I’m trying to remember: when could it happen when I, pretty much an adult already, realised that the best Christmas present for me would be a colouring book? I had gone through a hard time and read some articles about how great effects this creative hobby has. It seemed like a good idea for me, as I wasn’t too talented for drawing or other arts involving fine motoric skills. I love to stare at paintings, but I can’t produce them myself. But the colouring book and the coloured pencils opened up a new world for me, so it was indeed a lovely present.
The first sign of the serious passion was that even during the Christmas celebrations, I didn’t really want to stop doing my new hobby. Psychologists don’t really like this, saying that the person who colours is in fact running from dealing with real problems. Of course, everyday life brought me back to “normality” and I could leave my radiantly colourful pictures alone for a while.
This might sound banal, but colouring REALLY distracts us from the tortures of our problems, and we can easily reach the mental state similar to meditation or flow with them. The pre-drawn borders of the pictures require concentration, and when choosing colours, there is no border at all! The best tactic is to ditch reality and we don’t even think about whether a squirrel or an acorn can be purple or turquoise.
The experience of creation also stays with us after we have finished the picture, because it is our colours that bring it to life. And we can even change our mind and get back to the origo with a rubber – if we use pencils instead of pens, of course.
I also observed that the creative process is even more supported if we do it while listening to music. For me, classical music, especially melodies from Mozart, help me to get in that special mindset and to feel creativity flowing in my veins and brain. And we can even feel like little children again, evoking memories from our (hopefully) happy and careless times.
My goddaughter is five and she also likes to colour with me, showing how ageless this activity indeed is. She can’t really stay within the borders, but I love to see how freely she uses colours and how little she cares about “reality”.
She also enjoys the ‘Palace of Delights’ programmes in the Müpa, which is another way for her to enjoy creative activities. In pre-covid times, it was a family programme for Sunday mornings, where music, articrafts (painting, drawing, puppet making) and theatre could happen at the same time.
Under the drastically changed circumstances, Müpa still doesn’t let children go without arts. Building upon the effective relationship between colouring and music, they have recently published a special music sheet book that includes pictures to colour and creative exercises. It also includes QR codes, fitting to the newest trends of digital technology, where children and parents can play the exclusive selection of interesting videos.
The music sheet book is designed for schoolchildren; 50000 pupils from 116 schools will receive it as a Christmas present. Musical adventures and surprises are awaiting the little readers who can learn a lot about music while playing games and having fun with the beautiful colours.
Seeing the video about the book, I wish my goddaughter was in school already. One more year left for me to be part of this heartwarming experience with her.
Article: Anna Rácz
Translation: Zsófia Hacsek