KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 2017 : Drawings on paper by children with autism may be considered by some as a way for them to simply express themselves, and not something of value.
But for a group of young entrepreneurs who run the C&O Shirt Printing company, the drawings are a form of art, and can potentially be beneficial for the children.
The company’s founder Robin Chia, 28, said after being inspired by the drawings, he and his two friends took the initiative to print them on T-shirts to be sold.
Chia described the drawings as unique works of art, with their own distinct identities.
“As a result, hundreds of T-shirts have been sold online at RM68 per shirt, with 30 per cent of our total sales revenue channelled to the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM).
“We are proud that this effort has been successful in helping organisations that care for autistic children to find a source of income, and avoid dependency on public donations to fund their operations,” he told Bernama.
According to Chia, profits earned were also divided with graphic designers responsible for designing the ‘streetwear’ concept T-shirts.
“Indirectly, this project has also opened up opportunities for young graphic designers to highlight their talents, as well as providing them with a source of income,” he said.
Chia said the idea to start the project came about spontaneously, when coming across the story of the Singapore Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching, who used a dinosaur-motif pouch designed by an autistic child while visiting former US president Barack Obama and his wife at the White House in August last year.
“The bag caught the world’s attention, and taking inspiration from there, we planned this project with the objective of helping and expanding the potential of Malaysian children with autism,” he said.
Chia also hoped that their efforts would create more public awareness of the uniqueness and special talents of children with autism.
“This project will continue, and we have plans to come up with more products based on art created by autistic children,” he said.
Those interested in purchasing the T-shirts can browse C&O Shirt Printing’s Facebook and Instagram accounts by searching for the keyword, shirtprintingco. – Bernama