Coloring and the Type A Personality – Breaking Free From Perfection

By | May 31, 2015

Coloring, Patience, & the Type A Personality on patientwoman.comI have a confession to make. Recently, I started working on an old hobby and have not been patient. I know the road to patience is a journey, but patience produces such lovely things like a finished coloring page full of beautiful colors! And I want that!

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Coloring Craze

About now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the adult coloring craze and maybe some of you have even gotten into Johanna Basford’s coloring books like me. I’ve been coloring off and on for decades. My coloring books and pencils have been sitting on the shelf underneath my entertainment stand for years, so they are at my fingertips when the mood strikes. However, I had not picked them up since last year. At the end of April 2015, my friend started talking about coloring and started a Facebook coloring group. I joined her coloring group, and then another.

(If you’re in Canada, here’s my affiliate link for Johanna Basford Coloring Books.)

Next thing I knew, I was hooked and in four coloring groups. Everyone is putting up the most beautiful artistic creations. They are taking their time and have something to show for it. Me, on the other hand, I have spent so much time searching for just the right colored pencils that I haven’t finished one piece.

You see, aside from posting gorgeous pages, the group discussed their blunders and how having the right pencils or pens is important. They posted pictures of their ruined pages and commented on the different issues with specific mediums, which had me start slightly (only slightly) obsessing. It’s hard to be spontaneous when you have a planner type personality.

The Problem

As a recovering Type A Personality, my joy comes from planning. I think I got more excited about researching and finding the right pens and pencils as well as the containers to house the pens and pencils than from the actual act of coloring. (The container search is on hold until I get the pens and pencils.) Planning, researching, and setting up are the things we Type A’s enjoy. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with getting joy from searching out the perfect organizing system for anything. Though, it does me no good if I get more joy from the process of planning than from using the system. After all, if I spend the time and expense to find the right containers, pens, and pencils, but don’t use them, what’s the point?

In any case, there was a coloring contest that I thought I’d use as my starting point, you know, something to give me the motivation to start. That’s something my personality likes, knowing the specifications and planning for them. So, using the pencils I have, I started but felt like I didn’t have enough variety of colors. The coloring challenge was only to use pinks and purples to complete the scene. Maybe this was the wrong challenge to start with, but it did its job. It made me start.

Sadly, I only colored a small portion over a three-day period before stopping. At first I thought it was the lack of variety of pinks and purples that kept me from continuing, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s something that’s happening in my mind. Understandably as a recovering Type A Personality, the lack of patience comes from the pressure of thinking that the finished product needs to be near perfect. After all, I have to post the picture online for the contest.

Of course, this gave me a slight paralysis, and while the lack of pencil colors was one reason, it was not the only reason. Having many items on my to-do list was another reason. How can I work on “just coloring” when there’s so much to do? But, the biggest reason is that I don’t know what colors to choose or how to use them, and I do not like making mistakes. So while entering this contest may have gotten me to start coloring, apparently, it wasn’t healthy “for my personality.”

The Solution

Just start! Whatever the reason, I assessed my scenario and made the decision that instead of taking months to find and purchase the best pencils (it’s been a month of research already), I would get an affordable set of colored pencils and just start. If I stick with it and continue to color a lot and enjoy it, I’ll spend the big bucks on amazing colored pencils and markers.

Until then, I’m going to get back to coloring for fun and not worry about the outcome. IF a page turns out nicely, I’ll post it in a Facebook coloring group. Maybe I’ll even post it here!Johanna Basford coloring page in pinks and purples unfinished on

 UPDATE: Here’s the unfinished coloring page because I’m throwing my Type A “must finish what I started” need out the window! I’m not finishing it. Whewwww, I feel SO much better!!! I received two coloring books for my birthday and will practice on those before trying my hand at Johanna Basford’s coloring books. (Okay, so I haven’t thrown all of my Type A needs out the window. But it’s a start.)

Are you into the coloring craze? Do you pull out the colors and get busy or do you agonize over having the right tools or knowing what colors you’ll use before you start? Let me know in the comments. The discussion could help others struggling from analysis paralysis.

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen Johanna Basford’s coloring books, check them out! They are amazing.

Finally, in case you were wondering, here are the pens and pencils on my list:
Prismacolor Pens & Pencils
Derwent Color Pencils
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set
Faber Castell Colored Pencils

I like each one for a different reason, though colorsofts seem to be my favorite so far.

Which ones do you use and like or dislike and why? We’ve been having this discussion in one of my private groups and it really helps to hear others experiences, so let us know.

Click here to read the next post in the series: Break Free From Perfection

©2015 Susie Glennan
All Rights Reserved.

7 thoughts on “Coloring and the Type A Personality – Breaking Free From Perfection

  1. Pingback: On a Roll With Coloring Pencils Review - The Patient Woman

  2. kathy

    This is me all over, spent the last few months researching and purchasing but still haven’t started colouring!

    1. Susie Post author

      😉 Kathy, then you’ll LOVE the rest of the series. I’ve been writing as I progress and I am making progress!

  3. Pingback: Break Free From Perfection (coloring) - The Patient Woman

  4. Pingback: Help with Coloring – Adult Coloring Craze

  5. chrissy

    Oh my.. I thought I was the only one.. I don’t think I’m A personality but maybe I am! I followed here from the Inky group and I still haven’t posted a picture there yet although I complement everyone else and ask lots of questions. yes about which pencils, why, which sharpeners.. how do you organize your pencils? by color? by brand? in the tins, in pretty pots.. do you sit at a desk or on the couch.. it goes on and on.. My goal for the year is to enter one of those contests and actually post my picture! The treehouse thread is so glorious!

    That exact picture in this post I started doing but didn’t have proper light (another thing to worry on) and colored part of the tree trunk purple thinking it was dark brown.. uggg… I actually like how mine turned out as I decided to go with it and made that vine winding around the tree purple too.. I have some in progress photos of it in there.. I’ve been brave enough to post a few of those to ask for suggestions but not a “finished” one… Great post!


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