Chicago, Ill., Dec 21, 2017 / 04:13 am
Coloring books for adults have exploded onto the bookstore scene in the past few years. What was once considered a hobby for the kids is now all the rage for people who are full-grown.
While the most popular books out there feature images of gardens, forests and beautiful patterns, Ave Maria Press and Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui are creating adult coloring books that draw from something else: the tradition of medieval Catholic art.
Mitsui, who lives in Chicago with his wife and their three children, specializes in ink drawing and describes his style as very graphic, with “precise edges and sharp outlines.” He’s heavily inspired by Catholic art from the 14th and 15th century, but is also influenced by the graphic elements of Japanese art, particularly with how it treats light and shadow.
While Mitsui told CNA that he hadn’t paid much attention to the adult coloring book trend at first, he has done a lot of work in black and white, which works well for the medium. He would print a lot of images in black and white and then color them in to sell as hand-colored images, and he would give his children the extra prints, or the prints that didn’t turn out just right, for them to color.
“I would save all of the ones that didn’t pass my quality control, and I would give them to my kids to color at Mass,” he told CNA.
“I have small children who have a hard time paying attention so I would give them some of these coloring sheets. And friends of mine started asking for them and I thought, you know, I should really make this available to the public.”
With this in mind, Mitsui started adding the black and white images – usually of saints or other religious images – to his website, so that parents could access them for their kids and leave a little donation. Almost immediately, he was contacted by Ave Maria publishing company about creating a book for adults.
His first book features images from the mysteries of the rosary. Mitsui had been privately commissioned for a project on the rosary a few years back, and so he said it was easy to compile those images and create a coloring book with a unifying theme.