I sometimes forget that colouring is principally used as a meditative tool, because I do it so often it seems like just another hobby to me. When I get a book in the mail that is so calming and tranquil, it brings it back to me that colouring is a fantastic way of relaxing the brain and also being mindful of your inner voice. That's what One Year Wiser feels like to me- a reminder to take a deep breath and just chill. Mike Medaglia is a London-based comic illustrator and Zen Buddhist, who uses his spiritual comics to try to inspire and enable people to be enlightened about life through his art.
This book is a soothing reminder to take each day as it comes, to ''stop, focus and unwind'' in this hectic rollercoaster called life. It is designed for you to complete one page a week, over the period of a year. Each page features quotes from wise leaders and great thinkers (including Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and Virginia Woolf), aiming to make the colourist be confident in their creativity, produce something beautiful, and ponder the meaning in the words and illustrations at the same time. I think the soft, gentle style of the drawings coupled with these affirmations have a wonderfully quieting effect; the feel of winding down in the simple, organic sketches that centre mostly around the natural world. Mike's illustrations are of course comic-y in style, which makes them easy on the eye, not intimidating and quite endearing in a child-like way. Take a look through the book below.
As you can see, the left side pages contain an illustrated number which corresponds to the week in the year, and the right hand side is the drawing itself. This of course means you can use markers on the pages without ruining a main illustration on the flip side. Mike has also included 'doodle' and 'palette' pages to practice your own art and test your colouring materials, as well as a 'quotes' page so you can jot down your favourite soundbites from people who inspire you.
The paper is really thick with a good amount of tooth, so pencils will look brilliant too. I love the feel of the cover; it has a dimpled texture which adds to the natural feel that the book exudes. It is sized perfectly at around 9x8 inches, and is thick and weighty in the hand.
Overall this is a really well made book with lots of heart and motivation for life. The clean lines and crisp white pages give a feeling of simplicity and composure, and I can certainly say this is a new favourite book which I can't wait to start in January. You don't have to wait that long, it's just an OCD with me that things have to be done at the 'proper' times! Until then, here's some beautiful coloured pages from the sister book- a matching version of One Year Wiser that is pre-coloured to be used as a daily meditative tool (links for both books below, make sure you choose the colouring one if that's what you want).
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. You can find yours on Amazon, here: