'Lift our spirits': The Irish artist creating custom illustrations during the #Covid-19 pandemic
These days, it can often be difficult to find good news.
The past few weeks have seen Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds awash with fears around the coronavirus outbreak - the rapidly growing numbers of cases, the stretched thin frontline staff, the notices of those who have sadly passed away.
And yet amidst all of the anxiety and uncertainty, some people are doing their bit to bring a bit of relief to our timelines in whatever way they can.
One of them is illustrator Jeri Mahon. The artist behind Instagram account Dubliner Doodles, she has been creating custom illustrations for people who might need a pick-me-up amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
On March 17, she posted an illustration to mark a St Patrick's Day where the streets were empty and the celebrations had waned.
A single shamrock held between two pieces of string attached to two separate hands, the drawing was positioned above the text: 'Ní neart go cur le chéile'. There is no strength without unity.
A reminder of the closeness lost by the coronavirus outbreak, but the spirit that still exists among communities, Jeri's shamrock received a considerable response online with many people from around the world asking if she could make them a copy.
So, she decided to do one better and open her DMs to nominations for custom illustrations.
"I thought, while I'm staying at home, the illustrations could be a nice way for others to send a personalised message to loved ones without the contact," she tells Her.
"It's the very least I can do when others are doing so much to keep us all safe."
So far, Jeri has created images for frontline workers, for couples who have had to cancel their honeymoons, and for friends who are missing one another.
She says that while she has received a lot of nominations for healthcare staff, opening her account up to suggestions made her realise the true scale of the pandemic - and just how many people have been affected.
"Nominations for grandparents who are putting themselves at risk to mind their grandchildren," she says, "people whose weddings have been impacted; people living abroad but can't come home.
"Those who suffer from anxiety, loneliness, and those who are immunocompromised have all been nominated by friends and loved ones who want them to know that they're being thought of."
But Jeri's illustrations haven't just been brightening the days of those who have been nominated, they've been adding a necessary lightness to her followers' timelines too. A glimmer of hope in a pair of Irish dancing shoes, a reminder to stay busy with cake ingredients.
Jeri says that while we all need to be well informed during the pandemic, she knows that everybody needs a break from bad news - even just for a little while.
"We need to be aware of the toll it's taking on our well-being, especially when we are being exposed to news everywhere," she says.
"I believe seeing and sharing wholesome content and good news is so important for morale; it'll not only lift our own spirits, but give those who see it a chance to experience some of that kindness, hope and faith in humanity across the world."
You can follow Dubliner Doodles here.