Our Story

Many people have asked how and why Steve and I started Coloring Bliss, so we created this video to share our coloring journey and story with you. Feel free to share with anyone who is struggling and needs a little inspiration and advice to get through the hard times.

Art and coloring can be a powerful tool for helping us cope with life’s pressures and challenges. Our’s is a story of how learning to draw Zentangles led us to a better place emotionally, as well as giving us the opportunity to work together on a passion project turned business called Coloring Bliss.

Click here to learn more about Coloring Bliss and the products and services that we offer. https://www.coloringbliss.com

You can also contact us on our website at: https://www.coloringbliss.com/contact/

Be sure to like and subscribe here on Youtube as well as on our other social media channels here…

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/coloringpagesbliss/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColoringBliss/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ColoringPagesBliss/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coloringbliss/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coloringpagesbliss

We look forward to seeing you in our community!

With sincerity & great appreciation,
Jennifer & Steve Stay

Video Transcript

Coloring Bliss (our business and all the art I do) I literally think it saved my marriage. Really? Yeah without it I would just be that sick person sitting in that recliner.

My name is Jennifer Stay, and I’m Steve Stay, and we are the co-owners of Coloring Bliss an online business where we sell coloring books and we do YouTube tutorials. We have been married for almost 30 years now. What I bring to Coloring Bliss is that I am an illustrator, and I guess you could call me the face of Coloring Bliss because I’m on all the YouTube videos. Yeah the beautiful face. Oh thank you. And I do all of the behind the scenes stuff. So what led you to adult coloring? Well about 20 years ago my health started to decline. It took so many years of so many doctors and tests to get to a point where we finally got diagnosed. And I was diagnosed with, it’s called ME/CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome. Also I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and POTS. You kind of put all that together and it’s kind of like Long Haul COVID. During that time I lost pretty much everything that was joyful in my life except for my family and my religion. That was about all that was left and so I needed something new I needed a creative outlet because before that I was very into painting and sewing and crochet I was doing lots of decorating my house but it all got taken away by the illness and I was left with just me sitting in the house miserable how did that affect you it was traumatic it it changed the way I could be a mom I used to take my kids to the zoo we had a zoo Castle we were going almost weekly for a while and I used to do preschool for my kids I did I was cooking every meal for them I couldn’t do any of that anymore I spent a lot of time sitting in my recliner and just letting the kids play video games around me I did play video games with my kids that was a lot of fun it also really affected my marriage I’m still to this day a little shocked that my husband stayed with me during all of that because it was such a dark time I was so depressed and trying not to get suicidal but just why live a life where there’s no quality of life so what did you

I was praying for guidance to know what I should do to add some Joy back into my life so that’s what led me to going to Barnes and Noble one day with my son which is a bookstore here and we were just having fun looking at his books he needed to use the bathroom so while he was in the bathroom I decided to just wait for him there outside of the bathroom and I felt very led to walk around the corner of where I was standing and when I walked around the corner there was a whole wall of like the art Department of the bookstore so there was drawing and painting and all of these things but there was one book that really jumped out at me and it was a Zentangle book and most people knowed about Zentangle now but back then it was brand new and I didn’t have any idea what it was so I pulled the book off the shelf and looked at it and here was this drawing book that showed you step by step how to create these beautiful illustrations and they didn’t have to look like anything it just was drawing for the fun of drawing I was so scared of drawing that I didn’t let myself use a pen for the longest time because I wanted the ability to erase and so I was very focused on just having fun for me and I had no plan to do anything with it it was just a new creative outlet that I never thought I could draw but all of a sudden this opened up an Avenue to art that I didn’t think I was capable of doing so the more I drew the more confident I got and I started sharing with my family and friends what I was doing and they thought that I should start adding color for the longest time I was too scared to even add color everything was black and white and I was being brave using a Sharpie pen you know and so I didn’t do anything with coloring for a while but then there was a time where my husband’s mother so my mother-in-law she worked on phones at her job and she told us that in between phone calls they would color and like I said this was before adult coloring became a really big thing so they were coloring in coloring books for kids and really enjoying it and she encouraged me to maybe that these drawings could become coloring pages that she could color and so I decided to start pushing my illustrative skills a little harder and see if I could create coloring pages that others would enjoy

yeah I mean without my husband who has all the tech skills all the computer skills he knew how to take a drawing and get it from a drawing to a digital coloring page without that coloring Bliss would never have happened but without my illness and being led to learning how to illustrate coloring glass would have never happened so when I look at it from that perspective God led me to this and put this little business together that has become such a huge blessing to me my family and to thousands of people all around the world which blows my mind I was having so many positive benefits from this art this coloring I wanted to share it I started by sharing it with friends and family when you have something that is that doable that everybody can do and it’s that helpful you want to share it with everyone so we ended up starting the YouTube channel and we did a Facebook group so that we could all come together and I could share with them this really powerful thing that coloring has been in my life the other thing that it did which I did not expect this at all is that it gave me a community it gave me a group of people that are following me through my YouTube channel and gave me a reason to wake up because I knew there were people on those groups there were people waiting for my videos there were people emailing me telling me about all the experiences they were having that was helping them so it it changed my life has that affected your marriage and family well I I think it’s safe to say that this business has saved our marriage and saved our family really yeah one of the biggest things it’s done for us especially as a couple um is that it gave us the ability to do something together to work on something together that’s very positive I that’s what I love about coloring even though I don’t necessarily color I love how it’s just this happy light thing you know and so as we have been able to work together on creating videos and creating products and all those things it’s kind of pulled together both of our talents and skills I do love how both your skills and my newfound skills came together to create this business you know we always wanted something where we could work together that’s something we’ve wanted pretty much our whole marriage yeah but then when Jennifer got sick it became even more important to find something because I just remember going to work and feeling sad that I couldn’t be there to help her and knowing how hard it was for her you know here at home and so I’m just so grateful to coloring Bliss for that that it gave us this ability to have me be at home so that I can help her and care for her the doctor’s appointment yeah yeah and so that’s been a huge blessing that has come from all of it I’m so grateful to you know all of our community and all of our people that have made this possible the other thing it’s done is I think it’s made my kids proud of me despite being sick all the time where before I was just like I said this lump in a chair but now I’m a productive member of society I’m doing something that is full of purpose for other people as well and inspiring people and I’m just so proud of myself and that I’ve overcome that phase of my life and I’m not saying that maybe someday the sickness won’t put me back down again and there are days when I don’t get out of bed or I am stuck on that chair all day long but for the vast majority of days now I feel productive and feel really part of a community and it’s it’s a miracle it’s amazing and it’s given me an opportunity to serve in a way that I could never have imagined so by getting up and getting moving again and and focusing on those things it saved my life it made me a better mother and it’s made me a more fun friend for my husband because the truth is you have to try you can’t just sit there and let that sickness defeat you there are days where it defeats me still even to this day I have to sit in a chair all day long for more than a day in a row sometimes it’s weeks or months in a row but I can’t let it defeat me and I have to keep trying and so having coloring Bliss gave me purpose a reason to try to try and face that pain every day and not give in to it and be defeated by it so what do you think coloring helps people and why has it become so popular I think one of the the coolest things about coloring is that it’s so approachable I mean everybody has colored we were all given a crayon or a colored pencil or a marker to color with so it’s something that feels familiar and it’s not this big scary thing that you have to go and learn it’s kind of like with me with Zentangle it was a very approachable easy first step into drawing so I didn’t feel like I had to go attend a class and produce these beautiful works of art coloring’s the same way it’s very simple you just pick up a crayon and you can start coloring it’s as simple as that or it can be as complicated as what I do on my channel which is full of blending and shading and multiple different kinds of art supplies and it’s so cool that it’s this whole Spectrum everything from very beginner to even Advanced artists can find joy in coloring and I love that it engages all of our senses so if you are using it therapeutically to help with pain or with depression coloring can be fully encompassing you can think about the sound of the pencil on the paper you can think about the way the paper feels under your hands as you’re coloring you’re seeing these beautiful colors and and watching them appear on the paper and you’ve got taste even I mean everybody knows what a crayon tastes like at some point we all stuck a crayon in her mouth and so there’s even taste involved although for me now I do taste with usually a little snack or something that I eat while I’m coloring so that that engages that sense too and smell is there too I love the smell of a freshly sharpened colored pencil it’s one of my favorite things and so it’s totally all-encompassing and when you use it therapeutically like that you can get yourself lost in coloring and totally forget about the hardships the stresses the negativity going on if you engage yourself in the coloring Community you’ll find it to be a very uplifting positive group of people as well it’s the perfect thing to do if you need some help like that in your life

you know I don’t remember the moment that I picked that name but I do remember that um I really like the word bliss it means a lot of positive things it’s relaxing it’s happy it’s an Escape and I just like the word bliss and so to put the words coloring Bliss together I’m I’m sure that’s where that came from is I wanted something that would tell people how I feel about coloring that it is a blissful thing and I want it to be Blissful for them so it was a logical name for our company

it’s one of my absolute favorite parts of being a part of coloring Bliss is all of the emails and messages that we get from our community sharing with us how much coloring Bliss has helped them you know I know that coloring and art helps me but to hear it back from other people how the coloring has helped them is so powerful we have had stories from people who are like me chronically ill we’ve had people share stories about severe depression and um wanting to commit suicide all of those types of feelings and coloring Has Lifted and supported them we know of people who were on their deathbed and still coloring to be able to cope with that part the end of their life we know people who have lost loved ones that are grieving and they have used coloring to help them through that transition even people who are grieving other things like job losses and stressful things that happen in their lives coloring has helped them as well we’ve had hundreds of messages like that and it gives purpose to coloring Bliss Way Beyond me making little illustrations and selling coloring books it’s this epic thing that has helped so many people and I am honored to be a part of that so beyond that beyond the sick people and people who are really struggling there is another level to coloring Bliss and that’s the healthy people who are looking for something creative an outlet that they can do like we said coloring is so approachable anyone can do it like my mother-in-law who colored in between her phone calls at her job we hear stories like that all the time or people who are coloring with their children and sitting down and having amazing experiences with their children and grandchildren I mean coloring is for everyone and there’s something in coloring for every level and the way I think of it is as a collaboration it’s a collaboration between the illustrator and the colorist so the illustrator gets to put down their vision of this piece of art but then they pass it off to these colorists who then fill it in with their vision for that piece of art and as an illustrator it’s really exciting to watch what other people do with my art never thought that that would be part of the joy of coloring Bliss but to see my art turned into something colorfully beautiful is really exciting and I also like the ones that are the beginning colorists that you know they don’t know about shading and cross hatching and how to do mixed media they don’t know any of that they just picked up a pencil and filled in some color and maybe it’s outside of the lines none of that matters again as the illustrator it’s really special and exciting to see what they do with that piece of art so what does the future hold for you both I’m going to be sick for the foreseeable future unless some miracle happens and I wish I had that story that I could tell and share that there’s been a breakthrough and I’m getting better but know that it’s called a chronic illness and it’s chronically mine for as long as I can see in the future so my story and our story because he’s in this illness with me is one of endurance and I see coloring bless is a huge part of that endurance because it gives us so much joy it gives us a purpose a reason to wake up in the morning a reason to work together and find ways to collaborate and use each other’s talents and skills so I guess I’ll just keep putting on the makeup and the fake fingernails and smiling for the camera and with Steve here by my side and little Rose snoring in the background we will continue to make videos for coloring Bliss because it still has purpose it still has a huge meaning in my life and I am very honored that I get to be part of coloring Bliss and part of this community and your partner I feel very honored that we work together so well and I’m very grateful for you hmm

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