Coloring Books for Grown-Ups? Portland Gets on Board

Four very Portland coloring books are coming to a store near you. Beards are a feature.

By Jack Rushall March 23, 2016

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Remember simpler times? Instead of worrying about taxes and hangovers, you used to labor over whether you wanted the sky in your coloring book to be gray or blue, and you stressed less about relationships than about coloring inside the lines. The good news is, coloring is back—and this time, it’s for grown-ups too.

Thanks to their current cool factor, adult coloring books have hustled all kinds of pop cultural matters into the limelight. Even Bernie Sanders has his own adult coloring book these days. While you're at it, check out Powell’s endcaps of late–there’s a whole world of fine lines and white space just itching for your mark out there, and some with themes and images specifically for an older audience. We count down four locally produced books that will soon be arriving to hang out with your colored pencils.

Color the Pacific Northwest

Are you kind of over the Space Needle’s, well, whiteness? What about the green of the St. Johns Bridge? Portlander Zoe Keller’s (you guessed it) Pacific Northwest-themed coloring book will help you reimagine your favorite icons from all corners of Cascadia, in the colors of your choice. You can pick it up starting May 11. If you can't wait that long, her Color the Natural World is already on the shelves.

Halcyon Trails

Halcyon Trails was produced by Rainbow Squared, a Portland-based group of former coworkers and current friends, who set up a Kickstarter to kick off pre-sales (“the silver lining” of funding, says co-founder Bernadette Dolan). Despite failing to meet their fundraising goal, they're going ahead with their plan to bring together 12 different local artists (including Beth Austin, Ryan Berkley, and Mark Carlisle) who have designed pages that are tangibly Portland (yes, you can color in a vegan food cart). “Halcyon Trails should be available just in time for summer,” Dolan says. You can pre-order them by emailing Rainbow Squared.

The Post-Structuralist Vulva Coloring Book

What do you expect from the only city in America that comes immediately to mind when the words “feminist bookstore” are dropped? Local illustrator Meggyn Pomerleau’s The Post-Struturalist Vulva Coloring Book offers pages featuring female genitalia in creative contexts such as a wave in the ocean or as the mouth of a shark. Intrigued? Grab your own copy starting September 1.

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The Beard Coloring Book

Here’s one for the guys. Pomerleau’s The Beard Coloring Book offers lots of trippy illustrations of facial hair. Oh, and some beards of a different sort. The catch? It's not out till September 29.


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