By Rebecca Kerzner
I really dislike coloring books🖍. The idea of a coloring book is nice in theory, but in practice, it’s not all that good. Coloring books are marketed as a universally calming 🕊experience but I find them pigeon-holing, frustrating, and sometimes even difficult! I don’t think there is anything calming about incessantly sifting through colors and attempting to color in the design symmetrically. Unfortunately though, everyone also assumes that because I am an artsy human being I enjoy coloring books, so I’ve received countless as birthday gifts🎁. Sometimes I feel like I should like them, but I simply can’t come around to them.
I recently discovered a new drawing craft and I’ve been changed ever since. On a whim, I searched Amazon for “scratch art for adults” and that fateful click helped me discover a whole new world. Scratch is something we believed we left in our childhood. We thought it was something we could never get back and would forever remain in sheets lying between piles of 3rd grade style family portraits. But now, we can relive the experience in an adult way. Scratch art for adults is a thing and it is wonderful. I strongly believe that the coloring book craze should be replaced with its cooler older sister, scratch art.
- Coloring takes mental energy. Scratch art doesn’t.
When you color, there are too many choices to make. Your eyes are constantly shifting from the colors to your sheet as you frantically open marker tops only to close them a second later. You end up clasping six different markers at once and dropping them on your paper as you draw. It’s a terrible system and just too much to handle! But with scratch art, all your focus goes to your scratcher, and the movement of the hand. This creates a more calming experience because there is a lot less to fret over. Stressed before a test? Scratch art. Stressed before a date? Scratch art. Stressed because of social woes? Scratch art. Scratch art is actually the answer for everything.
- There’s no mess.
We’ve all experienced marker smudges on the palms of our hands. What about all the terrible smudging that occurs? When you set yourself up for some coloring time, you are also risking the cleanliness of your sleeves and hands. But with scratch art, your hands are left unmarred.
- Scratch art is a truly satisfying experience.
There’s something so gratifying about using the wooden scratcher to peel off the black film and blow it off. Compared to the coloring experience, the scratching experience creates a tactile sensation that is just addicting.
- Fewer decisions. More mystery. More fun.
With scratch art, color isn’t a stressful decision-making process, it is revealed and unveiled to you. This illuminating experience can have so much power to help us cope with life’s uncertainties. Did I take it too far? Nah.
- Hassle-free and highly portable.
To successfully color in a single sheet in a coloring book, you need at least five colors to create something dynamic, unless your going for some avant-garde monochromatic coloring book. But for scratch art, you only need two materials, a scratcher and the sheet! Dynamic color palette is already provided. Less materials enables a more portable experience. There are even sets on Amazon that come with built-in holders for the scratchers themselves. You can throw it in your bag or backpack like a basic notebook and do it before interviews, between classes, or as a fun study break.
- You create a masterpiece 🖼 that looks like something you’d actually hang in your room.
Scratch art has an innate quality of wonder within it. The colors meld together to form a fantastical and “pop”-worthy image while coloring produces a flatter composition. Scratch art has a more seamless finish and the sturdier sheet holds better on a wall. Below is a picture of a coloring sheet and scratch art sample on a wall. While the coloring book definitely looks pretty, the scratch art piece has a special pizzazz to it that really invites an audience and just says “WOW.”
- Scratch art is just more exciting. Unlike coloring books, the novelty is fresh.
Everybody has heard of coloring books. But scratch art is far less popular. When I told my residents we we’re going to do scratch art for our floor party, they were genuinely excited. Had I told them we were going to color in coloring books, they would’ve internally groaned at the classic-ness of the activity. Is it possible that they were just amused by my intense excitement about it? Sure. But nevertheless, the girls were truly impressed by how much they enjoyed it.
Also, because scratch art hasn’t gained the top trendy and popular status of coloring books, being into it gives you a hipster edge. Having niche interests gives you that edge. Maybe even bring the book out during your next work interview! Spread the experience to others and make yourself stand out.