Local celebs hooked on colouring
Actress Cynthia Koh says colouring lets her reconnect with her 'inner child'
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."
FUN: (Above) A picture coloured by Cynthia Koh. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CYNTHIA KOH
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."
Colouring books for adults popular in S'pore
At local book chain Times Bookstores, Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford have been sitting on the Top 10 non-fiction bestsellers list for the past few months.
Her newly-released colouring book for adults, Lost Ocean, as well as other colouring books by various publications and illustrators have also been enjoying similar success.
Times Publishing's head of retail group Helen Lek said sales are brisk, with stocks being replenished weekly as they "fly off the shelves very quickly".
According to Ms Lek, the demand took off in Singapore earlier this year, with women forming the majority of customers to buy such books.
She told The New Paper: "We live in a fast-paced society and, for some highly stressed adults, colouring is anti-stress and a therapeutic activity that takes their mind off work and stress. It also gives people a sense of accomplishment when they see the final artwork come to life
"The colouring books for adults are intricately illustrated and more detailed than those for children.
"Adults are inspired to bring to life the beautiful illustration. They may also be inspired by the many postings of completed colourings on social media that are receiving a lot of attention.
"As much as it is a de-stressing activity, it also brings a sense of achievement to create something beautiful. Naturally, we enjoy looking at beautiful creations of art in all forms.
"And colouring is an activity that you can do anytime and anywhere."
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