Black and white illustration of a forest on a cliff viewed from above
Illustration: Alan Brown

Calm Your Nerves With This Free-to-Download Quarantine Coloring Book

By Aileen Kwun
June 27, 2020
1 minute read

States across the U.S. may be entering Phase 2 of post-lockdown reopenings, but short of a vaccine, public health experts hazard that all precautions of social distancing—with masks on—should remain in place. Not surprisingly, puzzles and board games have made a comeback in these Covid-19 times, and you can add to that list another resurgent analog pastime for idle hands: coloring books. In April, as the country was in the thick of lockdown, artists Sara Taylor and Gerard Way called upon their network of friends to create the Quarantine Coloring Book, uploading a new free, downloadable image by a different illustrator each day. The project exploded overnight, with thousands of fans posting their colorful results online with the hashtag #tqcb. And as it turns out, coloring books aren’t just for the kids: According to research, coloring can have a similar effect on our minds as meditation, helping to ease anxiety, fears, and restless thoughts—in short, the sum of non-lethal yet all-too-pervasive side effects of a life in prolonged quarantine.