Theresa Corbin is joining The Muslimah Mommy Expert Insight panel, and I cannot be more thrilled about this! Theresa is a graphic artist and is about to release a new version of her Islamic, Adult Coloring Book! Theresa has also been kind enough to giveaway a copy of her coloring book, please see the giveaway rules at the end of the interview!
Getting to know Theresa Corbin
Theresa Corbin is a New Orleans native and Muslimah who converted in 2001 after many years of soul searching and religious study. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women’s issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for AboutIslam.net and Al Jumuah magazine and runs her blog, islamwich. Her work has also been featured on CNN and the Washington Post, among others publications.
How did you first get into illustration? Do you have any formal training?
When I was in college, I tried on many majors before I fell in love with literature and settled in the English department. I was a bit like a cat. But instead of having 9 lives, I was going through areas of study as if I had all the time in the world. One of those many areas of study was graphic design. I really love being creative and working with programs to design and put together something that is visually appealing. I found the art classes calming and the computer classes exciting and challenging.
Starting my blog, islamwich.com, in 2012 gave me a space in which I could really put my imagination and love for design to work. For The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book, I tapped into that same creativity and knowledge base. I searched the web for the best images of masajid, tessellation, and other Islamic themed images. These images had to be complicated enough to challenge the adult, but also be sleek enough to be turned into line drawings. Once I had all the images I thought people would enjoy coloring, I created a procedure from what I learned in graphic design study to transform them into line drawings.
I self-published the first edition of the coloring book in early 2016. By late summer of 2016, I was approached by Papatia Feauxzar, Founder & President of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing. She wanted to know if I would be interested in re-publishing The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book with Djarabi Kitabs. I jumped at the chance to be a part of her amazing publishing house. Papatia made quick work of finding the very talented Naafi Nur Rohma to rework the images and make them sharper and better than I could imagine. Naafi really did a wonderful job as the illustrator and her knowledge picked up where mine had left off. Things went really quickly from there and we have published the new and improved version a little over a year after the first edition was published.
What made you decide to create this coloring book?
My husband was actually the inspiration for the coloring book (or coloring book for the non-’mericans). He has been the behind the scenes consultant for islamwich. He is my sounding board, my brainstorming buddy, and islamwich’s financial backer. During one of our brainstorming sessions, he said, “you have so many graphics you have made for islamwich, why don’t you just turn those into pages of a coloring book for adults? Adult coloring books are huge right now”. I thought it was a great idea, but I also thought that there must be a million Islamic themed adult, coloring books on the market already. I also thought that if I did take on this project, it would have to be geared toward a very specific, niche market. After searching Google and Amazon, I found that I was wrong.
There were many coloring books for children with an Islamic theme, but very few for adults. I was kind of floored by this, and had to rethink this thing from scratch. Building on my husband’s idea of turning the graphics I had already created for my blog, I decided that an adult coloring book with an Islamic theme didn’t need a niche market. It needed to speak about the basics of Islam and appeal to both Muslims and non-Muslims since there was so little out there, and the idea for The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book was born.
How can this book benefit Muslims?
Much research has been done on the concept of the adult coloring book as a form of art therapy. The results of these studies show that coloring for adults can benefit individuals suffering anything from cancer to stress. Adding a spiritual/Islamic component makes this kind of art therapy beneficial in both this world and the hereafter. The pages of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book include detailed mosque architecture, calligraphy, tessellation, hadith (prophetic traditions), dua (supplication), Quranic verses, and quotes for Muslims to reflect on, to take time out of their rushed and hectic lives to recenter, refocus, and let their minds recharge, de-stress, and cultivate sabr (patience). Also, each coloring page has a corresponding descriptive page for the non-Muslim colorer who wants to learn a bit about Islam free from myth or judgment all while relaxing. In this way, The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book can be a great dawah tool.
It is called The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book because the designs are intricate works that the adult colorer will find both challenging and soothing, but kids will certainly enjoy the book as well. Often older kids enjoy coloring books as much as the next guy, but obviously don’t want to use coloring books meant for young children. It’s just not complex enough for them, so The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book is more suited to them as well. Really, this coloring book is meant to benefit anyone and everyone!
The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book is available on Amazon, Amazon UK, & Createspace.
Want to win a copy of this amazing adult coloring book? All you have to do to enter is comment either below this post or on The Muslimah Mommy Instagram giveaway post and let me know why you want this!