As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed stuffed animals – a collection of about 200 that I sorrowfully lost at the age of 15, an act I coyly refer to as “The Great Stuffed Animal Removal Act of 2001” – but what I truly enjoyed was anything involving crayons and markers. I loved to draw, color and paint, get my fingers sticky with mud and make mud pie, scatter my crayons in some indescribable cacophony of color on the walls, carpet, whatever I deemed a suitable surface. Most mothers do not care for this particular bit of artistic insight, and so, as children, we are proffered coloring books to properly channel our coloring outbursts onto a neater terrain.
I think everyone has owned a coloring book at one point or another, or at the very least a drawing pad complete with torn pages and nondescript drawings scribbled into the margins. And we’ve all owned crayons; and, for those of us raised as children in the early 90’s, we’ve tinkered with Paint on Microsoft to death, utterly enchanted by the computer medium of coloring that can be undid in a single swipe, with the perfect eraser that leaves no residue or streaks. It only makes sense that the latest gadgets are being adapted for portable use on our phones – our current technology opiate – and coloring is a popular venue definitely not forgotten.
Adam’s Art by Sol Robots is one iPhone coloring app that stands out. It has a super cute interface that tries its best to mimic the act of drawing by having a row of crayons along the bottom and a blank canvas above, much like how kids would set up their art station in life. You may choose among 10 different crayon colors that cover the ROYGBIV rainbow array, including one special multi-stripe crayon that changes color. Coloring is similar in style to the Paint program on Microsoft, only you use your finger instead of a mouse cursor, a surprisingly natural and instinctual adjustment that doesn’t require much of a learning curve.
There is also a selection among three different canvas types – white, black, or picture– which you can access by shaking the iPhone, a replacement for simply flipping a page in life. I particularly enjoyed the picture option, as I enjoy having an image to color in, however hard it is on this app. Seriously, if you’re one of the anal-retentive types who needs to neatly color within the lines, then expect to become increasingly frustrated, especially since some of the pictures are meticulously detailed and really small. I tried my best to color in the hammer, a very basic image, even using the white crayon as a makeshift eraser, and I still couldn’t color in the lines. When I came upon the picture of a boy and girl putting away dishes in a dishwasher, complete with tiny utensils, I nearly fainted. This app certainly does make you feel like a kid again, full of poor motor skills and sloppy coordination, and your artwork will definitely look like that of a first-grader, whether you are one or not. But where’s the fun in coloring in the lines, anyway?
I giggled like a kid when I noticed the little fridge icon on the lower right of the page. To think, you can attach your drawings to the digitized fridge just as you would attach art to your actual fridge. Tap the fridge icon and a blown up image of the fridge will be shown with your picture attached with a magnet, just like in real life. Too bad you can only attach five drawings at once, but hey, it is a fairly tiny rendition of a fridge. A sticky note on the fridge with the message “Read Me” gives you more information on the drawings. To remove a picture, simply drag it off the fridge; to edit, tap the picture and begin drawing again; and to save a drawing, drag it to the little red heart also present on the fridge face. By saving a drawing, you prevent it from disappearing should you continue saving more drawings than can be kept on the fridge.
Coloring with the Adam’s Art app is sure to entertain people of all ages. I’m 24 and I happily posted my pictures on the fridge, notably content with my silly colored picture of what, to me, looks like an anthropologist; of course, I already do have a blue doodled image of my boyfriend on the fridge – I kid you not. Kids will be delighted to have something to color while on the road, and mothers, take note, it’s far more productive and motor-skill inducing than the drool-inducing movie watching that tends to go on in the backseats of many SUVs. With its cute features and collection of pictures to color in, kids and adults will be sure to enjoy coloring all day long on their iPhone.