Let’s face it – there is a high correlation between being creative, being a bit of a geek, and at the same time, needing an activity to distract you from work. One thing that never fails among our team is doing creative activities and crafts. This includes taking a box of colors or crayons, printing out pictures, and spending hours coloring them. If this includes cute kawaii drawings to color, even better! (If you don’t know, kawaii is a Japanese aesthetic that focuses on all things adorable and cute. If you’re interested in learning more about the meaning of the term kawaii, read this article to the end)
The fact that we love coloring as a hobby is no coincidence: studies show that coloring is therapeutic and offers many benefits: fostering mindfulness, reducing stress, improving psychomotor coordination and spatial orientation, and even reaching a meditative state during the activity (not to mention the sheer nostalgia brought on by the smell of coloring pencils and crayons). If you have or work with children, this is also an ideal activity to develop their creative side.
In this article we have compiled several pages where you can download kawaii illustrations for coloring. You can print them out, or use them as the basis for digital art using your favorite illustration or photo manipulation software.
6 pages with cute kawaii drawings to color
1) Tokidoki Coloring Pages
Tokidoki is a brand full of amazing characters that was created in 2006 and whose popularity has only continued to grow. It may not be obvious, but the brand is not Japanese, but Italian. You can find their amazing designs in clothing, accessories, toys and vinyl figures, mugs, backpacks (given their collaboration with LeSportsac), among a myriad of other tantalizing merchandise. On their official website, Tokidoki offers a wide variety of coloring pages for you to download and enjoy!
2) Coloringonly – Sanrio
Coloringonly is a website that offers over 50,000 black and white illustrations for coloring. They have a large selection of Sanrio characters (including Hello Kityy, My Melody, Pochacco (our favorite!), Pompompurin, among others). Some illustrations look official, others look like fan art (for example, the Emo Hello Kitty). We’re not sure what license they have (or not) with Sanrio, so we recommend you use what you print only for personal use… Coloring pages aren’t enough for you? There’s endless Sanrio merchandise that can be yours. We want it all.
3) Shutterstock – Kawaii Illustrations
This well-known library of stock assets has lots and lots of black and white illustrations for coloring. A search with the words “Kawaii+coloring” brings up over 1500 results. Shutterstock is offering a free trial period that will give you some free downloads. You can also download a high-quality preview of the images by creating a free account. They will include the library’s watermark, but it doesn’t matter if you just want to distract yourself or give them to kids to color. Shall we recommend this series of kawaii horror character illustrations for coloring? Or is it too geeky?
4) IHeartCraftyThings – Pokemon
IHeartCraftyThings is a website full of arts and crafts materials and ideas. The link above shows you 15 Pokemon coloring pages ready to print (we find it impressive that after playing the original Pokemon Red and Blue games over 20 years ago, this franchise is still only growing in popularity, with a veritable empire of merchandise to buy). Again, we are not sure of the licensing agreement this site has with Nintendo, so we recommend you only use them for personal use.
5) Coloringonly – Pusheen
Another kawaii franchise found on Coloringonly is Pusheen. This cat stole our hearts and we are still obsessed with him (or her?), drooling over every piece of Pusheen merch. To avoid repeating ourselves over and over again with licensing matterrs, we’ll just mention that we recommend using these pages for personal use only.
And that’s all. Have a lot of fun printing and coloring these images. Here’s a creative idea. Kawaii goes hand in hand with rainbows, why not create rainbow gradients with these pages we compiled for you and use them to color these images digitally? We think they would look amazing!
If you are a geek, here are some frequently asked questions around kawaii:
What is the real meaning of kawaii?
The word kawaii comes from Japanese and translates into English as “cute” or “adorable”. The concept of kawaii is rooted in Japanese culture. It is a term for something that sparks a unique emotion that makes you go “aw!”.. It is used to describe people (especially babies and children) and animals, but also objects such as clothing and household items. It is a true aesthetic and is found throughout Japanese culture. Even mascots and logos of otherwise boring services as train networks include kawaii characters as mascots.
What is kawaii style?
This depends on what you mean by style. For an object or illustration to be considered kawaii, a set of cartoonish and exaggerated features are needed, especially those that are particular to what the human eye considers “adorable”, like big eyes. An object or animal posessing anthropomorphic features makes it kawaii too. Bright or pastel colors help too. On the subject of personal style, you can look at the famous Harajuku fashion styles. Kawaii behavior adopts specific characteristics such as covering your mouth to laugh or exaggerating the expressiveness of your emotions. If you want to make it easy, simply opt for a hoodie or headbands with animal ears (or a Kigurumi!).
Is kawaii still a thing?
We don’t think that cuteness will ever go away. Therefore, we don’t predict kawaii disappearing any time soon!
What is the opposite of kawaii in Japanese?
This is a very fun fact. The opposite of “kawaii” is “Kimochi warui“, which means “ugly and weird”. However, if something ugly and weird manages to be cute, it can become “kimokawaii“.
What is a chibi girl?
This concept is a part of the kawaii aesthetic. “Chibi” in Japanese can be translated as “small”. It can be applied to animal, people, or objects. For people it would be closely translated as “shorty”. This is cute in illustrations and cartoons, but could be rude if you refer to a person like this.
Foto de portada via Tokidoki