“I’ve witnessed how art can tangibly transform people,” he says. “It can put smiles on their faces, make them think differently and build bridges.
“Growing up, I was always bullied or considered different, being Chinese-Canadian and queer. So this project is kind of like that. Maybe it could be a role model for a kid who is struggling with their identity.
“I wish I had a colouring book that spoke to me when I was a kid, a way to see myself reflected in society.”
The book, which Don expects to be completed in the next few weeks, caught the attention of the Ottawa chapter of The Awesome Foundation, which each month awards a $1,000 grant to a project to help advance “the interest of awesome in the universe.” The group awarded their March grant to the project, and Don says the money will go to printing and mailing 800 copies of the book. Additionally, PDF copies can be downloaded for free.
“We didn’t want to charge people,” says Don, “especially in the pandemic when people are struggling.”
In his application to Awesome Ottawa, Don wrote “We want to encourage everyone to colour with all the colours in the crayon box — and have fun thinking outside the box, too.”
Meanwhile, Don and Cameron have created a Drag Queen Colouring Book Facebook page.
Additionally, they’ve started a GoFundMe page, through which they hope to raise $5,000 to create a larger, second colouring book, featuring China Doll, and possibly friends, at various Ottawa landmarks.
“This is about China Doll doing what she does, which is spreading joy and humour through her performance and dressing up,” says Don. “It’s about sharing positivity and embracing community, laughing together and rising above. She’s kind of the clown-in-a-gown who takes the stress off of people and lets them loosen up.”
This content was originally published here.