All images credit: Kopi Soh
There are superheroes among us if you look close enough.
One of them is an artist who anonymously has been creating healing artworks for terminally ill children for the past four-years!
Preferring to go with her artist name Kopi Soh, the digital artist said there was no big “Aha” moment when she found her calling in creating healing artworks.
“I just felt I wanted to put more smiles on people’s faces so I started by drawing for the general public, people who were sick, depressed, grieving, and also terminally ill kids who were stuck in the hospital with painful treatments all day long,” she reveals to me.
Kopi Soh’s journey in healing children through the arts began with a Facebook status which read, “Free healing art just to make your heart smile.”
“The requests flooded in and I had a hard time fulfilling them because I was also working full time and was holding down a few jobs.
I drew and drew and drew till I injured my hands and then I could not lift even a pencil anymore.”
Realising that it is not a one person job, Kopi Soh got in touch with several local artists from the Doodle Malaysia Facebook group.
“Now I do not have to draw every single healing art myself, I have a team of “healing” artists. We also recently started a Donation Bin for artists to donate their digital artwork. The public is ofcourse welcomed to submit too!”
As she continued creating healing art, her artworks began focusing primarily on children diagnosed with cancer. She felt emphatic towards them.
“The lives of their families revolved around to and fro trips to the hospital and I could sense the stress they experienced while waiting for the test results.
“I felt like they needed someone to show them that they are not alone in facing this difficult time. That there is someone out there who cares enough to do something. Life has dealt them an unfair hand.”
The artist believes in the power of art and that positive thoughts and prayers can be sent via the arts.
Infact, Kopi Soh says the act of creating a healing artwork for a complete stranger helps alleviate the burden in many people’s hearts.
“When they look at the art, it symbolises that there is a complete stranger caring enough to pray and send you healing thoughts, that someone is rooting for you from halfway across the world, someone is sitting vigil with you when your child is sick. You are not alone, this is what an artwork to a terminally ill person says.”
During the process of drawing, Kopi Soh says she channels healing thoughts into the art. Many a times, parents of terminally ill kids had pointed out that these thoughts could be seen reflected in her artworks.
Her artworks are minimalist in nature, cute, colorful and it feels as though an angel drew them.
Kopi Soh reveals that she is a self taught artist. “My only teacher is google,” she quips.
Preferring to create her art pieces digitally, Kopi Soh says she found the digital method easier to learn.
“Plus mistakes can easily be erased!”
But there is one thing which cannot be erased and it lingers on in the form of memories. The demise of the terminally ill children themselves.
“How do you keep going especially when the kids pass on?” I asked her via Facebook.
“Sigh, I cry and cry and cry. Then I pull myself together and become more determine to reach out to more. I do my best to make each one smile.”
I then asked her how many kids she had drawn artworks for who had passed on and Kopi Soh said she has lost count as there were countless of them.
“Sometimes, their parents come back and ask for their kid to be drawn with angel wings. And I do that for them too.”
I joked with her that she truly is a superhero and I would title this feature as such.
But deep within, I genuinely tried putting myself in her shoes – drawing healing arts for children who I know would eventually pass on – and the pessimist in me could see the futility of it.
And yet, I was baffled as to where and how she finds that strength. That strength to carry on, knowing that one kid just passed away the day before and another will too.
Where does she find that strength to pick up the drawing pen to draw for another kid who is slowly edging towards death’s door?
“I think I am like everyone else with an ordinary heart. We all just want to help make this a better world,” she replied.
Kopi Soh says she puts herself in the shoes of the parents and child when she does her artwork.
“As a parent, when we see our child in pain we wish with all our heart we can take that pain away by transferring that pain to ourselves. I feel very much like that with these cancer children.”
To date, Kopi Soh has also collaborated with numerous non-governmental organisations such as Project HOPE, KL Orphanage, the Klang Hospice, Flood Relief Donation for East Coast, Kids Prayer Network, and Project Hilang to name a few.
She also bagged the 2015’s Social Movement Award at Digi WWWOW Award for her dedication in creating healing artworks.
As for us at Eksentrika, it is humbling to find that there are people out there who strive to make this world a better place in their own colorful ways.
To check out more of Kopi Soh’s work click here. To get in touch with her to submit your own healing artworks or approach her for commissioned art works or art projects, get in touch with her on Facebook. Are you an artist who would like to be featured on Eksentrika? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org