Becoming a coloring book artist has been a very interesting journey. I've gone from someone who was basically doodling and coloring for my own self support alone on my couch to someone with multiple coloring books available, a Facebook Artist page with over 1200 followers and an active Facebook coloring group for adults, plus active artist Instagram and Twitter accounts. It's crazy and fun.
My mom told me to do a coloring book when I started drawing in 2012 and I was finally able to do that in 2015. I had no idea what I was doing. I'd never self published a book before, nor had I ever paginated a book. I do have some graphic design experience from previous experience as the Creative Director for a retail advertising department, but it's been many years since I've done much graphic design work. Nonetheless, I was able to figure it out and my first book, Get Coloring Get Happy was released in late August, 2015.
Again, I had no expectations of what this meant. I had a vague idea that if you create a coloring book people might color in it! I was mostly focused on that miracle fact that I had actually created a coloring book! A coloring book...for real! If you entered Kim A. Flodin in the Amazon search bar, a book with my name showed up! I had gone my sitting alone on the couch making doodles to creating a book!
Of course when you create something and take the somewhat daunting step to share it with the world, you can only hope that someone not only enjoys it, but finds value in it. It wasn't long before I had more coloring books out and I started hearing from those someones. It was amazing. One of the first women I met who also has been a faithful supporterr and colorist of my work is Nancy Mastandrea Lombardi. She was a prize winner of a coloring event I participated in last December and she has been coloring my work ever since. I believe she told me recently that she has colored over 50 of my pictures! I just love that and I love Nancy...she's a honey and I love and appreciate seeing her bright and cheery colored creations regularly on my Facebook feed).
Nancy is just one of an amazing group of women I've come to know and call my friends all because I created a coloring book and stepped outside my comfort zone. I plan to be featuring more of them here, but I'd like to start with Nancy, the first Woman Who Colors Profile in what I hope becomes an ongoing feature.
Like many women who color, Nancy started in response to a life crisis and a recommendation from her grief counselor.
She explains, “I started coloring after a stressful time, being my mother's caretaker after a stroke and family issues. Before I started coloring, I used to do a lot of card-making, scrap-booking, and stamping. I still enjoy them, but coloring is Number 1. I think coloring is bringing out my artistic side, which I didn't even know I had. Maybe I can find a way to combine them.”
She continues, “I thought, I'll buy a coloring book and some crayons and see how it goes. Didn't think I'd do much. Little did I know; it would be part of every day.”
Like most of us, Nancy colored as a child and remembers her first memory of coloring outside the lines. As an adult she recalls buying her first book and colored pencils. Her first picture she colored is shown here. Two simple mandalas that made a big impact on Nancy’s life and her ability to deal with her grief over her mother.
These two mandalas are the first picture Nancy colored as an adult colorist.
She says, “When I color, it is relaxing and I think it helps me feel better about myself especially when I post pictures and get feedback from others.” (END PART ONE)
Nancy Mastandrea Lombardi - Part 2
Like me, she agrees that one of the best things that has happened since she started coloring is meeting so many people both in person and online who color. While the worst thing is not being able to buy all the books or supplies she wants to.
Nancy really felt like she accomplished something when she finished this very detailed
and beautifully colored owl!
“I've met a lot of people online who are involved in coloring...some are colorists like me and some are the artists who draw the pictures to color. Everyone is very encouraging.”
Nancy has been surprised at how much she enjoys coloring and how many different coloring books and artists there are to choose from. She enjoys finishing coloring a picture and says she feels happy with how it turns out, like she’s accomplished something. She has a sense of satisfaction.
Nancy said, "Coloring this, made me happy. It's not like most of the stuff I like to color,
but I have three kitties, so this was really fun for me."
Nancy’s friends and family are also encouraging and interested in her coloring and she’s quick to share how relaxing it is and how for the time you're working on a picture, you forget about everything else. She also advises, “Anyone can do it. You don't need to decide what colors to use before you sit down. Just go with the flow.”
This blue butterfly hold a special place for Nancy in her coloring journey, she explains, "When you grieve for a loved one, they compare it to a caterpillar and when you are ready to move on, not forget the person, just get to the point where you are okay with it, you become the butterfly. I colored it when I was just getting to that point. My grief counselor had several different images for me to choose from and that seemed appropriate."
Nancy says it’s interesting when my friends and family find out she colors as an adult, they ask what she uses to color her pictures and how does she decide what colors to use? How do you get started?
She tells them that getting started is easy enough to do. It doesn't cost a lot to start. You don't need a lot of supplies to color. There are so many books to choose from, you can find something that fits your style or talent(?) There is no right or wrong color, she advises.
This is Nancy's favorite picture she's colored by me (and she's colored a lot of them). She says she emjoyed this one because the color choices were outside her comfort zone, but she really loved it when it was finished. (This picture is in Get Coloring Get Happy and was also featured as a coloring page for The Colors of Your Week, which included the coloring palette shown here.
When Nancy’s not coloring, you might be surprised to find out she’s a NASCAR fan, and has a weekly football date with her husband. She also enjoys watching TV, playing with her kitties, going to the movies, dining out with her husband and lunching with friends.
Thank you so much, Nancy for sharing with us and being the first featured Women Who Colors!
Kim A. Flodin
Hi! I'm Kim! I market my artwork under the name Keleki Love. I started drawing in 2012 to help with stress. I drew and I colored. I drew oftentimes expressly so I could color... it was a completely complementary and healing process. From the beginning, my mom said to make a coloring book. Finally in the late summer of 2015, I did and the rest is history. It's been a complete trip. What a gift of healing and joy this art has brought to myself and others. Thank you to the art and thank you to you for supporting it.