costs through the online platform Kickstarter. His campaign has already far exceeded the initial goal of $350, with more than $3000 raised so far, and still time to donate – until October 10.
Summerfield's ultimate goal is to raise $10,000, which will allow him to significantly expand the scope of the project.
"If I reach or go beyond $10,000, I plan to produce a CD of local Australian and Canberra musicians and bands, which will come with the colouring book and add an extra dimension to the colouring-in experience," Summerfield says.
The book will build on Summerfield's extensive portfolio of work. The artist has exhibited in Canberra numerous times, and has had his intricate work on display in several murals at the Canberra Hospital, as well as many other projects and commissions.
Recently, Summerfield created artwork to cover an entire car, for the Volkswagen Community Drive, which was raffled for charity.
Secret Cities gives Summerfield a chance to open his work up for experimentation and play for his audience.
"I want people to engage with the fantastical cities and places I have created for this book and through all my artworks. I hope it inspires others to take up drawing, play with colour and enjoy being creative. I want people to make my illustrations their own, by adding moods, colour combinations and extra elements which only they can imagine."
Find out more about the Secret Cities: Onsens and floating gardens Kickstarter campaign at kickstarter.com/projects/psummerfield/secret-cities-a-colouring-book-for-everybody.