My Inner Child is Sometimes Terrifying

I like coloring. I’m not talking about professional comic book or animation style coloring, the kind that takes hours upon hours of dedicated study and practice. I mean, break out the 160 box of Crayolas and have at a coloring book sort of coloring. It’s nice to sometimes re-live what it was like to be five years old. Granted, I teach kindergarten for half the week, so sometimes I can let my inner child out at work, which is awesome. (Tell me you wouldn’t like to build an epic track to send a wooden train shooting down, or spend hours on your belly playing doll house, you liar.)

Which is why I love going to toy stores in Japan, where I can find all of the stuff I desperately wanted as a child, but found in precious little abundance. Sure, I may look awkward walking into the store as a nearly thirty year-old foreign woman with no children tagging along behind me, but few things beat the giddy feeling of walking out of the store with a brand new coloring book.

Since I’ve been doing pretty much nothing else but studying for the last month and a half, and thus don’t have any book reviews or anything particularly earth shattering to share with the world, may I present instead the color explosion that is my inner child:

Warning: My inner child is sometimes terrifying.

The line art is from a coloring book for the show Puri Kyua, of which the English translation makes about the same amount of sense as the Japanese. As far as I can tell it’s a show aimed at kindergarten girls dedicated to teaching them lessons in friendship, looking pretty, and never closing your mouth. Seriously, there’s not a single picture in this book in which anyone is smiling with their mouth shut. It’s bizarre. Aside from the reference image on the cover of the book, I have absolutely zero idea what any of these girls are supposed to look like, so I just had fun with it. They’re colored in Copics and gel pens, with a few colored pencil highlights thrown in here and there. It’s amazing what some unexpected colors or lines will do for a picture.

Mostly I was messing around for practice with Copics, but I had a vision on a few of them. I’m pleased mostly with the results. I had a lot of fun with this, and I might just search out some more coloring books in the future.

So tell me, readers, do you have a favorite way to experience childhood once again?


16 thoughts on “My Inner Child is Sometimes Terrifying

    • Thanks! Though most of the credit goes to the markers.

      Basketballs, huh? We got a basketball hoop for Christmas once at the request of my sister. I think it was used for all over one week in a single summer. I don’t think my parents were so impressed. What about shooting basketballs brings you back to your youth, if you don’t mind me asking?

      • I was a big athlete in middle and high school field hockey, basketball, tennis, swimming, and then ice skating and sailing for fun. I love shooting bballs – reminds me of when I was young and agile!

      • I never did those sort of sports when I was young. I’ve always been a martial arts junkie. My brother played hockey though, because it’s practically obligatory for one child in each Canadian family to play hockey. 😛

      • Wow, a frozen bog is something I can’t even wrap my head around. I’m from Vancouver, and the temperatures there never get cold enough to free more than puddles outside. Very cool!

  1. I don’t color. I never did.
    I don’t play sports. I never did.
    I don’t play games. I never did.
    I wonder what I did do? It is gone now. I must have had fun somehow…
    I do like to camp. I like a campfire and friends who can play guitar that the songs I know the words to.
    Now that I think about it, two of my earliest essays were “Why Competition is destructive to the individual” and “I don’t think I ever truly had fun.” I am sure the second one I wrote very early.
    I was manic then. So being manic must have been my fun.
    Your pictures are beautiful and I want to share them or a link to them.
    You should display them in a Modern Art Crayon Gallery.

    • I love camping. It’s brought me some of my fondest memories with my family. I know what you mean about things being gone. Sometimes it feels like my life, and my memories are very compartmentalized, like everything that happened has been a series of five year blocks that happened to another person. That’s not me, but I have her memories. It’s a very strange feeling.

      Anyway, if you want to links to the post, go right ahead, I don’t mind, It’s not like it’s my art. I just colored them. 🙂

  2. I love coloring. I used to do it all the time. I’d buy fantasy line art and color it while listening to music. Very relaxing. I haven’t done it in years, though. Just too busy all the time. My kids like to color even though they’re both teens. My son likes Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh, and my daughter likes Sailor Moon and Tokyo Mew Mew. They’re both into Japanese manga. I think your coloring is beautiful. Even the scary one.:)

    • When I was younger I had a collection of Barbie and Disney coloring books. I used to try to redraw the line art after I’d finished coloring in them. I also made paper dolls out of them, way back when.

      Over here, EVERYTHING is a cartoon character. Almost every shop has a cartoon mascot, and even the construction road signs have cartoon figures in them. It’s wonderfully amusing.

    • When I showed these to my students, a lot of them said, “Kimo!”, which roughly means, “that’s uncomfortable”, mostly to what I did to that cute pink fluffy thing which was too candy sweet not to mess with.

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