All images Caroline Leeming. Stylist: Claire Brayford. Illustration taken from The Gorgeous Colouring Book For Grown-Ups and soft grip coloured pencils by Faber Castell, available at Fenwick Newcastle
When we think back to 2015 what will we remember? The outcome of the general election? The birth of Princess Charlotte? Or the year grown men and women fell in love with colouring in?
Since its publication in 2013, 1.4million adults worldwide, their tongues firmly pressed between their lips, have attempted to remain within the lines of Johanna Basford's intricately detailed Secret Garden illustrations. A further 500,000 have shrugged off the stresses of the day with Millie Marotta's elaborate Animal Kingdom. It is a phenomenon that is reaching the masses. Ask around and you will be amazed at how many friends and family are waiting until the children are soundly asleep to steal their felt tips and get scribbling.
As a way to unleash untapped creativity, even for those who can't paint or draw, and as a digital detox it is proving irresistible. Last month five of Amazon's top ten best-sellers were colouring books. Celebrities from Nigella Lawson to Zooey Deschanel - via South Korean pop star Kim Ki-Bum - are also taking to the trend. Although not everyone is enchanted by its mindfulness. Russell Brand dedicated a programme on his YouTube channel, The Trews, entitled Adult Colouring Books: Is This the Apocalypse? while Harry Styles recently tweeted in disgust: "I know we're young but I feel like colouring books in the dressing room is a little far".
He was, however, happy to receive the ultimate celebrity accolade in a Colour Me Good Harry colouring book by Mel Simone Elliott, an illustrator who has also immortalised Benedict Cumberbatch, Taylor Swift and most recently Tom Hiddleston for our colouring pleasure.
"It is a trend that began at Christmas but has gathered pace ever since as people discovered it is something they really enjoy," says Emma Hawkins, stationery buyer at Fenwick Newcastle. "It is taking many back to their childhood. It's not something people would immediately think of as successful therapy but many are finding it a great way to unwind and relax and we can't keep the colouring books on the shelves."