The story behind the Horse Play colouring books

The irony behind this is that when I was little, I didn't much care for colouring. In fact, I'd often somewhat spitefully scribble outside the lines. 

Fast forward a couple decades, and when I saw adult colouring books popping up, I was fascinated. I'm of the opinion that grown-ups spend way too much time trying to be grown up and not enough time having fun. They're incredibly relaxing - you get to do something with your hands, forget about your worries, and you end up with a great piece of art to hang on the wall. 

True to the S&S mentality of "put a horse on it," the idea stewed in my head for a few months of doing an equine themed colouring book. While sitting in our booth at the Mane Event last October, I started doodling. No one can call me out for slacking if I'm the boss, right? Well, one of them. Tina "gets" the whole art thing, thank heavens. 

Much to my surprise, people would catch a glimpse of this horse head mandala from a distance, and crowd in for a closer look. I guess there's something about a lot of interconnected black lines on white paper that is very satisfying to look at. 

And so the colouring book was born. I may not be a fan of colouring myself, but I got the same zen-like experience out of doing the black-and-whites as other people did filling them in. After a couple months, I had enough for a book, and the rest is history. 

Doing the shapes can be tricky, so I used lines referenced straight from equine anatomy - the curve of a stifle joint, the angle of their shoulder muscles. I've had people use words like "tribal" and "celtic" to describe them, and to be completely honest I think they're a little bit influenced by the aboriginal art of my hometown of Sechelt. Their amazing work is all contained shapes within contained shapes - no broken lines. It's inspired by the flowing lines of light on rippling water. 

I love that horses are a big ball of spirit and energy, sometimes almost bursting to get out. They're a perfectly designed locomotion machine, and I aimed to use those energy flows in the artwork. We had such a great response to the graphics that they're now being screen printed onto some very luxe bamboo tees and canvas tote bags (gasp! I let the secret out!) Look for them on the site later this week. 

As for the tangible product, you know we like to brag about our stuff being top notch here at S&S. The pages are thick card stock - so thick that you could paint on it. We bound them with detachable rings instead of traditional binding, so that it lays flat and comes apart easily… it's also lefty-friendly! Because we love lefties (Tina is one). 

If you still need to be convinced, my granny gave a raving review. Just saying. Grannies know best. 

Fingers itching for some horsey zen time? Shop the books here.