Arts·COVID Residencies

At a time when fear and fat jokes are abundant, Mollie Cronin is drawing relatable cartoons

While social distancing in Nova Scotia, Cronin is making light work of some heavy feelings.

'As long as the world is scary and we need to laugh about it sometimes, I'll be here making cartoons'

Social distancing in Nova Scotia, Mollie Cronin is making light work of some heavy feelings

3 years ago
Duration 3:02
At a time when fear (and fat jokes) are abundant, Mollie Cronin is taking the things that upset her and creating cartoons you'll relate to.

In our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're checking out how artists are adapting their practices in isolation, whether it's diving into different processes or getting lost in their sketchbooks.

Mollie Cronin is a cartoonist and illustrator usually based in Halifax. During social distancing, she's staying with her family in Elmsdale. It's a well-populated house, and Cronin has made her work area in the available space that also functions as her parents' respective offices, a TV room and her bedroom.

But it's in this space that she's been sorting out her thoughts through making cartoons. You may have seen memes circulating during distancing that suggest we'll all emerge plumper in the end — sentiments that can be hurtful, and Cronin pushes back against them in her work with her own sense of humour. Of her process, she says, "I've actually been turning to cartoons a lot to process what I'm feeling around COVID-19."

(Mollie Cronin)

In this video, you'll see Cronin in her current home, where she's making work every day. It continues to be an important practice: "It helps me hone my focus and figure out exactly what it is that's upsetting me or worrying me or something I want to critique."

Follow Mollie Cronin here and keep a lookout for the stories we're bringing you from other artists in isolation as part of COVID Residencies. Stay safe, friends!

(Mollie Cronin)

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at See more of our COVID-related coverage here.


Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now