By Chloe Borich
Reading the news hasn’t exactly sparked joy lately.
If anything, it’s kind of exhausting. News fatigue is definitely a thing and if you’re at all empathetic (or, should I say, an empath) then there’s a good chance you’ve been busy gasping aloud at headlines detailing the slow demise of the world as we know it. But staying informed has never come without its sacrifices, including the illusionary buffer of ignorance (you know, the one used to purposely disengage from an issue because it makes you feel better for approximately one and half seconds before feeling the weight of your useless existence.) It’s no lie that utilising our access to diverse resources of information is vital to helping the people around us and the planet, particularly right now.
With that all said, this is the part of the article where I pivot (is this not the word of 2020?) and suggest we take a short mental break from the bad stuff and immerse ourselves in some of the good. Whether you’re feeling a little down, lacking motivation in your work, or seeking creative inspiration, let these four design and illustration accounts lighten up your Instagram newsfeed and inject some feel-good messaging and positive affirmations into your screen time.
There is something immediately soothing about scrolling through posts on Subliming, an online project run by New York-based designer, Tessa Forrest. Pulsing colour palettes and original typefaces form tasteful foundations for quotes by the likes of spiritual and self-help icons including Pema Chödrön, Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra. Mindful musings of Forrest’s own also appear on the account—although she assures she’s just as screwed up as the rest of us—collectively working to present followers with simple reminders of where our energy might be better focussed. What started as a ‘creative brain dump’ has now garnered almost half a million followers.
Broccoli Boy: @broccoli__boy
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, a designer who goes by the name of Broccoli Boy is online to remind us to stay humble. Merging language and illustration in bold colourways, his posts suggest that we should slow down, make more time for ourselves, and lose our egos. I never imagined that someone going by the name of my favourite green vegetable would be giving me self-help advice, but here we are. Outside of the gram, you can find these designs on a range of t-shirts hand-printed by the designer himself.
Lauren Martin @laurenmartin_studio
You might recognise the work of New-York illustrator Lauren Martin from tour posters for Frankie Cosmos and Real Estate, where a likeness can be drawn from her electric colour palette. Bubblegum pink and activist daisies wearing boots is the general mood of her Instagram page. Food groups and flowers are drawn into vibrant scenes with facial features and positive mindsets focussed on staying in, defunding the police, and taking action on issues they care about. There is also a post of a character resembling a sleeping potato with the words ‘allow yourself to soften’ hovering above it. Sometimes you don’t know you need to see something until you do.
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Constant Bagel Therapy @constantbageltherapy
If you’re seeking some good old fashioned light-hearted wit, look no further than @constantbageltherapy. Disclaimer: this account has nothing to do with bagels and everything to do with wordplay. The self-proclaimed ‘creative nit-wit’ (as told in the account bio) from Leicester City in the United Kingdom illustrates line drawings of comical puns and posts them regularly to a bevy of loyal followers. Simple yet sharp, the account’s plainness is precisely what makes it so appealing. Constant Bagel Therapy has mastered the act of creatively bringing together our collective feelings and experiences on Instagram in a way that feels relatable, where each post makes you feel okay about being exactly where you are right now.