Hello adult coloring fans! Gift season is just around the corner and Colorplaner found the best way you can present your love and affection to another person by doing what you love most! Read on to find out who is behind the great idea of turning coloring pages into surprise gifts under the Christmas tree!
Q:First of all tell us little something about yourself.
We’re a wife and husband team (Dominika and Milan) who publish under a pen name – Ruby Phoenix. Our family name (Radosavljevic) is just way too difficult to remember, spell, pronounce… We live in Glasgow, a gem of a city in Scotland, but originally we come from Slovenia (South-central Europe). Producing coloring books is our hobby and it isn’t even sad as we truly enjoy making them but none of us has enough patience for coloring itself.
Q: How did you start to color? When did this attraction begin?
Dominika is an art teacher so for her anything artistic comes naturally. But Milan is an Engineer, regularly attending boring meetings and drawing patterns – the source of many fantastic specimens. We saw Johanna Basford’s and Millie Marotta’s creations and realized we want to do this too. We have found something that we both love so much.
Q: Do you use coloring as a small getaway from the real world?
Creating coloring books, yes, but coloring itself is not for us. We have friends who are real coloring enthusiasts, but we both prefer creating coloring patterns so other people can color in. Win-win perhaps?
Q:You are the creator of Color me Fold me. A new concept of coloring. Where did this idea come from? What inspired you?
We know it will sound like a cliché but after a long and well deserved holiday, I (Dominika) decided to create my own coloring book. Milan liked the idea but didn’t really warm up to it until one night he woke up at 4am, dreaming about this new concept. Of course, he woke me up as well and talked about it in a bit of an erratic early-morning chaos of words. Over the next few weeks he perfected designs so all the shapes could be assembled after cutting out as easily as possible – an engineering mind. He then took his meetings notebook with dozens of draft patterns from countless meetings and started working on decorations. It all looked so easy but there were weeks of work to make sure everything fits.
Q: Do you work with a team? If so, how many people you work with?
Yes, we are a team but in the latter stage we also involved DesignCrowd designers in a competition to get as Christmassy cover design as possible. Leuchi from France has created by far the best design – the closest you can get to the Christmassy theme. She is now part of the team as we plan to use her skills in the future as well. Apart from the three of us, there are our kids who are enjoying and critiquing every step of the way.
Q:Which patterns you find most enjoyable to put on your coloring pages?
We don’t really have a preference as all of them emerge from combining various different ideas. They are all beautiful in their own way although Milan’s incredibly intricate mandalas are something else. However, some of the forthcoming books will have a completely different coloring angle. Something for everyone. I am good at natural motives, Milan is good with patterns and a combination of both brings a mixture that is novel in the coloring books genre.
Q:How long does it take to make a coloring page?
It depends. Natural patterns take a few weeks per page – including sketching with a pencil, tracing with a marker and then digital tracing. Mandalas and decorations take less, perhaps one per day. But coloring plus perfecting assembly may take a few extra days for each page. It doesn’t look like much, but for 40+ coloring pages, it takes several months to create a decent coloring book.
Q: In your opinion, why would your coloring book Color me, Fold me appeal to adults?
Coloring is already well accepted by adults and so is paper craft but by combining coloring and paper craft, Color Me, Fold Me is an entirely new sub-genre. Making your own Christmas tree decorations, on the other hand, opens up a world of opportunities. For example, you can use coloring in months prior to Christmas to relax, then you move into paper craft (also relaxing) before decorating your Christmas tree. All of this is something adults already do but nobody has thought about combining them into a single book. The decorations are intentionally designed so that you can hide in them a small gift (earrings, engagement ring, banknote, small gift, sweets, etc.). Then, in January, when most people are depressed, because Christmas is over, Color Me, Fold Me decorations give a final festive bout of energy. You take down the Christmas tree with your family and friends and they can open decorations and find surprise gifts. Imagine a fiancé finding an engagement ring in one of those decorations, or your kid finding a cinema ticket or a $10 banknote. One online colorist, using our book, is also going to use decorations to sit on the dinner table for Christmas so family can open them along with Christmas crackers. Fabulous! The decorations are not limited to Christmas only though. You can use them for birthday parties, Easter, weddings, etc.
Q:Describe Color me, Fold me in three little words
Color, cut and fold. Would that do? Or perhaps color, decorate, enjoy? It’s up to everyone’s liking really.
Q: What challenges (if any) did you face in making your coloring book for adults and can you give other artist any tips for solving similar problems?
We self-published Color, Me Fold Me through Createspace. The process is straightforward but you’ve got to check their instructions several times over before submitting your work. Their digital previewer is excellent and the ability to get a hard-copy proof for less than $20 (within 2 working days) is unbelievable, but the quality of your work has to be really, really high. We have followed all instructions, created 1200dpi lineart and the quality of printed material is just about right. We will improve this further in the future and perhaps pass the quality check over to Leuchi, our cover designer. Paper quality is an issue but only if you create designs on both sides of the sheet. If this is the case, do not use Createspace and rather convince a publisher. But even this doesn’t give you any guarantees that the paper quality will be much higher. Keeping it single-sided (i.e. one design per sheet) where every second page is empty is by far the best option. We have added a test page right at the beginning to allow colorists to test their markers for bleeding before they move to the real thing. Apart from that, sky is the limit and designs are all up to you really but in our experience people prefer a mix of very intricate and easier patterns.
Q: If you could choose only one of your finished coloring page which one would it be? And why?
This is a difficult one. But if you ask both of us, it would be a cylinder. It looks really good colored and hanged on the Christmas tree. And there is enough space in it to put inside something bigger than an engagement ring.
Q: What’s your favorite thing from your coloring book?
Being able to turn a coloring page into a beautiful object – decoration.
Q:What are your favorite supplies for coloring? Do you always use the same or you like to experiment with it?
We both like [easyazon_link identifier=”B00VY9U9W0″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″]Staedtler Ergosoft Triangular Colouring Pencils[/easyazon_link] . The colors are soft, bright and vibrant. The pencils don’t scratch the paper and so far the pencil lead has never broken off. They color smoothly and evenly. Even after hours of coloring the pencil feels comfortable in the hand.We also love [easyazon_link identifier=”B00EK3N0J6″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″]Staedtler triples fineliners[/easyazon_link]. They have super fine hard nibs and the choice of colors is simply brilliant. The colors are strong and bright. For tracing with the marker we always use[easyazon_link identifier=”B0027AEKJ8″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″]Staedtler pigment liners size 0.1[/easyazon_link] or 0.2.
Q:Do you have special techniques and color mixes that you’d like to share with us? Any tips and tricks?
We will be very honest with you. We always learn from other coloring enthusiasts, how they use different coloring techniques. Like we said before, we don’t do a lot of coloring ourselves. When we test different patterns we would color them but just to see how they will look like. What we really like to do is drawing patterns and shapes for all the coloring enthusiasts out there.
Q:Do you have a favorite coloring book author? How did he/she earn your admirations?
OK, there are obvious ones but recently we discovered a Croatian artist Tomislav Tomic and his absolutely jaw-dropping coloring book called[easyazon_link identifier=”9533490322″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″]Zemlja snova[/easyazon_link] (Land of dreams). Another artist that we really like is Daria Song and her breathtaking books ([easyazon_link identifier=”0399579044″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″]The Night Voyage[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”1607749610″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″]The time chamber[/easyazon_link],…)
Q: What drives the adult coloring trend according to your experience?
It is a rebellion against excessive digitization of the world. Don’t take us wrong, Milan is an advocate for digital technologies but in many areas we’ve gone too far and coloring books offer an escape from this crazy world of digital technologies permeating everything.
Q: What would you like to see more in adult coloring book world?
What we have created with Color Me, Fold Me book, by combining coloring and paper craft, is one such new coloring sub-genre that was missing. Not any more though! In addition, I think more intricate designs suitable for men – cogs and wheels and intricate details of engines might bring in a whole new male audience.
Q:What can we expect from you in the future?
Several new books but in different categories. Milan will be focusing on decorations, so Volume 2 of Color Me, Fold Me is coming out by summer 2017. And there will be birthday, Valentine and Easter editions as well – all delivered in approximately the same way (one Volume per year, every year). Dominika will focus on intricate natural and folk art designs with a new book coming out in 2017.
We enjoy doing this so much. There is nothing better than see how other people enjoy coloring using the books that we’ve created.
Q:And last but not least, where can we find your coloring book for adults “Color me, Fold me”?
At the moment our coloring book is available only on Amazon. We really hope, that very soon it will be available in bookstores around the world.
[easyazon_link identifier=”1539479870″ locale=”US” tag=”color-planer-20″] Click here to buy on Amazon[/easyazon_link]
You can also find them on:
Here is a review of Color me, Fold me by Dan-Cin Art Studio