Dear colorists, today’s Artist Spotlight features one of our dearest fans Carla Strating! Carla is a very talented colorist and also a photographer. Her coloring adventure is truly incredible and we are honored to have such people in our community. There’s nothing more rewarding than hearing kind words about Favoreads and knowing that our coloring pages really make a difference in your lives!
Read this short interview with Carla and support her by leaving your COMMENTS under this post and by SHARING her amazing story on Social Media.
1. How long have you been coloring?
I was given a couple of coloring books and some markers and colored pencils for Christmas a couple of years ago. I didn’t have a good spot to work at and just couldn’t get into them. This year, after receiving a coloring book that really caught my eye, I made a space to work, got some better pencils and markers and I was hooked.
2. How did you get into coloring?
As I said, I was given the basic materials for Christmas a few years ago. I realize now that the books weren’t the best style for me. So I just let them sit for a couple of years. This year I was given a book with pictures I could relate to and that got me started. I have had problems with depression and anxiety for 18 years. After coloring for a couple of hours, I realized that my anxiety level was much lower than when I had started. And since I’ve been going through a really hard time with it recently, it felt good to be without it while I was coloring. And that’s when I decided to order some better pencils and markers. I set up space in the bedroom that was just for that purpose. I call it “my sanctuary”. Since the first of this year, it has been upgraded. I now have a desk to work on, instead of a little end table. I have better lighting now. I put our laptop in there so that I can listen to music. It’s totally my space. We have two cats who like to come in and sleep on the bed while I’m in there. I enjoy their company as long as they stay off my desk! LOL!
3. How does coloring help you?
Coloring has really helped to keep my anxiety levels down. Until a couple of years ago, I was an avid nature photographer. I could easily take a hundred pictures without even thinking about it. My husband shares this love with me. And we would get in the car a go – just to take pictures. He became physically disabled 4 years ago and isn’t able to walk unaided. It became too difficult for him to walk in the places we once loved to walk through for picture taking. It wasn’t the same going out alone. And it just sort of stopped. I lost the calming effect of photo editing. Coloring has replaced that for me. When I’m at my desk, with some music on, I can totally submerge myself in the picture I’m coloring and all of my problems disappear, giving me peace of mind for however long I’m there. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment. And it makes me feel good about myself. For me, that’s not easily done.
4. What are your favorite designs to color and why?
Tough question. My favorite designs are usually things with nature of some sort in them. They don’t have to be scenic, though. It really depends a lot on the mood I’m in when I pick up a page to color. I will often start a picture, but the next time I go to work on it, it might not fit the mood right then, so I move onto another one, knowing at some point I’ll go back to the former one eventually. I don’t enjoy mandalas very much. And I vacillate between bright colors and softness. I do tend to lean towards pictures that I can try to do some shading work on. Or try to make texture effects. Sometimes I just need one to color with nothing “fancy” about it.
5. What would be your advice to beginner colorists?
Don’t be afraid to try something new to you, whether it’s the medium you are using or the style of the picture. Have fun with the colors! Keep a piece of heavy paper near you so you can experiment with blending colors and stroke styles. And just remember, it’s your piece of art. Color it the way you want to. There are no right or wrong ways to color something. If you want to color the sun purple and green stripes with pink polka dots, then do it! Most of all, just have fun.
6. How did you learn about Favoreads coloring club?
I learned about Favoreads Coloring Club on Facebook. There was something about it in the righthand column of my page and it caught my eye, so I checked it out. I’m so glad I did!
7. Why do you like coloring pages from Favoreads?
I love the variety of subject matter available! With a coloring book, you usually just get one theme or style. With Favoreads, there’s always something to fit your mood and interest. And the new pictures keep on coming! I’m so thankful that I’ve found coloring to help me deal with stress. I love to pick out a picture to work on and then just have at it. I never know what I’m going to do with a picture until I do it. I may start out in one direction and end up someplace completely different when I’m done. The fun of using Favoreads pages is that if you change styles mid-picture and it just doesn’t work, you can always print out a new copy of the original and start over. You can’t lose!!
Colorful Masterpieces by Carla Strating!
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