Covid-19: Dubai artist creates fun Instagram series to encourage residents to mask up
Philip K Joseph said the inspiration came from reading the daily news
It takes a different level of creativity to see beyond what everyone else does. That is essentially how you harness the power of design to make messages memorable.
Dubai-based senior graphic designer Philip K Joseph has been demonstrating just this since the beginning of the pandemic through his humorous 'Mask' series on Instagram (@philkjoe).
A mask doubling as the roof of a house to encourage folks to stay at home. Another positioned perfectly to look like a bulging tummy (a lockdown side-effect we can all relate to!). Yet another mask converted into the 'flag of the year'.
The 42-year-old, with a clear knack for spotting everyday life in everyday objects, has had a distinct style of drawing around objects for several years now. The inspiration for the Mask series came from reading the daily news. "Back when the pandemic first began, every country in the world was telling its people to wear masks. So, the series just grew from there. We went into lockdowns; everyone was isolated, and discovering new normals like cooking and reading and digital socialising. So, those became the inspiration for every new post in the series."
The Indian expat chose to focus on masks due to their currency in the present season. Once he hits upon an idea, the actual artwork can sometimes take as little as five minutes. But while Philip values how quick and simple the drawing process can be, he's also keen to ensure the posts are relevant. "I don't want to do something just for the heck of it," he explains. "For me it should make sense. The question I always ask myself is: will people really connect to it?"
He's hoping more people will see and enjoy the series, but more than anything, he says, he hopes it will encourage them to exercise more mindfulness. "I'm hoping people will see the series and just remember to be more careful. You can see the difference in attitudes in different parts of the world, with some being very careless where masks are concerned. I think it's important to listen to what the government says about staying safe and following the precautionary measures."