What better time to start colouring-in? Uncertainty, stress levels running high; engaging in a spot of mindfulness shading could be just the thing. Adult colouring books have been around for sometime, though I’ve only recently acquired one. It’s the new Vogue Goes Pop colouring-in book from award-winning writer, author an illustrator Iain. R.Webb. I’ve know Iain for a while and we met again at Bath in Fashion when his book was about to launch. Anthropologie had installed a fantastic colouring wall, so we had a quick scribble and a chat about the Vogue Goes Pop colouring book:
TNMA: How did the Vogue colouring book come about?
IRW: It was surprisingly simple. I took the idea to Vogue and they were very excited from the start. I had been thinking about it for a while. When I went to St Martin’s School of Art in 1977 to study fashion design, the first thing we were asked to do was copy the fashions from Vogue. Forty years on and I’m making a living doing the same thing. How lucky am I?
TNMA: Who translated the images to outline drawings? How does that work, is it quite a complicated procedure?
IRW: Again, it is a pretty straightforward procedure. VOGUE GOES POP is dedicated to the Sixties, so I looked through the fabulous Vogue magazine archive from January 1960 to December 1969 and made an initial selection of images. I then make a trace of each image using printouts as the original magazines are too precious. I tried various art pencils and professional pens but decided on ballpoint pens (the ones you buy ’20 for a £1′ in Poundland). I have drawn with ballpoint pen since a teenager when I sketched portraits of pop stars for my classmates.
TNMA: Have you coloured all the pictures in yet?
IRW: Not all of them but I do like to photocopy the originals, colour them in and send to friends as thank you cards. And have you seen my Vintage Vogue postcard book?! It contains 24 images taken from the VOGUE Colouring Book that you can colour yourself and send as postcards.
TNMA: What are you tips to Vogue colourists?
IRW: Do your own thing! I have been completely overwhelmed by the amazing interpretations of my drawings that are posted on #voguecolouringbook from all around the world. I love that I get to see all the different approaches from crayon to watercolour, literal (colouring them as per the descriptions in the captions that originally appeared in Vogue magazine), to crazy and such a variety of styles. I love it when people add pattern to plain looks or create their own narrative.
TNMA: As well as ‘colouring-in calmness’, are there any other benefits?
IRW: I truly believe that people just enjoy making their own mark. The desire to be creative is a very seductive proposition.
TNMA: What’s your favourite coloured-in image and did you get to keep the end result?
IRW: I was thrilled to see that Zandra Rhodes, my old boss, took time out between personal appearances to come and colour one of the images. She added her trademark squiggles to a plain A-line suit. But, again, I just love all the different outcomes. I have to admit I am always smitten with the slightly offbeat versions but I am amazed by all the efforts.
And now for some pop-tastic style inspiration: