Visually arresting art illustrates power of love in a pandemic

Whether we find ourselves in isolation, in a bubble with a roommate, or even home alone with pets, a traditional approach to love and friendship is probably not in the cards. We asked four east coast artists to create visually arresting card art to illustrate the power of love in a pandemic

Four East Coast artists re-imagine card art for COVID times

Wolfville illustrator Gabrielle Drolet designs to make pandemic "bearable"

(Gabrielle Drolet)

Wolfville, N.S. graduate student Gabrielle Drolet enjoys writing non-fiction and drawing cartoons. As a child, she loved getting greeting cards, especially Spiderman cards because they were always lighthearted and fun. She strives to capture that same feeling with her current artwork.

(Gabrielle Drolet)

"The reality is that things, you know, aren't great. But having people in your life that do make things bearable is nice."

Stunning art by Niyi Adeogun illustrates long distance love

P.E.I. visual artist and illustrator Niyi Adeogun is the founder and creative director of Zero Resistance clothing brand. Born in Nigeria, in 2016 he moved to P.E.I. to study design engineering, and so connecting with friends and family over Zoom, Skype or FaceTime was a reality he had experienced long before the current pandemic. 

"I felt like this was perfect for me to create a piece that reflects that moment of feeling like you're far away from your friendships, but then something as simple as a Zoom call or Skype or whatever can mean so much to both parties and can help you make the relationships even better."

This theme of love over Zoom is central to the first of two stunning cards Adeogun created. 

(Niyi Adeogun)

"The illustration makes it appear that two people are in the same room … there is some kind of connection shown in the illustration that shows no matter how far we are, or if we are in quarantine and can't see each other physically, we have the technology to communicate with our loved ones whether they are in another country or just another space."

The two women in the illustration have been drawn with the same face and body structure, and appear to be in the same room. It's the clothing and hair colour that differentiates them. 

"I felt like I wanted to do that to show that even though we may be far, there are still parts of our friendships or our relationship that stick with us or follow us wherever we go," Adeogun explains.

In a second card, Niyi tackles the subject of self-love, something that's all too real for those of us who may be single, or find ourselves alone – and lonely – when February 14 rolls around. 

(Niyi Adeogun)

"When I think of self love, I think of self care. I used flowers to represent some type of mental and spiritual growth, because for me personally, one thing that I have to do is take steps to help in my mental health, to stay afloat and help my relationship with God, and those things do tie in with self love."

Pet photographer Karrie Nash illustrates the power of pets in a pandemic

Fredericton pet photographer and designer Karrie Nash chose love for the pets who help get us through the pandemic as the theme for her cards. 

"My nephew was born last year… right when the shutdowns were happening, so we didn't actually get to meet him in real life until he was 2 months old. It's kind of incredible he's coming up on a year old now, and just thinking back – wow, we didn't really get to know you because of this sickness," Karrie reflects.

(Karrie Nash)

It's a sense of loss many of us are feeling, leaving a hole in our hearts for the people we can no longer reach out and touch. 

"Instead of getting to love our people-family members, we get to love our little pet-family members. I think they're getting the extra love that spilled over – and actually I acquired two more pets during the pandemic!" 

St. John's artist Molly Margaret creates art to deliver cheer

Molly Margaret is an illustrator living in St. John's. When the pandemic hit, she felt it was important to create artwork that would make people happy.

"I started using really bright colours and imagery that cheered people up...imagery that was relatable that people could share around and send to their friends and family."

(Molly Margaret)

For her first card, Molly chose to portray the love and comfort that pets have provided so many of us throughout the pandemic. "Some people were alone without a partner or family members, but they had that pet…that's quite special."

(Molly Margaret)

Her second card also delivers uplifting and positive vibes. Based on the idea of virtually sharing a cup of tea or glass of wine over an internet connection, her beautiful artwork celebrates the simple joy of having a drink with our loved ones, even when we can't gather in bars or other social spaces. 

Click through the photo gallery below to see all eight cards 

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