Life too busy recently? Barnes & Noble invites you to take some time to unwind at their stores this Saturday, November 14, 2015 through their All-American Art Unwind event. Connect, create and color at stores all across the nation. Coloring, a favorite childhood pastime, has recently been found to have great health benefits for adults as well, reducing our anxiety while also improving motor and concentration skills. So get out those colored pencils and de-stress with Barnes and Noble!
The All-American Art Unwind event will take place at your local Barnes & Noble store this Saturday from noon to 5pm. The event consists of three sections: create, connect and color. “Create” is the main activity, where visitors will help to create a collaborative digital art mosaic, designed by illustrator Millie Marotta. Customers upload photos of their colored-in postcard-size creations to Instagram or Twitter at #BNArtUnwind, and Barnes & Noble may include them in the final nationwide coloring mosaic. The “Connect” activity is a collaboration with Hallmark, which lets customers personalize their greeting cards with special writing tools and embellishments. Visitors who upload their creations with the hashtag #BNColoringContest can enter to win a full year supply of Hallmark greeting cards. The final activity, “Color,” involves stations at each store where customers can color in books like Millie Marotta’s Tropical World or Animal Kingdom.
“Barnes & Noble has always been a place for customers to explore their creativity. We’ve been at the forefront of the coloring book trend that’s sweeping the nation,” said Mary Amicucci, Vice President of Books at Barnes & Noble. “With The Barnes & Noble All-American Art Unwind, we’re inviting customers to experience coloring in three unique ways, including participation in a one-of-a-kind, cross-country collaborative digital art mosaic.”
The coloring trend really has been taking over in the past year or two, with hundreds of adult coloring books entering the market on a consistent basis. Millie Marotta, Johanna Basford, and Marty Noble are some of the clever illustrators who already have bestselling coloring books at Barnes & Noble and elsewhere. The bookstore even has a separate “Coloring Books for Everyone” category on its website where customers can search the best designs for them.
Millie Marotta, a freelance illustrator from Wales, has had a pencil in hand since she was little and studied wildlife illustration at university. Today, her books are colored in by millions of happy, relaxed adults and children alike all around the world. Marotta loves the universal appeal of these coloring books and notes that coloring allows us to chill out for a bit:
“Coloring can be a great way for people to take a step away from all the digital devices that seem to dominate our lives, in the form of a creative activity that is wonderfully simple and very accessible. It offers a step back to something a little more hands on, which I think is what many people are really enjoying.”
If simply coloring and creating in-stores isn’t enough, the illustrator herself will also be present this weekend to sign Tropical World and color with customers at two Barnes & Noble stores in New York City; from noon until 2pm at Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side (2289 Broadway) and from 3pm until 5pm at Barnes & Noble on the Upper East Side (150 East 86th Street). “As an illustrator, it has been incredible to see coloring become so popular and evolve into an activity which people are really engaging with and are enjoying as a creative outlet in their everyday lives,” said Millie Marotta.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Barnes & Noble to give aspiring artists a chance to experience my creation, explore their own creativity and be a part of a project that brings people together in a meaningful, fun and creative way.”
Marotta says she loves meeting people and hopes to come back for many future events like this one to share her work. Whether you’re stressed or not, these and other intricately-designed coloring books are a great source of enjoyment. The opportunity to not only color in them but to meet the illustrator behind the designs this Saturday will remind busy New Yorkers to put down the phones and take a minute to themselves.
Marotta’s third book, Wild Savannah is in production now and will be released in April 2016. She is currently working full-time on a fourth coloring book as well. You can pre-order Wild Savannah online for just $10.46. If you can’t figure out what to get Grandma for Christmas or your brother for his birthday, just head to Barnes and Noble for a Millie Marotta coloring book or others just like it – it just may be one of the best gifts you get them!