Culture

Hey Dorks, Here’s That Auspol-Themed Colouring Book You Wanted

"[It's] got strong borders to help keep your colouring in the lines," the creator says.

There’s been a very strange development this past year that’s involved fully-functioning human adults enthusiastically scribbling in colouring books. Lawyers. Doctors. School teachers. Everyone has been so intent on completing rudimentary children’s activities at their desks that a range of newly-created grown-up alternatives have regularly topped our bestseller list. They even beat out Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman — a work from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author which we’ve literally been anticipating for more than half a century.

But with many of these books tying themselves to the “mindfulness” movement, this is more complicated than it first seems. For many, the activity is about relaxation — the simple, tangible process of colouring provides both nostalgia and a satisfying escape from the constant digitisation of everything else in their lives. It’s a way to de-stress.

Now, some mad genius has figured out the one untapped market of people who need all this the most: those who follow Australian politics. Introducing, The #Auspol Colouring Book:

colour

Directions: place pencil in clenched fist, direct all rage and anguish through the lead, watch your masterpiece come to life.

Featuring pictures of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten, Clive Palmer, Julie Bishop, Richard Di Natale, Penny Wong, Nick Xenophon, Bronwyn Bishop, and more, the colouring book was recently self-produced and put for sale online by Australian creative Zena Kells.

We had a little chat with her about how it came into being.

Junkee: Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Zena: I’m an audio producer and digital designer. It was my birthday yesterday! I’ve been living in Cambodia for the last two years (just got back home) so it’s nice having a few more TV channels and not having to watch Q&A on Tuesday.

If your background is in audio. What made you decide to do a colouring book?

Yes, audio is my true love! I’m actually making this colouring book to fund a secret audio auspol project I’m working on in the lead-up to the 2016 election. I hate crowdfunding, I’m terrible at asking people for money. So this seemed like a nice way around doing that. Buy a colouring book and at the same time fund my audio project! Win, win! Do you remember the Pauline Hanson activity book? That’s my inspiration.

pauline-hanson-activity-book

Plus it’s been fun making the patterns and imagining people relaxing while colouring Clive Palmer’s teeth.

What do you think about the current colouring book craze? A helpful tool for relaxation — or yet another symptom of society’s infantalisation?

I just remember being in primary school and kids being rewarded with stickers if they didn’t colour outside the lines. I didn’t get many stickers and it wasn’t very relaxing. I think as an adult, using colouring books are more relaxing — there are no stickers to compete for (unless that Game of Thrones one comes with dragon egg stickers).

How did you pick which Auspol icons to feature?

I focused on the last 12 months, so Gillard and Rudd are a no show. I looked for stand-out events and memorable moments. It’s like a yearbook.

Is there anyone or anything you’re regretting not including?

Yes! The marble table. All those shattered pieces would be very therapeutic to fill with colour I imagine.

Guess these ones will have to do:

You can buy The #Auspol Colouring Book for $19 + shipping here.