Between sleep deprivation, exam stress, and caffeine overloads, sometimes college students just need to be kids again. And what better way to do it than with an artsy outlet that connects you to the carefree days of old? If you’re in need of a jumpstart to youth, take a shot at these grown-up adaptions of your favorite kindergarten pastime. Some are body positive, some are feminist-minded, and some are just for laughs. In the moment it takes to color one page, you’ll gain enough fun-fuel to keep on kicking academic ass.
1. Unicorns Are Jerks: Exposing the Cold, Hard, Sparkly Truth by Theo Nicole Lorenz
If you desperately need comic relief from a stressful semester, this book delivers via rude unicorns. Color in their various escapades as they text in movie theaters, hog the playground ball pit, and neglect to change the toilet paper roll. You may never look at doe-eyed Lisa Frank unicorns the same way again.
2. The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas by Morgan Hastings
Hilarity aside, this book is kind of a must-have in a world where women’s bodies are constantly slandered as gross, bizarre or abnormal. In illustrating a wide variety of different ~lady parts~, Hastings asserts that every body is beautiful in its uniqueness.
3. Thrill Murray by Mike Coley, Brooke Olsen, + many other illustrators
If you love Bill Murray (and who doesn’t love Bill Murray?), then this is the book for you. The pages are filled with portraits of his many characters, from Peter in Ghostbusters to Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic. Here a Bill Murray, there a Bill Murray, everywhere a Bill Murray.
4. Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace: A Body-Positive Coloring Book by Theo Nicole Lorenz
Join forces with bad-ass curvy girls as they fight aliens and look good doing it. Maybe I’m cheating by putting two books by Theo Nicole Lorenz on here but this gem is too great not to include. As the author herself says, “There’s a whole universe of body types out there, and they all deserve to be represented.” All hail the coloring book queen.
5. The Indie Rock Coloring Book by Yellow Bird Project
Featuring illustrations and activities with more than 20 indie musicians (including Rilo Kiley, The Shins, and Devendra Banhart), this book was made with a better cause in mind than simply hipster street cred. All proceeds go to charities chosen by the artists.
6. Girls Are Not Chicks by Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak
With the help of your crayons, this book smashes gender stereotypes in full color. The authors envision a wider world for girls with illustrations of ballerinas heading to mechanics class and saying “NO” to carb-free diets.
7. Coloring Outside the Kitchen by Casey Landau
Many incredible women finally get the attention they deserve in this powerful feminist coloring book. Landau spotlights the achievements of ladies like Michelle Obama, Yoko Ono, and Frida Kahlo in beautiful portraits and illustrations. While all the other books are available through Amazon.com, Landau is an artist who sells through Etsy. You can find her shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/coloringoutside.
Have fun and keep coloring, twenty-somethings!
Books are available through Amazon.com and Etsy.com. All images were obtained though Amazon, Etsy, and Google Images.