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October 06, 2016

Penn grad crowdfunding for Philly-themed adult coloring book

Kickstarter project offers health benefits in the form of a local diversion

Art Crowdfunding
100616_WonderPHL Source/Kickstarter

"WonderPHL – A Philadelphia Coloring Advance."

You're never too old to color, and anyone who says otherwise is close friends with boredom. 

The first adult coloring books to achieve commercial success date back about three or four years, bolstered by research supporting the therapeutic and other health benefits associated with putting Crayola to paper. Just this past summer, a generation of Lisa Frank fans rejoiced when the coloring queen of the nineties announced plans for an adult line.

And now, a local graduate of the University of Pennsylvania is crowdfunding on Kickstarter to self-publish a Philadelphia-themed adult coloring book.

"I am making a Philadelphia-themed coloring book with 25 hand-illustrated pages and I need your help funding the initial print run!" said Daniel Lipschutz, a former Quaker football player and a 2012 graduate in the Ivy League school's bioengineering program. "The book will be a platform to encourage residents and visitors to this great city to slow down and appreciate the details all around through a creative escape."

Lipschutz says he was inspired growing up by Philadelphia's rare blend of American history, modern arts, diverse culture and natural lands.

The idea for "WonderPHL — A Philadelphia Coloring Adventure" germinated during a year spent living and working on a farm in Montana. When a friend asked him to draw a goat, he obliged and soon found the friend immersed in filling in his work with colored pencil.

"Learning to draw and dedicating myself to learning this skill over the last three years has really helped me de-stress and focus on the many things to be grateful for in the present moment," Lipschutz said.

Local research backs up Lipschutz's intuitive discovery. Drexel researchers recently published findings from a study that determined making art reduces stress hormones even if the artist isn't any good at drawing.

The eventual coloring book will feature 25 illustrations interspersed with factual information about the scenes and selected poetry from Lipschutz. To help advance Penn's efforts to improve mental health on campus, Lipschutz has also set some backer levels that direct funds to the university's Counseling and Psychological Services programs.

Lipschutz is less than $1,000 away from his goal of $7,500 with 21 days to go. You can help him get there by backing his project here