The pandemic has caused considerable disruption to the routines of many. People have been spending most of their time at home, incorporating new habits and methods to establish a new sense of order and normalcy. With more time on hand, many have also been exploring hobbies and activities that have previously taken a backseat.
For those who intend to traverse the creative route, Little Art House Studios (LAH Studios), an art collective in Penang recently launched its first digital colouring book — Colouring For Charity — featuring familiar scenes from the coastal state. Within its pages, colourers will find a variety of flora and fauna as well as nostalgic and re-imagined cityscapes of Penang.
The 21-page e-colouring book was assembled by interactive artist and art teacher Lusy Koror, who is part of LAH Studios’ band of educators and artists. She noticed a spike in demand for their printed colouring book that was made several years ago and decided to put together a digital version to make it more accessible.
LAH Studios seeks to promote noteworthy artisans and provide educational experiences for both the skilled and beginners. Such is also the case for this project; all the illustrations within can be appreciated by people of all ages.
“There is humour within the pages as well as a wide range of different styles that demonstrate the diversity of our collective,” said Koror. “We wanted to make sure that all levels and tastes were catered for.”
A total of 12 artists, local and from around the world, are featured in the digital book and many of them live or have visited in Penang at some point. Their interpretation of what Penang means to them, the pandemic and 2020 in general, form the template of the colouring pages. Each artwork is credited with the social media accounts or websites of the respective artists so new fans can follow or support their work.
“There is no pressure to make something look real,” Koror heartened. “We can be as creative as we like with the colours and the mark making. Having that pressure to perform taken away provides an opportunity to get lost in the work.”
Creating art can be a therapeutic experience for many. Koror notes that art is a way of developing control over your fine motor skills, which can be beneficial for both children and adults.
“It is also a language,” she continues. “It is another way to communicate your ideas, express your thoughts and opinions in a way verbal language cannot. And possibly for that reason, it is a release. Art is a way to release stresses, meditate and heal from troubles.”
Priced at RM14, all the proceeds from Colouring For Charity, as its name indicates, will go directly to charity. The two chosen are Tenaganita, a non-profit that focuses on human and labour rights, and Sama, an organisation that defends animal rights in Malaysia.
Currently, the collective is also running an online series of comedy shows every Thursday at 8.30pm, streamed live on Facebook through Penang Comedy Events.
The digital book will be available for download in PDF format upon purchasing and can be printed after that. Consider this an option to keep the kids busy while schools have yet to reopen, or even for yourself to fill up spare time while contributing to a good cause.