Hana Shafi has been doodling since high school.
"I would draw on every single corner of my binder," said the Toronto artist. "Binders would be covered in random doodles."
Now she's using her love of drawing to combat what she calls a growing number of people spewing hate.
"A lot of people are looking for healing and looking for kindness especially online. Because it's a scary place online," said Shafi, adding she's had first hand experience.
"There's a lot of really negative stuff online. I've dealt with that, I still deal with that. It's a scary place."
'A pretty simple idea that just burst'
Shafi posts her art work on her Tumblr and Instagram account. But one particular creation sparked a massive response. She drew an EKG line using flowers with the phrase, "Healing is not linear."
"A lot of people in addictions counseling or trauma counseling will use phrases like 'healing is not linear' or 'recovery is not a straight line' or variations of that phrase to help people who are in any kind of recovery understand that relapse is a part of it and setbacks are part of getting better."
That post garnered thousands of likes, reposts and replies. And a few people even got tattoos of her art.
"People were like, 'Wow, I really needed to hear this. Wow, this is amazing. This came at the right moment, this made me cry, I didn't realize that people needed to hear this that much,'" Shafi said.
That inspired Shafi to create a series of positive affirmation art. She posts new work regularly for her thousands of social media followers, and to fill a need, she feels, continues to grow.
"This stuff may be simple and it may be these little words of kindness that are going on Instagram. But it's resistance and it empowers people to keep taking care of each other taking care of themselves and just taking up space where they've often been told not to take up space at all."
Shafi will be showcasing her art this October during Witchfest North.