Life is precious. This is what a Malaysian author and illustrator, Kopi Soh, wants people to know.
A few years ago, her friend's son committed suicide because the teenager had obtained poor results in a school examination.
"It was not just one suicide event but the following week, another student took his own life and another jumped to his death after being jilted by his girlfriend."
"These deaths affected me deeply, I can't help but wonder, how alone these people must have felt to take their own lives," Kopi Soh told SAYS.
These incidents led Kopi Soh to follow her heart and she eventually initiated a movement to use art as a positive "healing" by giving out free art to the sick and needy.
The desire to reach out to people with depression has always been close to her heart as she has written books - 'Oh, I Thought I Was The Only One' and 'Oh, I Thought I Was The Only One 2' - in hopes of helping people feel less alone when going through struggles and challenges.
"No one should feel this alone. People should be made aware that there is always someone out there who would care or who would listen," she said.
While her real name remains a secret, the artist’s pseudonym has gained recognition among locals.
More people started to notice how impactful her simple gesture could mean for those who need it. Kopi Soh's simple act of kindness in the form of drawings has become a source of inspiration, comfort, and strength to those in need.
"Every art is drawn with the intention to create a positive feeling on the part of the receiver. It comes with a prayer or support to the recipient."
Ever since she started this healing art movement, Kopi Soh has collaborated with many local artists, including Jennifer Chua, whom she refers to as her "partner-in-kindness"
"Jennifer also strongly believes that each recipient of the positive healing art could feel the joy of receiving the gift, knowing that somewhere out there, a total stranger cared enough to draw something from their heart to make him or her smile."
The duo has been working together since 2012 on the 'Sharing Smiles Project'. Kopi Soh and Jennifer, the co-founder of Happy Caring Heart Crews, which is a soup kitchen serving the homeless in Kuala Lumpur, have been sending smiles through their artwork to people from all walks of life, particularly children with cancer.
"We have both chosen this particular population (children with cancer) to be our predominant recipients because the children and their family need a lot of support in their struggles against cancer."
Besides working together with Jennifer, Kopi Soh has also recruited a network of independent artists from the Doodle Malaysia group to be a part of the healing art movement
These artists have been contributing their artwork generously to those who needed them.
"The artist who is given the opportunity to draw would feel overwhelming joy when they see that their creation had cheered someone up, at that moment the artist can feel the joy, take pride that their art has helped someone."
"From a simple act of personally drawing positive healing art for anyone who needs them, it has now turned into a platform to give people a chance to feel good by contributing their positive healing arts to those who need them," Kopi Soh said.
The artist said that one of the uses of positive artwork is to show appreciation to the unsung heroes in the society, who are often in the shadows
It is a creative way to honour and acknowledge people like the guards, street cleaners, janitors and others, whose works are important but the real persons behind the jobs have often been overlooked.
Together with many different artists that she has worked with, Kopi Soh has touched the lives of so many people - from senior citizens in homes, caretakers to singles mums who are HIV-positive, and their children.
To learn more about this healing art movement, follow Kopi Soh on the 'Stick It To Me' Facebook page.
Keep up the amazing work, Kopi Soh!