Adult Coloring art

Illustrator on the Rise: Durrell Godfrey steps into the scene with her New Coloring Book!

Saturday, December 12, 2015 Mykah Williams

I can't be the only one who has recently gotten back into my childhood hobby of coloring. Illustrators like Johanna Basford's coloring books have been selling like hotcakes through countless online webistes and are even sold in prominent stores like Urban Outfitters.

Just this past week, I got ahold of Durell Godfrey's new coloring book, "Color Me Cluttered", and I have been having a total blast with it. I was even lucky enough to e-interview the creative illustrator and photographer about her first-ever coloring book and she gave me some super cool and insighful answers to my questions.

Photo Coutesy of

I wanted to learn a little more about the process of creating a coloring book and so ensued the interview...

MW: There seems to be a sudden trend in adult coloring, what’s your opinion on this, are you an avid color-er yourself? 

DG: Actually I am a recent convert to coloring. I have always drawn, but black and white illustrations are far less expensive to reproduce in books, so there hasn't been much need for me to think in color. I became aware of the movement toward grown up coloring books pretty much when everyone else did, early 2015. I think coloring is a brilliantly creative way to spend your time. the mind can take flight while you are deciding what color green that leaf will be. and when you are finished with a page ( in my coloring book), you really have been engaged in a real-is world- not some fantasy.

MW: How did you come up with the idea to create the book, and why did you chose the theme of “Color me Cluttered?

DG: I like stuff. Stuff is fun to draw. In art school they tell you to draw something old, like an old sneaker. There is so much going on in the shapes and they're so much more interesting to color. When I realized that my knack for drawing stuff and the interest in coloring books could really create something fun, the stuff of my life was the obvious choice for subject matter. 

MW:I love that the chaotic illustrations in your book remind me of my own house growing up, are the drawings in the book inspired by your own home or one you grew up?

DG:  I want the pictures to remind people of their old rooms growing up, or first apartments. My first apartment out of college is in this book, my parent's dining room, my current workroom is the last drawing- the one with the Dylan poster. It's a personal book in that way. I hid love letters (well, crumpled mail- you add the interpretation), and lava lamps, many pairs of my glasses, I mismatched my socks, and hung up family pictures. All in this book.
MW:How long did it take for you to complete all the illustrations in the book?

DG:The publisher gave me one month to do the drawings, then they gave me 2 more weeks, so I did more. I was on a roll - in sports you would say I was in a zone. I think I did 75.

MW: Do you think you’ll continue to make more books? How fun and challenging was the process?

DG: The process was challenging and it was great fun. I got to know the people in each room, I decided that one person would have a collection of folk art airplanes, and then I invented the collection. What could be more fun than that. and the color-ists out there can now decide if the person with the folk art plane collection would have a red chair or a yellow chair, or if there is a view out the window. Remember that the paper color white can be treated as a color but it can also be colored in striped or flowered or curley-qued. Just because I left it empty doesn't mean an area has to be a solid color- everything can be shaded, colored pencils mix well, and here's a tip: test your colors on a piece of paper before you color. That way you won't be surprised by the result. Also, violet makes a better color for a shadow than gray. I would love to do more coloring books - there is so much clutter out there to share with people.

MW: And finally, where else might we be able to check out your illustrations?

DG: Actually this is the first book of big illustrations I have done. In the past I have stuck to " spot" illustrations in cookbooks, exercise books  and magazine articles. I illustrated how-to's for Glamour magazine in the 1970's so there is a world of my drawings out there in vintage magazine collections. 

"Keep coloring"-Durrell Godfrey

Coloring whether you're 5 or 95 is both an excellent creative outlet and stress reliver. If you are looking to get back into colorign Durell's book is now out for sale and in littered with fun and surprsing images. It may just make the perfect Christmas gift for that friend of yours with the youthful spirit. Read up on Durrels tips above, and happy coloring!

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