In recent years, art therapy has been elevated as one of the best ways to deal with the stresses of daily life as well as other issues we are experiencing. Research has shown how coloring, for example, can have positive effects on mental health, from folks with cancer to those dealing depression, anxiety and everything inbetween. With trösta box, we believe it’s important to respect the power of all our senses as we think about new ways to enhance self-care.
I’ve been using the Pigment app on my iPhone 6s for a few days now, and I’m already addicted. What’s so great about coloring is that it incorporates our senses of touch and sight in a way that focuses our mental energy on a singular task: being creative. This app hasn’t been on the market for too long (version 1.0 was just released on December 17). I’ll say upfront that this app is probably a lot more fun if you have an iPad Pro and one of Apple’s new Pencils (I got to play with these fun gadgets and the app Procreate a few weeks ago, and it was a lot of fun).
That said, Pigment for iPhone is still spectacular, and here’s why.
Downloadable coloring pages are super well done
Just like your standard coloring book, there are hosts of downloadable black and white pages for you to color. But, these aren’t your average kiddy coloring books. These pages are detailed and imaginative, and some—like Mandalas Volume 1—feel like they could take days or even weeks to complete. The best part, though, has to be that Pigment offers quite a lot of free pages. Of course, some of the more detailed pages need to be purchased (you can get a one-year subscription for just $24.99), but with Pigment adding more pages regularly, I’m already finding it difficult think I’ll run out of free pages any time soon.
Color in the lines, or out
Each page is basically a series of vector images that come together to form one big coloring page. This means that you can tap a single section of the image, no matter how small, so that you can color “inside the lines” without even trying. Of course, you’re not bound to this, and it’s very easy to de-select any specific area of the page and just go crazy, in or outside the lines.
Huge list of brush types, colors and options
To me, this app makes Photoshop look like a relic of the past (well, at least for brush functions). Pigment includes standard coloring tools like pencils, markers, and paint brushes, but it goes even further into shading and gradient brushes. When you select a new brush, you can adjust how light or dark you want the color to be as well as how large the brush head is. If you’ve never used any of the standards in graphic design software (like Photoshop), just know that this kind of functionality used to cost a ton of money—now it’s all awesome and free in Pigment.
Save and share
What would a creative app be without the ability to save your work? Of course, Pigment saves your latest version of in-progress work as you go, but when you’re finished, you can also save your coloring as a picture to your iPhone or iPad camera roll or share it to social media. The best part about sharing is that this app gives you a way to encourage others you know to take on similar creative challenges as they seek to practice self-care too.
There are a lot of technical goodies packed into Pigment. If you’ve heard before that coloring can be a great way to express yourself emotionally or begin the practice of self-care, I’d recommend you look no further than this app to get started. Being free is a huge help (if you’re not ready to spend money on coloring tools and books just yet), but being so detailed ensures you won’t be able to rush yourself through something that should, realistically, take some intentional time to complete.
Using Pigment? We’d love to see your finished or in-progress images. Post them in the comments or send ‘em to us on social media.