Cynthia Koh is hooked on colouring: It lets her connect with her inner child

1 November 2015 / 11 months 3 weeks ago

Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
Oct 30, 215

Colouring is no longer child's play - adults are now hooked on it, too. Local celebrities like Patricia Mok, Cynthia Koh, Oon Shu An and Denise Tan have been exploring their creative sides with colouring books for adults.

These books have become a fad after Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford released her first colouring book Secret Garden in 2013.

Thanks to social media, the burgeoning hobby picked up traction here late last year. Koh, 41, told The New Paper that it was fellow actress and colouring enthusiast Mok who got her started.

And it is something that allows her to reconnect with her "inner child".

Koh, who got hooked on colouring two months ago, said: "As a child, I loved to colour and doodle. I don't have as much opportunity to do that as I grow up.

"In colouring, there are no rules, no right or wrong. Sometimes, in life, we forget to have fun." The actress, who plays Wang Yafang in Channel 8 drama Crescendo, even takes a colouring book with her when on a holiday. So far, she has bought Basford's Secret Garden and Lost Ocean and Zoe de Las Cases' Secret Japan.

Koh admitted that her finished work reflects her "bold and direct" personality. "In Secret Garden, the first page I coloured was filled with bold and bright colours," she said.

"I am very straightforward and bold, you can tell from the use of these colour."


She has even got her 68-year-old mother interested in the hobby.

"My mother has a brain aneurysm, so I wanted to influence her to pick up something that is relaxing. She loves to colour and this makes her think of happy things," said Koh, who sees colouring as an opportunity for her to focus on her inner self.

"I enjoy solitude and quiet time, so this allows me to focus on relaxing."

Mok, who is very passionate about colouring, had her work showcased as part of The Best Of You earlier this month.

The social movement and exhibition encourages everyone to share their stories about the inspiring people or experiences that have brought out the best in them.

The 43-year-old, who picked up colouring in June after coming across her niece's colouring book, wrote on The Best Of You website: "Colouring brings out my quieter side. I sit patiently and I'm in my calm zone when colouring.

"When I'm colouring, I'm very detailed. I even remove my contact lenses and get up really closely to the book, almost with my face to the page.

"I'm a perfectionist. I do not leave any bit uncoloured or let colours go out of line. Colouring brings out that level of finesse in me."

This article was first published on October 30, 2015.
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