The Coloring Book that Took 2 Years to Create and 4 Years to Finish

It’s finished! It’s finished! I have finally published the adult coloring book I started way back in 2011. The silly thing is, it should not have taken as long as it did. In fact, it was originally finished in November of 2013. So why did it take an additional 4 years to actually finish? And what exactly does this have to do with travel? Allow me to tell you a story in photos.

costa rica table
I started the illustrations for this book at this table in Costa Rica in 2011. I was taking the Kristy Swanson‘s Gutsy Girl workshop online and this was a project I was gutsily taking on. What’s so gutsy about creating a coloring book? Well, lots of irrational fears of failure came to mind a the time. But this was the early days of coloring books — which is to say there really weren’t any for adults yet. I didn’t even know if other adults would like coloring as much as I did. Would anybody even buy this thing? (Fun fact: my Gutsy Girl workshop buddy went on to start this business)
pennsylvania table
I worked on it on this card table when we took a 3-month detour to Pennsylvania.
hurricane table
I worked on it during a hurricane in 2012.
gecko poop
I worked on it in Mexico where a gecko pooped regularly on my laptop. Why didn’t I move my laptop? Well why did the gecko alway poop in the same place?
table in guatemala
I worked on it at this table before the Guatemalan fever/diarrhea set in.
I worked on it in Granada, Nicaragua while this guy from our neighbor’s yard crowed incessantly.
Had some additional furry help on this project in León, Nicaragua by August 2013.
puerto viejo
I was recovering from heat stroke here on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica in 2013, so I didn’t do any work on the book. Also, there were sloths hanging outside our window. Who could work while that was going on? But I had worked on it in tons of other places that I didn’t show you just now.
panama
And I was just wrapping up the cover artwork while sitting on this red love seat in Panama when I discovered my book files were missing. I was shocked. I had been upgrading my file backup system and must have screwed something up heinously. I never lost files. WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING? I bought data recovery software, recovered only a couple of old illustrations, then realized it was over. And although Pica, the neighbor dog pictured above, is adorable, she had nothing to do with the demise of my files.
my bed
I cried on this bed. I gave myself a couple of hours to grieve the loss of this book.
Modern Nomad's Backpack
Then I swiftly started to write another book, because I was going to publish a book, damnit. So I published this ebook in the spring of 2014 in Colombia.
denver and car-2-go
And then we moved on. We went back to Denver in April of 2014 and started to settle into life in the US again.
pages from adult coloring book
I found a few more of my illustrations on a back up hard drive that we had in storage in Denver (somehow??). On a whim, I printed out 2 of them and colored them in with my crayons from Colombia. Oh, the book that shall never be…
my bike
I picked up a volunteering shift at The Bike Depot (now Bikes Together) and also fixed up my bike. So yellowy…
move to new orleans
After living amongst the gecko poop for the past few years, Denver was too damn first-worldy and wintery for us. We moved to New Orleans and promptly fixed that glitch.
mardi gras
We got a few Mardi Gras under our belts and kept working through transitioning our careers into web application software development. Wait for it…
adult coloring books
And all the while, Adult coloring books were topping Amazon’s best selling lists. Year after year. So yeah, 2011 me, set those silly fears aside, because obviously people would buy that thing. Too bad you didn’t create one.
adult coloring book illustration
By the beginning of 2017 I’d friggin had it with my own damn sob story while coloring books were skyrocketing in popularity. So between knocking out features for the web apps I was working on, I jumped back into illustration mode and played my way back to 26 illustrations and a cover.
adult coloring book illustration
I held feedback sessions with clever people who loved to color and it made the book so much better.
adult coloring book package
At last, it was finished! And my printer’s proof arrived in the mail.
adult coloring book
Oh look at it! It’s actually happening!
adult coloring book
Ta da! Phew! FINALLY! It’s over. And now, if you want to color along, you can find my book A is for Adventures in Adulting: An Adult Coloring Book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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