An Interview with Arttapi Founder, Alicia Nees

If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of colouring a page out of ‘Travel. Colour. Create.’ then you, my friend, are missing out on an opportunity to take your imagination and your mind to exotic lands and places.

For the wanderlust in all of us, ‘Travel. Colour. Create’ is a way to escape from the confines of a desk job and to occupy a headspace where one minute you can be on a boat near the beaches of Thailand and the next you’re exploring Marble Caves in the depths of Patagonia.

I had the opportunity to chat with the founder and creative genius behind Arttapi and want to share with you some of the fun things I learned about Alicia, Arttapi, and the book that we’ve all come to love so much.

What made you choose colouring books as a medium with which to express yourself?

I love how colouring books can be used as a mindfulness and creativity tool.

Coming from the corporate world, this was something that I felt was sorely needed in the workplace.

There are so many benefits that can come out of keeping colouring books in the workplace, like increased focus and preventing burnout, but I’d say, even more than that, keeping colouring books in the workplace is a great way to just make your employees feel appreciated.

I used to be an executive assistant at a big head hunting firm, so I know what it feels like to be burnt out, to feel like you’re putting a lot in and getting very little back.

Corporate benefits that are aimed to show how much they value their employees are great for team morale.

Why did you decide to stick with travel themes?

Well, I personally love travel. Several of the pages in the book are places that I’ve actually been to, and getting to share little snippets of that journey with people is very rewarding.

Some of the places I’ve never been to. This is actually one of the things I love most about 'Travel. Colour. Create.' When you colour these exotic places, it serves as motivation to actually go and visit them in real life.

This can translate really well in the workplace because when employees are properly motivated, there is usually a general improvement in overall work ethic.

What are some of your own experiences with colouring?

Besides pushing myself to be more creative, I’ve found that I can pair colouring up with other things I love, like chatting with my husband.

I’ve also been taking my colouring game to the next level and have started practicing various colouring techniques by watching Youtube videos.

Tell me about Arttapi’s commitment to environmental sustainability?

Since I embrace an environmentally sustainable philosophy in my own personal life, it was important to me that Arttapi have that same philosophy.

For example, our deskmats are completely 100% recyclable. I also searched high and low for a printer that would be able to spray an environmentally friendly rubber latex coating on the mats. This wasn’t easy, but finally, I found one (Brights Print Group). They were amazing! They brought in their own chemist to get the job done!

What would you say is the future of Arttapi?

It’s constantly evolving. Without saying too much, I will tell you that there are some colourable gift cards and art board prints of colouring pages that are in the works. So definitely stay tuned for that!

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There is this beautiful notion that it just ‘comes’ out of nowhere and plants itself in our brains when we least expect it.

It’s a bit of silly notion, isn’t it?

Any professional creative will tell you this isn’t the case.

Creative coloring

It’s damn hard work, but more than anything. . . it’s showing up.

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they should have coloured for productivity
Not to be confused with THIS epic office. Who else wishes Michael Scott was their boss?

And yet, one of the biggest complaints most employees have about their work environments is, in fact, how unproductive it can sometimes feel.

Between tempting office birthday cake that induces everyone into sugar comas and frequent meetings that take too long and manage to accomplish so little, it’s easy to feel depleted and lethargic by the time you manage to make it back to your personal desk.

Try these 4 tips next time you need to kickstart some massive productivity:

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doodling and colouring for productivity

Historically, if someone was seen doodling while in a meeting it was assumed that they were not paying attention. Recent studies have actually shown that the people who doodle, are actually retaining more information than those who are not – in fact it’s estimated to be 29% more information.

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