Hello Happy Colorists!
I am often asked how long it takes me to make one coloring page…well you may be surprised to know it takes quite a long time. It takes me approximately 8 hours to finish a single coloring page that goes up in our store, and approximately 16 or more to finish one for our upcoming book. This does not include the time it takes to add to the store or the time it takes to make the preview images and closeups.
That seems like a HUGELY long time, and it is! But it’s worth it if it means you get a fantastic finished product that has the quality you deserve in it.
I am not alone in spending HOURS to finish one page either, many other coloring book artists can spend 40 or more hours per page, some even take longer to complete a single page design.
Why does it take so long? Well each individual artist is different. It may take so long because they hand draw the piece and then have to digitize it. This is usually a very involved process where they have to retrace their work or spend a lengthy time repairing and airbrushing it (which ever they prefer).
It may also take so long because they are including research time. Perhaps they are doing something realistic, like a Victorian dress, and they need to research how they look and perhaps even how they move and flow. Perhaps they need to also research Victorian houses, cities, or homes as well for the background, or social things like how women were viewed or what was expected of them so that they can make a truly believable piece. Including that time in their piece is very important because it really does take up a lot of time.
It may also take a while because they are designing as they go and not “fleshing” their ideas out first. I am like this, I draw as I go. Usually there’s no pauses in there but sometimes an element won’t work and I will have to redraw it or get rid of it.
It may also take so long because of the technology. There may be errors which prevent them from powering ahead. There may be fiddly bits which mean extra time must be spent to get the desired outcome (which could simply be how a scanner scans work or how a line is drawn in a specific program). There can also be technical limitations which force artists to do things the longer way.
With it already equating to a full time job one must understand how hard artists are working, especially those who are stay at home parents, or working parents, or even just those who already have a job and do this on the side. These artists are working extremely hard so it’s important we show them love, support, and respect; tell them they’re brilliant, don’t pirate their work or complain about the pricing, and stand up for them when someone else steals their work. They work hard for their fans after all!
Did you expect it would take so long to finish a page? Has learning about this changed your perspective or how you see artists?