Hello adult coloring book fans:) Read on to meet a one of a kind colorist form Malaysia. He is full of tips and I know you’ll get inspired after reading this interview. Meet Azmi.
Q: First of all tell us little something about yourself.
My full name is Mohd Azmi Bin Hamdan. I was born on January 19th 1979 in Kluang, Johor, Malaysia but now I live in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia. I’m 37 years old and currently worked in Putrajaya at Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia as Assistant Director Finance. I do love arts (such as portrait drawing, coloring, card making, sewing, quilling, crocheting, amigurumi, baking and so on). You may see some of it here: https://www.facebook.com/azmiphd/photos_all
Q: How did you start to color? When did this attraction begin?
I started doing it when I was thirteen years old. My art class teacher was a very good in teaching us how to blend, match, choose hot and cold color, practicing tone color etc. I stopped all these ‘hobbies” in 1998 since I have to further my Diploma and Degree (accounting course) in MARA University of Technology until 2004. Then I started coloring and drawing again when I was accepted to work with small publishing company as Chief Editor from 2005 until 2009. I was honored when some of my books has been used as a preschool textbook throughout Malaysia by the Ministry of Education Malaysia. But my parents was not so happy with my job as I am not practicing my accounting knowledge. When my father passed away in 2009 I was thinking to change my job (to be an accountant) and luckily in 2009 I was hired by Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA). In 2012 I was transferred to SEDA until now.
I started to buy adult coloring book in October last year when I was on vacation in Langkawi, Malaysia. I found out an outstanding coloring book Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. Then, I started to join coloring group in Facebook (Lost Enchanted Secrets, Colouring For Adults – Malaysia ASEAN, ADULT COLORING WONDERLAND 涂色分享国度 and many more). I got many information from them and started to invest in coloring supplies since then.
Q: I love your quote on Instagram page: No one is you and that is your power. Care to explain a little more about it?
I believe no one of us can be cloned. Every one of us know our own talent and ability to do this and that. For me, ability to do something can be created if we have desire and patience. Your power is in your hand and my power is in my hand. I always bear in mind “never doubt that one person can make a difference”.
Q: Do you use coloring as a small getaway from real world?
How can I deny it.. Definitely my answer is YES.. Coloring supposed to be fun and it feels like walking together with Alice in Wonderland.. Hahaaa
Q: How do you prepare before coloring?
First and foremost I will make sure I’m in a good mood. Doesn’t matter how busiest I am if I do have desire to color and I will do it. That’s why I have so many WIP pages. I’m very sure other colorist also do the same as I am. Hahaa.. And for sure I will select the most suitable page that comes in my mind. For a certain page I sometimes look out at the window to see what colors exactly can be played in the drawings especially for trees and bushes. Playing with colors is very fun and quite adventurous when you come into fantasy coloring book such as A Fantasy Art Adventure by Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. For this fantasy theme I will make sure my favorite song (by Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza) will accompany me when I started to color. I do sometimes look at finished artwork by original artist to get some ideas or just copying it. The rest I just go with the flow.
Q: What inspires you to create so beautiful coloring pages?
PASSION. I’m actually kind of emotional person. So to overcome my bad habit is to get some coloring stuff and absolutely coloring can release my stress. And the most important thing I will frame and decorating them to my new house which expected to be completed in the middle of 2017.. yay!
Q: Describe your coloring pages in three little words
Passion, Colorful & Fantasy
Q: What are your favorite supplies for coloring? Do you always use the same or you like to experiment with it?
I do loveFaber Castell Polychromosand Colleen colored pencil. But I do have other brand such asMaster Series, Stabilo, Steadler, Pelican. Polychromos is the best medium on detailing. Colleen was good in blending use of the texture was so soft and waxy. Also not forget about pastel pencil for blending purposes.
Q: Do you have special techniques and color mixes that you’d like to share with us? Any tips and tricks?
Basically for a fantasy theme color, I always use soft pastel as a first layer before pun in exact color on top of it. This is to make blending process more easier rather than using blending tools such as stump. Don’t be afraid to use more than one color in an object to make it more realistic. For instance, a combination of green, yellow, blue and brown will turn a leaf to a wonderful outcome. Lastly, put a highlight (white) and shadow (grey & black) for detailing and finishing.
Q: What challenges (if any) did you face in making your designs and can you give other artists any tips for solving similar problems?
The major challenge is I’m easily getting bored and t the same time lack of idea. That’s why there’s so many WIP pages. To solve this problem I buy some coloring book such asQuerkles, Colortronic, Color By Number & greyscale coloring book to keep on coloring without using my brain. Just color as it is. Sometimes this kind of book can give you an idea to create such a beautiful pages too.
Q: I think you did a really great job with “dragonfly” from Exotic Kingdom by Marty Woods. How did you came up with idea to make that picture?
Marty Woods is a humble artist and very talented that I’ve ever met. I’m very honored can create a masterpiece almost all the page of the book. I think great artist deserve a great masterpiece. The said dragonfly was came up when I was accidently watched a ‘Sailor Moon’ cartoon. The idea suddenly came up and I was like crazily flip through the book and I think the dragonfly is the most suitable page to do so. And I do not expect that the outcome was accepted and loved by many people.
Q: If you could choose only one of your finished coloring page which one would it be? And why?
My most favorite page is the Prince Frog by Johanna Basford in her book Enchanted Forest. This is the first coloring book I bought and become more serious then. Other than that I was using cheaper color pencil (Pelikan) and at that time I don’t even know the existing of Polychromos yet. Hahaa..
Q: Do you have a favorite coloring book author? How did he/she earn your admirations?
Jasmine Becket-Griffith. She’s totally superb artist. A cute little girl, full of expression with a pair of long eyelash which I feel so impressed, adorable and perfect represent a fairy tale character. I’m speechless and no words can describe how I feel when I hold the book in my hand.. hahaa..
Q: In your opinion, why do your coloring pages appeal so much to adult coloring book fans?
Maybe it is because of my coloring techniques (to be frank I totally don’t know why).
Q: What drives the adult coloring trend according to your experience?
Beautiful drawing and stressful impact nowadays. Family guy can color along with their son and daughter, grandchildren, friends and whoever they thinks fit. Spending times with the families and friends.
Q: What would like to see more in adult coloring book world?
I’m always look into a beautiful drawings no matter what the themes are as long as they publish a beautiful drawing. I’m also looking at the single sided drawing with perforated page so I can easily framed it..
Q. What are your plans for the future?
For now my mission is to decorate my new house (as I mentioned earlier) with all the masterpiece I’ve done. I’m just color whatever beautiful book offered in the market. And now I’m looking flower coloring book. Hahaaa
Q: And last but not least, where can we find your artwork?
Finally I just wanna say that coloring is not only fun but it is one of the most useful practices of Yoga (relaxing). It is your personal diary where you can express your emotions and feelings. Trust me it can absolutely lighten up your day!!
A lovley and informative inteview. I’m really glad to have an interview with Azmi 🙂 Oh, and zou know where the comment section is …