Wendy Axel Martin, Fashion Design ’81

Adult coloring books are having a moment right now. All of a sudden, grown-ups are discovering that it’s fun to color again. I was chatting about this craze with Natalie Zaman, a writer with whom I collaborate on illustrated books, and I thought it would be great if we could do something different, something that was more than just a coloring book. Since the activity is being touted as meditative and relaxing, I thought, “Why don’t we do a meditation coloring book?”

The Animal Totem Mandala Coloring Book: Art Nouveau Creatures and Reflections for Relaxation (Magical Child Books, 2016) features 30 animals in mandala form, with a meditation for each animal. Our hope is that people think about the meditation while they’re coloring in the pictures. I call it a “coloring book plus.”

Natalie picked the animals from lists of favorite animals from around the world: wolf, panda, luna moth, and peacock [above], to name a few. Then I let my creativity go—I went wild with Art Nouveau swirls and twirls.

Martin is the illustrator of numerous picture and coloring books, including The Story Circle (Arte Publico Press, 2016) and An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child (Magical Child Books, 2008). We invite you to print the mandala, color it in, scan it, and send it to hue@fitnyc.edu. Get creative!