Artist Illustrates “Good News” And Here Are 20 Uplifting Posts
The media we consume daily has an impact on our thoughts and emotions. And during the wreck that was 2020, many of us probably experienced how easy it is to fall into regularly watching or listening to bad news. So Amii James, an illustrator from North Devon, United Kingdom, decided to create a counterbalance to this.
Good News This Week is a news series where Amii regularly shares positive stories. While working on this wholesome project, Amii has improved her own mental health, and her followers love it too. Which is understandable: didn't you get excited just by reading the self-explanatory title of the series? I thought so. So close all the mainstream media tabs you have on your browser, continue scrolling, and get your dose of feel-good vibes.
Amii is 22, born and raised in Ilfracombe. "It's a small town, so opportunities are definitely limited, and the prospect of going to university and avoiding a 9-5 did feel unrealistic for the majority of my life," she told Bored Panda. "At 19, however, I got into the University of Plymouth to study a degree in Illustration, where I struggled to find my niche until the final year!"
"During the first COVID-19 lockdown, I began posting my simplistic humorous webcomics with less concern over how they would be received (albeit by my humble audience of roughly 200 followers), and that's when things began to rapidly pick up!"
Now, the artist has over 24,000 followers, appreciating her "embarrassingly minimalistic" uploads. Amii uses this phrase to describe her work because posting a 3-panel comic of a dog calling his owner a prick to a large audience might seem like "questionable behavior" to some. But is that really the legacy she wants to leave behind? Yes.
"The humor in my work is absolutely a reflection of my personality, and I believe that's why I never get tired of it," the artist explained. "Having a following that loves my work means that I also have a following that enjoys my personality, which creates a lovely community of like-minded people. It also means that if anybody reaches out to me for commissions, collabs, etc., then they already know what to expect from me."
Coming back to Good News This Week, the series came after Amii made a post called Good Things That Happened In 2020, which was inspired by a list she had come across of positive news from last year. "It's worth pointing out here that I should have done a better job at cross-checking some of these 'facts' before using them as a source, but I've learned from that mistake and we shan't dwell on the past," Amii explained.
"The 2020 post received a hugely positive response; it became clear that nobody had seen much positive news in a very long time so that small dose of joy was a welcome relief. It only made sense from here to make this a weekly occurrence! It will also leave me with a wonderfully long list at the end of the year – what I plan to do with that is a secret!"
"I also receive many responses from people expressing their gratitude, informing me that they also never seem to see anything positive about the world throughout their week until they see my post. So, not only is it excellent for my own mental well-being, but everybody who stumbles across the work learns something that makes them feel good, and it’s a pleasure to be able to provide that!"
Graham Davey, a professor emeritus of psychology at Sussex University in the UK and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, thinks that the way that news is presented and the way that we access news has changed significantly over the last 15 to 20 years. And according to Davey, these changes have often been detrimental to general mental health.
The professor says today's news is "increasingly visual and shocking," and points to the inclusion of smartphone videos and audio clips as examples, explaining that bystander-captured media clips can be so intense that they can cause symptoms of acute stress—like problems sleeping, mood swings or aggressive behavior—or even PTSD.
I think somebody should send Davey a link to Amii's "embarrassingly minimalistic" Good News This Week. Something tells me he'd follow her account.