Outside the Lines

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Outside the Lines in exchange for a review. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

My kids are pretty darn lucky. They get to spend most of their days coloring, playing, and sleeping. Greg doesn’t really do much in the way of structured play, it’s all fairly creative, come-as-it-goes play. Each day, I have no idea what kind of artwork, projects, or mess I will come home to. It’s our way of parenting–letting the kids have an imagination and enjoy their time as kids.

Like their uncle*, they don’t like to color inside the lines.  There is nothing telling them that the sky should be blue and grass green. We like it this way. And I think that curator Souris Hong-Porretta (art enthusiast, idea enabler, and yay-maker) would agree that is just fine. Her daughter Lulu inspired OUTSIDE THE LINES: An Artists’ Coloring Book For Giant Imaginations with her amazement at art by those who didn’t “color inside the lines”–Warhol, Moebius–and from that inspiration came this collection of illustrations.

Outside the Lines

source: Amazon.com

Children can color in or out of the lines all they want on the black and white pages of Outside the Lines. The book is filled with over 100 pieces of artwork, some that were commissioned just for the project, others that are recognizable works from contemporary artists. The art is not your normal sunshine and flowers, but intriguing, creative, and inspiring for artists of all ages. (I immediately thought of how much my friend Eliz would love to share this with her twins–she was an art teacher in her “past life”.)

Arianna wasn’t married to the book (she’s an angsty teenager at the ripe age of 4 and doesn’t always cooperate with my reviews–I guarantee she’ll be more in to it next week, after Evan’s colored all the pages). Evan, on the other hand, just couldn’t get enough, and he’s not normally one captivated by coloring books. Maybe this is more on his level–cool pictures that are more creative than the “standard”.


Evan especially loved coloring Buff Monster’s “Friends” in his (current) favorite color, green, coloring over his sister’s pink monster friend:



This coloring book is fun–I almost felt bad letting the kids loose on it–and would be a good way to introduce your kids to art culture. It will be released on September 3 and is available for pre-order now.

*My brother had to go back to first grade because he didn’t color inside the lines. Today, he’s an industrial designer, constantly coloring outside the lines and designing pretty interesting things for some big name brands. Take that, first grade!

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