Local artist Deanna Brown's first colouring book became available through Amazon on May 5.
The Ultimate Mandala offers over 300 unique, stress-relieving and charming designs to be coloured, enjoyed and potentially turned into decoration pieces. Brown said that it took her quite a bit of time to generate the collection, but she hadn't been thinking about publishing a book until recently.
"I've been curating the content for a few years because I love to colour and design mandalas. So it's just been a hobby. And I had a few saved on my computer. Then I discovered that I could self-publish as long as Amazon approved it. So I decided to go ahead," Brown explained.
Some of the designs were created by Brown, a well-established Bienfait artist who has dabbled in a variety of mediums and had a personal exhibition in Estevan before the pandemic. Other pieces were developed by independent artists.
"It's curated content, so I've worked with some freelance artists, to help me create content that I can use commercially," Brown explained.
She's been into colouring and developing mandala designs for a while now, and found a lot of joy in this hobby, as it has way more in it than just lines. So once she came across an opportunity, she decided to share her love for it with others.
"I've always been an artist, but I really started getting into mandala about 10 years ago. And then I was a special guest speaker in the high school in some of the math classes, teaching students how to draw a mandala because it uses symmetry, and geometry, and angles, and measuring. So I would come in usually once a semester, and a few of the math teachers would have me in to teach a class on mandala because it helps teach students geometry," recalled Brown.
Once she put a collection of designs together and the decision to publish a book was made, it didn't take long to get it going. In about three weeks, everything was set and done, and a print-on-demand publication became available to the public all over the world.
"The publishing was not bad, as long as you follow the guidelines. You just upload your creations, and then it goes through an approval process for Amazon and they approve or deny them. So they approved mine after my third try. (We had) to make sure it was going to print correctly," Brown said.
The colouring book has hundreds of relieving mandala designs to provide hours of fun relaxation and stress relief through creative expression. Designs range in complexity and detail from beginner to expert level.
"It's more of an adult colouring book," Brown said. "Most of the designs are fairly intricate. There are a few simpler designs included. Anyone who can pick up a crayon can colour these designs, but it's focused more on the adults."
Well-crafted illustrations and designs lay the groundwork to create frame-worthy masterpieces. The images are printed in high resolution to offer sharp designs that enable trouble-free colouring and high-quality display. Besides, every image is printed on a single-sided page, so there is no risk of bleed through no matter what kind of colouring materials are used.
Brown said she uses a variety of materials to colour her mandalas, including crayons, pencil crayons and alcohol markers. It's also possible to tear the pages out and use paint or watercolour. Afterwards, pages can be framed to display coloured masterpieces.
Brown said once the book is ordered, it takes about two or three days to print it and then a few more to get it delivered. And then the art meditation can begin.
"Thanks to anybody who takes a look. And special thanks to anybody who buys one," Brown said.