Whether you've come across her as the lo-fi girl or study girl, chances are you've probably seen the famous animated character by Juan Pablo Machado. She's the face of the YouTube channel ChilledCow and their live stream of lo-fi hip hop beats to relax and/or study to.
Earlier this year, the account was terminated following a mistaken suspension from YouTube and the live stream came to an end. With it, ChilledCow produced one of the longest videos in YouTube history — over 13,000 hours — and amassed 218 million views in the process.
In the time the lo-fi girl was studying, she could have achieved about 109 PhDs (120 hours per doctorate degree) or learn 7 of the hardest languages (1,730 hours for every fluent language).
Eventually, YouTube unbanned the account and its owner Dimitri relaunched the stream as a new video, allowing the girl to resume her studies.
Her fans were so happy to hear the good news, they started drawing her tributes, reimagining their beloved character in different countries all around the world.
Image credits: knowyourmeme
YouTube's support account on Twitter confirmed that the termination was "a mistake on our side," explaining that they've "shared feedback with our review team to prevent similar errors from happening in the future."
This wasn't the first time that ChilledCow's live streams have gone down. The popular 24/7 broadcast suffered a disruption in July and October 2017, just a few months after it started as well. The issue, like most of them on YouTube, came down to copyright.
Originally, ChilledCow used a GIF from Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart, which showed a young woman doing her homework. The visual eventually led to the channel receiving a copyright takedown request. When the channel returned, the character was replaced with a copyright-free version of a similar yet different woman that Dimitri could use without worrying.
Perhaps one of the best parts of channels like ChilledCow and their continuous live streams, however, is the community. People from all walks of life come to hang out in the live stream chat while they go about their business, and these illustrations certainly show just how much the broadcast means to them.
Aris Panousis, the artist who made a Greek version of the lo-fi girl, told Bored Panda they love the original character by Studio Ghibli mostly because of the melancholy that comes with both her and her surroundings. "[All of these edits] of this girl, including mine, were pretty much sparked by u/Marccolo when they made this thread on r/Europe, showcasing his Romania-themed edit and suggesting others to do the same for their own countries."
"I thought that was a cool idea and when I started thinking about what a Greek version might look like, the ideas kept coming, so I went ahead and did it. After that, it seemed to explode into multiple other edits, which is awesome, but I definitely can't take credit for the original idea."
Panousis has also listened to the stream and enjoyed it. "I'm into the lo-fi sound as well as this style of art so it's a great combo."
The artist said they are really grateful for the response their image has received. "I wish I could thank every single person who has left a nice comment. It definitely motivates me to strive to improve my drawing skills."
Speaking to Bored Panda, u/Marccolo said they think the study girl artwork by Juan Pablo Machado has a very relaxed and calm feeling to it, and it's relatable in its simplicity and casualness. "I liked its Studio Ghibli-like artstyle and colors. It's iconic and familiar to many students from around the world (including me) who watch ChilledCow's music while studying."
They came up with the idea to recreate it on a day just like any other, while listening to the music and watching the looped animation of the girl studying. "I wanted to come up with a version that feels more like home, one that I can relate to more."
"I listen to that music stream a lot [and] it has helped me get through stressful times and concentrate on my studies many times! I like the music and the community that has gathered around the channel's streams."
The creator of the San Diego, California study girl, u/holdenmccawfield, loves that the original had a faint Studio Ghibli vibe that it kept from the original iteration, but with the addition of modern tech like the laptop and hip headphones.
They too saw folks on r/Europe posting their versions and thought it was such a cool idea. "I kept trying to find versions for the United States. I thought it could be a fun idea to toss my hat in the ring for my hometown, San Diego."
u/starswirls_planet did a Danish version. "The detail and calm mood really embody the vibe of the music. Don't even get me started on the colors and Ghibli-esque style. It's so iconic and aesthetically pleasing!" Part of why they joined the channel was the recent lack of inspiration. "I decided to jump on the bandwagon."
Hogwarts edition study girl creator u/danielgmal admitted they're a little bit obsessed with the character and didn't know anything about her until a few days ago. After discovering people from countries around the continent were doing versions of her, they too wanted to contribute. "What's cool about her is she's like a modern Mona Lisa, really simple in terms of just an enigmatic woman in a simple scene but they both capture a mood - a feeling we all understand - we've all pulled an all-nighter at the laptop before, listening to music. And just like the Mona Lisa, that means she's very easy to parody, and to do different versions of. She's a straight-up 2020 masterpiece - full credit to original artist Juan Pablo Marchado."
San Diego, United States
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