Coloring Book Day 2019

Angela Porter's Coloring Book Fans August Template ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans August Template ©Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

That’s right, there’s an annual day to celebrate coloring books and to indulge yourself in the relaxing, calming, stress-busting activity of coloring, no matter your age or gender!

As you can see if you browse this blog, I do a lot of art. Whether drawing, colouring, or other forms of creativity in art it really does relax, calm and soothe me when I need it.

And there are times when I really do need calming and relaxing. It’s no secret to anyone who has followed my blog for a while that I have complex PTSD (CPTSD) and I am slowly recovering from it with the help of EMDR therapy. On the days where I have low mood or anxiety or I’ve been startled into hyper-vigilance, art really helps to soothe my jarred emotions and calm me until the stress hormones leach from my body returning to their normal level for me. That is still an elevated level, but a level that has always been there in my life.

It’s not just me saying this. Research has shown that spending time colouring has a similar effect on the brain as mindfulness meditation.

One piece of research at the University of West England in Bristol has shown that colouring can reduce stress, boost creativity and increased mindfulness (being aware of what you are doing at that moment, not thinking about the future or past).

The benefits of colouring are listed in an article on the developing good habits blog.

There are so many coloring books available as well as colouring pages, you can find just about anything to suit your tastes. Also, I have many colouring books available (I think it’s around 20 now) – have peek at at my Angela Porter Amazon author page.

If you like to draw your own designs to colour and are looking for something new and a little different, then you may like to take a look at my book ‘A Dangle A Day’. In the book I show you what dangles are, how to draw them and use them with hand lettered sentiments and monograms. They’re fun to draw, simple, and there are many ways to use them such as in bullet journals (BuJos), planners, journals, scrapbooks, greetingscards, note cards, bookmarks and more.

Also, I gift an exclusive template to the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group at least once a month. They’re free to members and shouldn’t be available anywhere else, though intellectual theft isn’t unknown in the realms of the internet.

The image above is the August template for the facebook group. I coloured it digitally using gradient tools for some speed. It would take me weeks to do the way I’ve been creating digital art of late!

No matter what you use to colour – digital or traditional media – I’d love to see how you’ve brought my line art to life, whether from one of my books or from one of the templates available in the facebook group. There’s also some templates available on my angela porter illustrator facebook page too.

Here’s the tags you can use to connect with me on the social media platforms that I use:

August’s Coloring Template

Coloring Template for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group for August 2019 © Angela Porter | Artwyrd

Each month, I design a coloring template that is an exclusive free gift for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

It’s my little way of saying thank you for supporting my work. I have also posted a colour palette colouring challenge for the month, which colorists can use with this template or any other template from my books, the choice is entirely theirs.

I had some fun drawing this one. I’ve missed drawing cute fishies and the like. I even sneaked a couple of simple dangles in there too.

You’d be made most welcome if you pop along and join in. It is a friendly group for sure.

I’m looking forward to seeing how people bring this one to life with colour for sure.

I drew this one with Unipin pens from Uniball on Winsor and Newton Bristol Board. Yes, traditional drawing. I did use digital tools to clean up some smudges and where the lines went a little too far into another section, but that was it.

Hello July!

July 2019 Colouring Template for members of the Angela Porter Illustrator's Coloring Book Fans facebook group ©Angela Porter 2019 | Artwyrd.com
July 2019 Colouring Template for members of the Angela Porter Illustrator’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group ©Angela Porter 2019 | Artwyrd.com

Can you believe it? Half of 2019 has passed to history. Time has flown by.

With the start of July I also have an exclusive coloring template available free to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This is my way of saying thank you to those who follow my work, particularly the colouring books I have created.

If you’d like to download and colour, you need to be a member of the group and agree to follow the T’s & C’s.

I’m looking forward to seeing what members of the group will do with this one! I love to see the different colour schemes and media that they use to bring the drawing to life with the magic of colour.

To create this template, I started with a sketch on square gridded paper. It was a very basic sketch with just outline shapes, lines and so on. I then scanned it into the Surface Studio and completed this drawing using my Surface Pen along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

I had to include some of my favourite design elements – butterflies, stars, flowers, fungi, seed pods, arches and geometric patterns.

It was fun to draw, even the sketch was as I love to use a Koh-i-Noor Magic pencil to do the sketching with, one that has quite different colours in the lead so that I get a fair rainbow of colours.

I’m warming to sketching things out before drawing them in ink (either traditional ink/pens or digital) to give me a skeleton I can put flesh on in terms of details and patterns.

So Angela Porter, how are you feeling today?

I’m feeling contented. My stomach/digestive system is back to normal. All just in time for today’s EMDR session this afternoon.

That’s all I have to say about that today. I’m sure I’ll have more tomorrow post EMDR.

Work in progress

Work In Progress ©Angela Porter 2019 - Artwyrd.com
Work In Progress ©Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

It’s a new month so that means a new coloring template is available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group, and this is the template! I thought I’d add some colour to it before I head out for the rest of the day.

I drew the template with Fudenosuke pens from Tombow on Bristol Board from Winsor and Newton. The paper is A4 in size (that’s approx. US letter size).

I’ve started coloring it digitally (Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen, Microsoft Surface Studio), as that’s what I’m enjoying at the moment.

This month I’ve gone for my signature entangled style of art, but using the Fudenosuke pens, which I’m really enjoying using, gives varying linewidths and heavier lines and a more graphic feel to the art.

It’s free to join the group, there are some terms and conditions attached to the template use. If you’d like to download and colour the image then pop along to the group and you’d be made most welcome!

I’d also love to see how you colour this template. Yes, really, I would!

Tomorrow is Time to Talk Day

©Angela Porter 2019

I’ve created two coloring templates for Time To Talk Day, which is tomorrow, and the art above was created using one of them, but more about that later in this wittering.

Time to Change Day and mental health

The whole idea of the day is to get people talking about mental health. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 of us, yet people are still afraid to talk about it. There’s still a huge stigma surrounding mental ill-health and that leads to discrimination of those experiencing mental illness.

I’m one of the 1 in 4. My cPTSD means that I am constantly anxious and it’ doesn’t take much of a trigger to get me into a full state of panic. I can have bouts of depression, nowadays not as deep or dark as they have been in the fairly recent past. I get emotional flashbacks to times of trauma. I don’t remember many traumatic experiences, but my body remembers the feelings associated with that trauma and I experience them yet again, retraumatising me.

Thanks to EMDR, however, these emotional flashbacks are less common and sometimes aren’t quite as intense, sometimes just as intense.

I have a whole host of other issues related to cPTSD and a quick google will bring back lots of information if you’re interested.

Tomorrow I will have my champions hat on for Time to Change Wales as I go to give an anti-stigma talk to a group of police officers in Ton Pentre and then on to man (woman?) a stand in Port Talbot after that. That means I won’t be parking in the police station car park again after my last experience there!

The anti-stigma talk has me telling people a little about Time To Change Wales, the statistics for mental illness, what stigma and discrimination there are and then I tell my story of my mental illness.

The talks wipe me out emotionally. I end up exhausted and often with what I call an emotional ‘hangover’ – I feel headachy and spaced out, sometimes quite upset too.

However, I consider that a small price to pay if my talks (and my blogs) help one person to recognise their mental health isn’t what it should be, or to find the courage to seek help as they know they are struggling.

It’s also important as meeting champions who have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems helps to break the stereotypes of what people with mental illnesses look like and behave.

I’m well on my path to recovery. I don’t know if that will be a full recovery from cPTSD or whether it will be a good enough recovery that I’m resilient to lifes ups and downs, that I’ll be able to form meaningful relationships, trust people, be able to travel by myself, be able to go places because I can go there not because I have to have some reason…and more.

I know that crowded, noisy places are always likely to be a no no – I don’t appear it, but I am an introvert. I learned to wear a mask of extroversion (among other masks) when I was very young and that mask kind of protects what is beneath it. Wearing that mask is exhausting.

So, back to the art.

I’ve created two coloring templates for Time to Talk Day 2019. Originally they were for the colouring day being run as part of Time to Talk Day at the Welsh Office! I’ve also made the templates available to Time to Change Wales and Mind have copies of them too, so they’ll be available over social media.

I’ll also be adding them to my facebook page – Angela Porter Illustrator as well as on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group too.

To create the art above I used one of the templates as a basis for the art. I think you’ll agree that this is a very different piece of art from me. It’s rather graphic and quite 1960s psychedelic too!

I had a lot of fun doing this artwork and I’m surprisingly happy with the result.

It is digital art; I used my usual trio of Microsoft Surface Studio, Microsoft Surface Pen along with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to create it, along with my creativity.

October’s Coloring Template

Angela Porters Coloring Book Fans facebook group October 2018 small

It’s that time of the month again – the release of my ‘freebie’ coloring template in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Autumn is my favourite time of year and Hallowe’en is my favourite ‘festival’. Not the dressing up or trick or treat and rowdiness, though I do appreciate the excitement that the little ones have about the spookiness and slight scariness that it all brings.

I just enjoy the atmosphere at this time of year that the darker nights and changing colours and falling leaves bring. It’s the time of year where I really appreciate candle light during the evenings, creating a cosier environment at home.

There’s a little more to it than that, but I can’t quite find the words for it at the moment.

Anyhoo, this whimsical, cute colouring template is available only to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s free to join. I create one template a month just for the members (sometimes I surprise them with a second one, and in the run up to Christmas I try to do a couple a week to help with de-stressing). Pop over and join a fair number of like-minded, friendly people.

Hello September!

Angela Porter September Template 2018 small

September 2018’s coloring template

A new month begins and a coloring template for September 2018(above) for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group is now available.

If you’d like to access to September 2018’s uncoloured template, which is exclusive to members of the group, just wander over to the group, join and download. Please note, that terms and conditions do apply.

I drew this in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my Microsoft Surface Studio using my Microsoft Surface Pen.

Autumn is a-coming!

With the calendar turning to September, my heart lifts with the expectation of the glory of nature as autumn asserts it’s influence.

It’s my favourite season of the year. I love the bright, vivid colours that replace the darker, duller greens of summer. Nature’s picks out it’s most glorious paintbox and sets the world alight in fiery autumnal hues.

I also luxuriate in the cooler evenings and mornings and look forward to waking up to see dew, or even frost, on Binky, my Smartcar.

The fresh, clean, clear air that the turning season brings blows away the dustiness of the hot, dry summer.

There’s also the return of the pleasure and comfort of snuggling up under a duvet as night time is cooler. Not to mention the relief of sleeping well throughout the night.

There are other things I’m looking forward to this year too.

It’s hard to remember now the fear and trepidation that the return to school as a teacher that would come with the start of this month as the new school year starts.

Now, I look forward to the start of the new school year as the world is calmer, quieter during the school day and I can begin to venture forth from my home without my CPTSD panic kicking in when I hear the sound of teenagers shouting and arguing and swearing and being belligerent, just them being themselves really.

It’s not their fault, I know, but their sounds are triggers for my fear, anxiety, panic and cause me to want to hide in a quiet dark corner of my safe home. So much so, that I find it so difficult to venture out of my front door during daytime during the school holidays.

Through therapy, I will overcome this, but the reaction is so ingrained in me and goes right back to my earliest years; teaching, dealing with the dramas of teens on a daily basis as well as being the focus for some to vent their anger, just reinforced these automatic responses. This means not just unraveling the web of trauma that resulted in the panic response, it means learning a healthy response to such triggers, one that I’ve never, ever had in the first place.

Now, with the start of the school year, and a daytime world that is quieter, I’ll be able to find my courage to venture forth during the day once again. Maybe not often, but from time to time.

With it being my favourite season, with the theme of my next book being forests, to sketch and find inspiration in woods and forests during autumn is something I want to do this year.

It’s all part of my road to recovery from CPTSD. Autumn always feels like a time of new starts, more so than New Year. As nature begins to shed what is unnecessary so survival through winter is possible, so I work on shedding the trauma that has kept me in a metaphorical winter in terms of my mental and emotional health for a very, very long time.