On a recent sunny and blisteringly hot afternoon, the SFR staff sat down at the picnic table behind our offices and set to work on pages from a new adult coloring book created, curated and executed by Brooklyn-based artist Jared Hoffman. The Stoner’s Coloring Book, which features 10 artists in addition to Hoffman, actually comes during the height of an interesting trend in books that finds similar titles (such as Release Your Anger) rising to the top of amazon.com and similar outlets’ sales charts. The difference here, however, is that Hoffman’s is the only title aimed specifically at people who love to smoke weed.
“I’ve been doodling and drawing the last couple years,” Hoffman tells SFR, “and I’d definitely noticed that trend of adult coloring books, but when I started to check them out, I thought that my style was better than most of the simple stuff I was seeing, so I figured, why not?”
Hoffman, a recent Cornell graduate, is pretty spot-on in his assessment of similar titles showcasing a certain simplicity. For his part, the psychedelic and overtly complex line drawings of his book require a deeper commitment from their intended audience. This may seem counterintuitive for stoners, but, like, you’re really just gotta see the imagery, man. Throughout the book, drawings with bizarre patterns mesh with paraphernalia central to stoner culture. There are hip penguins, intricate flowers and strange scenes too complicated to even begin to describe; this thing is a project, to say the least. But it can be a stress outlet, and that’s more important than ever in this workaday world.
“There’s a marketing angle we kind of took, which is that something like this book can be therapeutic or a de-stressor, and that’s a lot better than taking a Xanax,” Hoffman says. “I think people can look at it and say, ‘Oh wow, I have stress; why not?’”
Furthermore, Hoffman hypothesizes that at least some of his book’s popularity is rooted in so-called Peter Pan syndrome or many adults’ subconscious need to reclaim bits and pieces of their childhoods where they can; the stoner aspect itself is merely a jumping-off point for the psychedelia he enjoys creating. Hoffman does state that one needn’t be a fan of weed to enjoy his book, although he added, “I did get high myself and tried to color a number of pages, because I wanted to know what that would be like, and I kind of think that the people who want to get high and color in this book are really the kind of people who want to get high and do whatever.”
For our own part, certain SFR staffers found the line drawings of much of the book to be a bit much, and many of us abandoned our pages before completion. If, however, you're the kind of person who can really zone out while you're smoking and coloring, this book is the project of your dreams. Either way, it's fun to flip through the drawings. “It takes hours to finish a page, I know that, but some people have let me know they’ve colored the entire thing, and that’s pretty amazing,” Hoffman says. “I think that we’re at this point with the internet or whatever where not everyone has the patience to sit down with something or look at something for hours. Nobody looks at things for more than, like, two seconds online, but with the book … tons of people have told me they’ve done that with the book, which is kind of amazing … I get a ton of people sending me pictures of their completed pages.”
User submissions can be seen on Instagram at @stonercoloringbook.