Meet Coloring Enthusiast Ali Gibbs
For this week’s colorists spotlight series I’m introducing Ali Gibbs from Australia. Read on to meet Ali and learn how
coloring colouring helps Ali cope with pain, anxiety and depression. Perhaps you will discover some new techniques, artists, books, tips, and ideas for coloring.
(Responses have only been slightly edited for spelling and grammar. Click any picture to open it larger and see a slideshow. -Sue)
When did you get into coloring and what were the circumstances that led you to it?
I’ve coloured on and off for about 5 years. In Dec 2014 my health issues got worse and I was unable to do a lot, so I started colouring more. I really got into it when I had to stop working in Feb 2015. Before Dec 2014 it was maybe once or twice a month and I was colouring kids books!
Why do you color? What are the benefits of coloring for you?
I have a chronic pain condition and suffer from quite disabling anxiety and depression. Colouring is a way for me to distract myself in times of heightened pain or anxiety, cheer myself up when I’m down. The process of choosing an image, colours, adding colour and creating something is very soothing.
What are your favorite media to color with? Do you have a particular favorite type or brand or coloring tools?
My Prismacolor Premiers are my absolute favourite, they are incomparable to anything else in my book.
What are the top 3 coloring tools you would not want to be without?
What are some of your favorite coloring books, artists, and styles of coloring art?
Oh no, asking me about my children!
I find patterns and mandalas fantastic for days when I’m anxious or in pain. My favourite at the moment is MiniMENTALS by Sue Chastain – the size and gorgeous images are perfect, and invite you to colour them!
One that is somewhat new to me is Vintage Coloring – vintage illustrations cleaned up and converted to colouring pages. I’m enjoying these a lot more than I thought I would – it’s a great way to spark your imagination and the images just beg to be coloured!
What do you look for when choosing a book or piece to color?
It depends on my needs at the time. Usually I’m a big fantasy fan, but if I’m not able to concentrate for long periods, I’m more likely to choose a pattern or mandala. Sometimes I’m in the mood to colour landscapes or animals.
I suppose the first thing I look for is ‘clean’ lines – no guessing what’s where, or what’s going where. If I can picture some of the colours of what I’m looking at, then that’s usually what I’ll colour.
What’s your favorite place to color? Do you have any coloring rituals?
Well, because of my pain condition, I struggle to sit-up for long periods of time. Most of my colouring is done while reclining on my bed. I colour every day, for at least two hours.
I have a laptop table that goes a short way over my bed and makes it a lot easier! Usually I will put on whatever TV show I’m watching at the time for background noise, choose the image, set up the table and mediums etc, look for inspiration either on Facebook or Instagram, and then colour. I usually finish my images in one or two sittings – if I leave them I tend not to come back to them.
Do you do anything special with the pictures you color?
Not really. Most of my images stay in the books when they’re done. I do give finished postcards to family occasionally, but they’re not so interested.
Would you share a favorite color palette?
Oh this ones easy!
Purple and teal. In any combo/distribution, it’s my go to!
Specifically, for my Prismacolor pencils, I like
Light Aqua, Aquamarine, Imperial Violet, Violet Blue and Dioxazine Purple Hue.
When doing mandalas or patterns, I’ll usually use fineliners for this combo, I love the vibrancy!
What tip or piece of advice would you give to someone just getting into coloring?
Please don’t compare yourself to others. We all started somewhere. Colouring isn’t about competing or being better or worse than people – it’s about joy, destressing, distraction and relaxation. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing, that is all that matters!
What coloring groups, websites, or resources do you recommend?
*shameless self promotion*
I run a review site for adult colouring books and products. I post 2-3 reviews per week. I think it’s awesome – but you might too 😉
For colour ideas/schemes, I love Design Seeds – it has a new colour palette a day.
Color Me Forum has some lovely discussions and friendly people when it comes to info, techniques and feedback.
For specific picture inspiration, I often search the hashtag on Instagram or check for a specific group/albums on Facebook. Sometimes looking at the finished product is a great inspiration!
Thank you for taking the time to answer this interview, Ali! I’ve enjoyed learning your story and I know others will benefit from your tips and advice! -SC