Steve McDonald is a world traveler and lifelong professional illustrator whose two passions meet perfectly in his bestselling coloring books. In his series Fantastic Cities, Fantastic Structures, and the brand-new Fantastic Collections, Steve pulls inspiration from his travels to create his detailed architectural coloring illustraions. Originally from Canada, he has lived in Italy, Saudi Arabia, India, and Indonesia; he currently makes his home in Ontario, Canada.
We caught up with Steve over email to learn a little more about his artistic background and his philosophies behind adult coloring.
Q: Please tell us a bit about your background as an artist.
A: I was trained as an illustrator at the Ontario College and Design. I then spent almost twenty years painting landscapes around Canada. I’ve since lived in Indonesia, India, Italy and have done more and more travel drawing and line work.
Q: When and how did you get into creating adult coloring books?
A: The first collection of work (Fantastic Planets) was developed while living in Bali. The purpose came after the work actually…My daughters both thought the series would make for fun coloring.
Q: Can you share any special techniques you use to get great results in your coloring?
A: Be free. Break the rules. The best results are usually the ones where happy accidents happen along the way. These don’t arise if you are being too rigid about your approach.
Q: What is your process like when you create a coloring book?
A: Loads of line drawing! I like to think of how people will approach them and what would make for fun coloring but ultimately the work has to stand on its own as well. So I approach them in not a very different manner than the rest of my work. Plan them out. Execute with intention. Be unique.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of the process? The most rewarding?
A: The most challenging part is definitely interacting with the readers and press. It is also the most rewarding. If the books have given anyone a creative outlet, inspiration to create their own work, or some sort of stress reduction then that makes me pretty pleased. Having my work shared so widely around the planet is not so bad either! Being part of a collaborative process with my readers has been incredible.
Q: Why do you think adults love to color?
A: Same reason we all do. It is a creative innate human activity. The more things like this in your life the better. We are so plugged in all the time and anything that lets us be present and offline for a while is a good thing.
Q: What’s your favorite creative activity to relax and unwind?
A: Drawing. But you get to do the coloring.
And for coloring tips and techniques from JOANN click here!