Bridget Finnegan is rarely serious. In her personal life and in her work, she is defined by her sense of humor and her ability to make others laugh. So when she decided to create Doc MacDoodle’s® Color Therapy for Grown-Ups: Animals it was necessary for the coloring book to not only give people the chance to be creative but also to smile. In the following interview by Olivia Marple, Finnegan discusses the benefits of coloring books, what sets hers apart from others on the market right now, her plans for future coloring books the Doc MacDoodle series, and the frustrating realization that the world is not ready to color a buffalo wearing a periscope. This is an excerpt. Read the full interview.
OM: Your coloring book has a lot of humor in it. Is it important for you to have a humorous element in a lot of your projects?
BF: Yes! I really enjoy laughing. I don’t think I am built to do anything serious.
OM: Did you create this coloring book for a group of people in particular? Or do you think anyone can enjoy it?
BF: I started out creating the book for people like me. Adults who enjoy the tactile nature of creating something and like to have fun doing it. I knew that kids would like it as well. There may be a few of the illustrations that are a bit complex for little ones to color but they will like the illustrations. It has only been since I have shared the book with others that I have realized that another huge potential audience for it is older people. The illustrations are sweet and fun and happy. It really is for grown-ups of all ages.
OM: Why do you say that older people could be a potential customer base for your coloring book? How are coloring books helpful for the elderly?
BF: Recent studies have shown that coloring books provide a calming distraction for older people who suffer from the beginning stages of dementia.
OM: You also mentioned that you originally created your coloring book for women and men who like to create things. Do you think the book could also sell well with people who are not normally creative? Why?
BF: I think there will be huge appeal for the book among those who don’t consider themselves creative. There are several different “levels” of artwork available in the book. A few are patterns in enclosed areas where the risk is minimal. If you don’t like a square, you just move on!
OM: You mentioned the tactile nature inherent in coloring books, which is a concept seen less and less in our current, digitally oriented world. What do you think are the positives of coloring with physical pencils and paper, and how would you convince someone who is glued to their smart phone or computer that they should give coloring a try?
BF: I love screens more than anyone. I use a computer to create my books. I do think, however, that there is something very satisfying about creating something in a tactical medium. When you don’t have an “undo” button you need to commit. I used to draw a lot in sketchbooks. I forced myself to draw in pen. No erasing allowed. It forced me to relax. Some of my best sketches were mistakes. When you color, you have fewer decisions to make than if you were doing a drawing.
Read the full interview.
Olivia Marple is the public relations manager at Dawdle Publishing, LLC, as well as a freelance journalist and Spanish tutor in the Seacoast NH area. She enjoys learning new languages and documenting the world around her through video, photography and writing. Check out her online portfolio at oliviamarple.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter: @OliviaMarple