Artist uses cartoons to shine light on positive headlines around the world
TORONTO -- One man is trying to make it easier for people to have some relief from what he says is a flood of ominous headlines in the news.
To do that, Los Angeles Illustrator Mauro Gatti has created an online art project called “The Happy Broadcast,” which uses stylized cartoons to highlight positive headlines from around the world.
“While it’s important to report problems and issues … I believe there’s so much in the world that just needs to be found and promoted,” he told CTV News Channel.
Gatti lives with anxiety and felt clickbait headlines and a constant drip of negative stories “were making my condition worse.” So last year, Gatti decided to use his creativity to “spread some positivity and the good happening in the world.”
The cartoons, which feature stylized depictions of real news stories, highlight good deeds, government programs or people helping out those who need it.
One of Gatti’s cartoons features news out of Canada about the country creating an Arctic conservation zone “almost as big as Germany to protect its sea birds, whales and polar bears.”
A similar one features the Netherlands building five artificial islands, which are already home to 30,000 birds and 127 kinds of plants -- over the past two years.
And Gatti’s “The Happy Broadcast” is really connecting with people as the project’s Instagram page now boasts more than 198,000 followers. He said the reason it’s gone viral is it acts as a space for them to be inspired by others “making a positive impact.”
“That’s the best part. I get a lot of feedback sometimes from people suffering from anxiety or (dealing) with stress,” Gatti said. “And they’ve found this little corner where they can feed on just good news.”
He said some sort of refuge from bad news should be part of everyone’s news diets so “you can balance the bad news with some positive news.”
It should be noted that Gatti’s cartoons are also sometimes inspired by a silver lining from an otherwise tragic story, such as the Australia bushfires or a woman being paralyzed after an accident.
One comic features a stylized koala bear wearing mittens to accompany a story about people from around the world raising millions to help knit little mittens for burned animals’ paws. The other highlights the “Rollettes” -- a pun on the famous “Rockettes” dance troupe -- which is actually a wheelchair dance team.
Another cartoon showcases Sweden starting the world’s first mental health ambulance to tackle the 1,500 people dying by suicide, while another highlights the story of a Malawi female chief who annulled 1,500 child marriages, banned the practice and sent the affected young women back to school.
Gatti hopes that “The Happy Broadcast” will reach even more people with a planned book and even an app for the comics.