Pencils Over Pixels: Colour with Canon to Inspire Calmness this Stress Awareness Week

London, United Kingdom – 26ᵗʰ October 2021 – Whether it’s to distract us from doom-scrolling or to reignite our creative spark, 2021 has seen a rise in tactile and creative hobbies such as colouring in¹, intended to help us relax and unwind to protect our mental and physical wellbeing. Several studies have shown that colouring isn’t just an activity for children – just ten minutes a day of colouring can also bring mental health benefits to adults².

Ahead of Stress Awareness Week, starting 1st November, Canon Europe has partnered with two talented illustrators known for their inspirational art that encourage conversations around mental health, to create an exclusive series of printable designs that can be painted, coloured in or collaged to help ease stress and anxiety.

Illustrators Wednesday Holmes and Johanna Basford have created some brand new designs, all highlighting their unique illustration styles and transporting you to vibrant visual worlds:

  • Wednesday’s designs have been exhibited everywhere from the V&A London to the Heller Gallery in New York and focus on themes of education and empathy through their bright colours and kind characters
  • Johanna’s designs are all about detail, with intricate patterns that have helped pioneer the adult colouring trend during repeated lockdowns. Her hand-drawn illustrations have a mystical quality and explore themes such as secret gardens, magical castles, and enchanted forests

Let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them by printing and sending them one of the calming designs hosted on Canon’s Imagine What You Can Make Hub to colour in at home.

Highlight assets include:

  • Mindful Garden designs from Johanna Basford which incorporate blossoms, butterflies and bees – perfect for wildlife fans
  • Fun and calming characters from Wednesday Holmes in their classic joyful style

Johanna Basford, illustrator says: “You don’t need fancy art supplies to get the most from these designs. The thing about art supplies is that they respond differently to each unique person that uses them. Coloured pencils are a good starting point, but it’s important to have fun and experiment a little”.

Wednesday Holmes, illustrator says: “Drawing and colouring in can be instrumental in helping people through tough times, and I’ve found illustrating to be a super useful way of practising self-care. I’m really proud to work with Canon to bring people these designs, and I hope that printing and filling them with colour helps to uplift or calm anyone that needs it”.

Susie Donaldson, European Marketing Director at Canon EMEA says: “During busy or stressful times, it can be helpful to take time out and task yourself with something distracting, for which crafts are a simple, yet effective activity. We’re proud to offer our customers this selection of beautifully creative designs from such talented artists, which can be used for imaginative activities and pursuits and to help people connect. Try printing them out as stickers for collaging, creating magnets or even adding to clothing using iron-on transfer paper, to send and share with friends.”

Need a bit more creative inspiration before you get colouring? Search #ColourWithCanon on Instagram to see how influencers and colouring fans have made the designs their own.

To download these limited designs, please visit Canon’s Imagine What You Can Make Hub: https://www.canon.co.uk/get-inspired/stories/printing-and-crafts/imagine-what-you-can-make/

Canon’s PIXMA range of inkjet printers make the perfect companion for printing these designs, thanks to their creative capabilities.


1 Matt Chandler, (2020, May 14), Coronavirus lockdown reignites colouring book craze, publishers say, The Bookseller, https://www.thebookseller.com/news/coronavirus-lockdown-reignites-colouring-book-craze-publishers-say-1202275
2 Jayde A. M Flett, Celia Lie, Benjamin C Riordan, Laura M Thompson, Tamlin S Conner & Harlene Hayne (2017) Sharpen Your Pencils: Preliminary Evidence that Adult Coloring Reduces Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety, Creativity Research Journal, 29:4, 409-416, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10400419.2017.1376505