Who says crayons and sparkly gel pens are just for kids?
A group of adults here in Wayne America are rediscovering lost youth every second Tuesday of the month at the Wayne Public Library and enjoying a quiet evening with a box of Crayolas or colored pencils, coloring pages taken out of coloring books.
Whether it’s the classic crayons, Sharpies or the new gel-based ink pens there are plenty of creative outlets that local residents are enjoying, along with an opportunity to socialize and talk about some of the things going on in our community.
The idea was first suggested by Kimberly Endicott, who saw a similar program taking place at Hartington’s library during National Library Week earlier this year.
“They had a coloring night there and I said to Rita (McLean) that we needed to do something like this in Wayne, too,” Endicott said.
McLean, who serves as the library’s Adult Services Librarian, said the idea fit in perfectly with the Wayne library’s summer reading program theme, which focused on creating something, and was added as part of the library’s adult summer reading program.
“We started it over the summer to see if people wanted to come in and color, so we had it a couple of nights and it went pretty well so we decided to start doing it once a month,” McLean said.
McLean admitted she wasn’t sure how well it would be attended at first.
“We have a nice problem here in Wayne in that there’s a lot to do and there are so many options for people to take part in things like church activities or kids activities or sports,” she said. “It’s hard sometimes to find something where you can get 20-30 people to come to. They might come once, but then the next time it comes around something else is happening. We’re fortunate that there are so many options here in Wayne.”
Fortunately, the idea caught on, with more than a dozen people attending the monthly adult coloring nights (sorry, kids – only the older folks get to play with the Crayolas here). Only five were in attendance for this month’s event, which was moved back a week due to last week’s political elections.
Endicott, who said she enjoys working with colored pencils and was meticulously coloring in stars for a piece she was working on, said Pac N Save advertised and promoted the adult coloring events in sales flyers at first, and the store provides snacks during the monthly event.
“I went online and found some colored pencils, then went to Michael’s and Amazon and found the gel pens and the sparkle-ink pens,” she said. “I thought we should have a variety to choose from.”
The pages come from coloring books Endicott found at places like Michael’s, Shopko and Hobby Lobby, and other people bring in coloring books that they buy at a hobby store or bookstores like Barnes & Noble. Endicott said there are also some color-by-numbers pages for those who would rather use that format.
The pages are neatly drawn, but some pages are so detailed, Endicott said, that they would need to be colored using a Sharpie or gel-ink pen with a finer point.
And this isn’t outside-the-lines coloring we’re talking about — those who were taking part were very relaxed in their efforts, were quite meticulous when it came to staying inside the lines and were very choosy about the type of ink and the colors they used to fill in their pages.
“Angela has been working on that piece most of the summer,” Endicott said, pointing to a detailed piece Angela Swan was trying to finish. The sparkled ink helped make the image jump off the page.
Others, like Becky Leonard, created designs with colored pencils and planned on turning her finished projects into gifts for her grandchildren.
“I just did some for Halloween and gave them to my granddaughters as gifts,” she said.
McLean said the adult coloring get-together is not only great from an artistic standpoint, but serves as an opportunity to meet people and talk about what’s going on in their lives and around town.
“There’s such a diverse group of people who come and enjoy this,” she said. “We like to share what’s going on in our lives and learn about some things going on around town. It’s just neat to get together with people and make some new friends.”
The group meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at either the library or the Wayne Senior Center, and any adult is welcome to attend the event.
But be forewarned – you need to make sure you color between the lines.
“This isn’t your little kids’ coloring,” Endicott said. “It’s a great stress reliever and everything everybody has worked on has turned out so beautiful.”