motivating giraffe illustrations. One reads 'it's time to get back up' with pig offering a knighted giraffe his sword. The other features giraffe in a field with butterflies captioned "there is still hope."

Penny Redshaw Creates Motivating Giraffe to Illustrate Mental Illness and Connect With Others


Penny Redshaw, an artist from Australia, wants to help those living with mental illnesses feel less alone. Her Instagram account, Motivating Giraffe, features posts about a giraffe who struggles with mental illness and his pig friend who supports him.

2016 #art #illustration #cartoon #drawing #inspiration #motivation #friendship #love #quotes

A post shared by Motivating Giraffe (@motivating_giraffe) on

At the time Redshaw started her account, she said she was “quite mentally unwell,” spending most of her time in her bedroom with the lights off and curtains drawn. Redshaw began doodling to pass the time and eventually conceptualized the giraffe account to reconnect with the real world in a way she said she “desperately needed.”

Most of the illustrations are inspired by people in Redshaw’s life — either through things they say to her or things she wishes she could say to them. While some drawings are bright and cheerful, others are somber and sad. “I try not to be disingenuous,” Redshaw said, “in that it’s impossible to make every illustration a hopeful and positive one because nobody feels that way all the time, even cartoon giraffes.”

#art #illustration #cartoon #drawing #inspiration #motivation #quotes #hope #cute #instaart

A post shared by Motivating Giraffe (@motivating_giraffe) on

While Redshaw says her favorite piece changes about once a week, her current pick is a hopeful piece featuring a quote from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” “I really like the way the artwork came together but the words are the special thing to me,” Redshaw told The Mighty. “I know so many people who are lights and I don’t think they realize it. It’s nice to be told that you are significant and it’s important to be able to say it to others.”

#art #illustration #cartoon #drawing ##inspiration #motivation #quotes #motivationmonday #hope #love #friendship

A post shared by Motivating Giraffe (@motivating_giraffe) on

Redshaw hopes that those following Motivating Giraffe can see the account’s simple messages for what they are. “You can do this,” she said. “It’s okay to try again tomorrow. I am here for you. We will get through these things together.”

Redshaw also encourages others to use art and other passions as a creative outlet for expression. “If you find something that helps you…try not to listen to those who will say these things are not worth your time or energy,” she added. “The world desperately needs creators and artists and people who can put colors on canvas and say ‘This is me.’”

Not only does Motivating Giraffe inspire others, but as its creator, Redshaw says the account has given her more confidence. “I found my voice in this project, and mostly I try to be the kind of person I hope to meet in others,” Redshaw said. ”This includes hard conversations about mental health but it also includes encouraging strangers who might need it, joking with retail staff who are having a long day and singing along to the happy birthday song to people in restaurants.”

To see more of Redshaw’s work, follow Motivating Giraffe on Instagram.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Mental Health

watercolor of a woman

5 Reminders for Millennials Struggling With Mental Illness

There are some pretty harmful judgments surrounding one of the internet’s new favorite topics: millennials. Whether you are part of the “new” millennial crowd or the “old,” it really sucks to be told you are “entitled” and “lazy” — especially when you’re really not. As someone who is part of the now-infamous “millennial generation,” it [...]
shirt and pouch

Keep Mental Health on Your Mind This Summer With These Essentials

Summer’s here, but when you have a mental illness, “summer break” doesn’t always mean getting a break from your symptoms. Whether you have an eating disorder, struggle with self-harm, depression or another mental health challenge, we know summer isn’t always easy for everyone. So if you’re looking for fun ways to spread mental health awareness [...]
Pencil on a multiple choice test

What I Wish People Knew About Having Extended Time on the SAT

I want to have extended time on the SAT. Why do the have extended time on the SAT? What can I do to get extended time on the SAT? I want extended time on the SAT just like you do. These are comments I hear often at school. It’s junior year and the SAT is [...]
a man covering his face with his hands. Text reads: 18 infuriating examples of mental illness-shaming no one should go through.

18 Infuriating Examples of Mental Illness-Shaming No One Should Go Through

“End the stigma of mental illness” is a phrase we hear again and again. But what does that mean exactly, and how does this “stigma” affect those who experience it? The word stigma technically means a mark of shame, and in the context of mental illness advocacy, we mean the unfair mark of shame others assign [...]