Cheerful Chibi

Art has multiple purposes. Depending on what is happening within your life, you may turn to art for different reasons, and you may also create art with various motivations. When sharing your art with the world, it can be scary, but also rewarding. Especially during these times when we are physically isolated, creativity cultivates community and allows us to be present, digitally. Bright colors, smiling faces, stories of kindness, selflessness, and silliness all brightens up the day and provides a sense of hope for what is to come.

Jillian Emeneau is a digital artist, with training in fine arts and animation, who creates custom drawings and paintings. She is currently working as a freelance artist, making illustrations for internet banners, fantasy characters, and children’s books.

Jillian has been making all sorts of different things during lockdown. Early on, she started sewing and fixing old clothes by hand. She made masks, a Lolita style skirt, and turned t-shirts into tank tops.

As a digital artist, Jillian also made drawings and paintings in her usual style and subject matter. She has also been taking classes on Skillshare where she has been able to branch out. In March/April, Jillian decided to learn how to draw cute chibi characters.

This piece depicts a mermaid swimming. The mermaid is drawn in the Chibi style. The mermaid has orange hair with darker orange spots, orange eyebrows, and an orange tail. The mermaid has chestnut brown eyes, and is wearing a green tank top. The background is a teal gradient, depicting the water. The mermaid is smiling and waving to a yellow fish with orange fins. There is also coral depicted, in the foreground it is a dark green, and in the background it is a light, mint green. They both have a wave pattern on them. At the bottom of the page is many hue of green seaweed.

“I decided to make chibi characters during isolation because I needed something happy, cute, and easy to do. It was sort of self-imposed art therapy. While all my chibi drawings were made in response to the lockdowns, the images themselves have no visual indication of that. They appear totally unrelated. They were created more to ease my own mind and help with my personal mental health than as a statement about what was happening. I’ve shared them on all my socials in the hopes that they can help bring some light and happiness to others, the way they helped me. I find that I typically make art to balance my feelings. If I’m feeling down, I create happy things. Only when I’m feeling good can I make dark work; so, for me, now is the time to make happy art.”

This piece depicts nine different chibi characters on a purple background. Many of them are emoting different facial expressions. From the top row moving down left to right: 

1. A character with blue eyes and long, pink, wavy hair makes a quizzical expression. Their earrings match their eyes. They are wearing a ruffled blue, pink, and cream ball gown dress with a purple jacket. They have blue slippers. 

2. A character with chin-length, spiky, black hair in two pig tails held in pink ties looks very excited. They have their hands out to their sides and they have a wide smile. They have gold, dangly earrings which match the smiley face on their red shirt and their shoes. They are wearing light blue shorts with vertical red, yellow and blue cuffs. Their eyes are a mix of blue, green, and pink. 

3. This character has big, green eyes. They are smiling and leaning forward. They have ginger hair, that is placed in a bun. They are wearing a orange-yellow rain jacket with forest green buttons, hood, and cuffs. They are holding a pink umbrella. They have a green barrette in their hair. 

4. This character is in a confident stance with hands on their hips. They have teal hair with neon blue bangs. They have grey eyes. They are wearing lighting bolt earrings. They have a purple bandage across their nose. They are wearing a red, leather jacket. They have a star necklace which is placed on top of their fishnet shirt with a bandeau underneath. They have a yellow pleated skirt and knee high combat boots. 

5. This character has a shy expression and looks timid. They have long, straight, pink hair with a baby pink bow on top of their head. They have large, brown eyes. They are wearing a long pink dress, pink stockings, brown boots, and a pink cardigan with elbow patches. 

6. This character is very happy and is showing peace signs. They have long, neon blue hair in pig tails held by raspberry loured bows. They have deep purple eyes. They are wearing a green choker necklace and have many colorful bracelets. They are wearing a lacy, short-sleeved blouse. They have on purple shorts trimmed with turquoise and pink lace. They have pink slippers. 

7. This character is posing with their hip pushed out and a peace sign over their eye. Their eyes are the same color as their warm, brown hair. Their hair is long, with curls at the bottom. They have large yellow bow holding their ponytail in place. They are wearing a knee length purple dress with light purple puffed sleeves and trim. They wear socks that are the same color as the dress's trim and brown shoes. 

8. This character is a humanized-wolf. They are smiling, with their hands in the same position as a begging dog. They have a large smile across their face, and you can see their fangs. They have large blue eyes. They have brown hair, with large brown ears and a tail. They are wearing a yellow sweatshirt, grey pants, and orange sneakers. 

9. This character is sporting a soft smile. They have chin length, purple hair. They have large yellow eyes. They are wearing overalls with colorful patches on it, and a white blouse underneath. They are also wearing pink converse shoes.

For more of Jillian’s artwork, check out her socials: Instagram: @j__mno Facebook: Twitter:

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