Posted by Nixon
29 March, 2021

As spring hoves into view, we’re sharing lockdown mood-lifters, from postcards and positive news to colourful creations.


A new lockdown habit that my friends and I have adopted is sending each other uplifting mail at random, as a little pick-me-up. (Fatigue at the endless group messaging threads notwithstanding.) Check out these hilarious illustrated cards from Kazvare Made It.

There’s an undeniable thrill in receiving a piece of friendly post or a parcel delivered to your door – whether it’s the self-gift you saved your pennies for or a surprise postcard from a friend. The whimsical act of sending postcards seems to have been reignited by millennials over the course of the pandemic: a modest, personal and tangible act of kindness in a time of overwhelming global (and digital) anxiety. 


I recently stumbled upon this company, which sends a weekly newsletter containing only positive news stories. They focus on the good things going on in the world, including things about the environment, society, and brands of inspiration. With lots of negativity usually seen in the news, it’s sometimes nice to have a little email of positivity. 


Max Strom is an advocate of breathing. As he says in this TEDx talk, surely everyone does that, right? Well it turns out we don’t; or at least, not in the way we should. According to Max, if we learnt to breathe properly we’d reap the benefits in terms of reduced anxiety, better sleep patterns and all-round improved health. Just the ticket perhaps for these anxious times, and of course it’s free!


To celebrate 2021’s International Women’s Day, animation and design studio This Thing is Ours reached out to female illustrators and artists to contribute to its project brief. 

After over 600 responses, the studio chose the final selection based on their illustration style. This resulted in an eclectic mixture of 90 vibrant illustrations from all over the world. 


Despite the obvious downsides of 2020, for me one of the silver linings was the amount of great music released last year. Album Colors Of The Year 2020 is a collection of 150 album covers that celebrate the colours in music during 2020. It beautifully showcases some excellent records, highlighting the eclectic mix of album covers in a vast array of colours, which is front and centre in this clean website experience. They’ve even created handy colour-coded Spotify and Apple Music playlists, perfect for the hyper-organised music lover.

Album Colors Of The Year was designed and curated by José Gasparian and Marcos Rodrigues, and developed by Edgard Kozlowski.


I’ve signed up to run the Classic Quarter with three of my girl friends in May. It’s a 44-mile coastal path run from the southern most point of England (Lizard Point), to the westernmost tip (Land’s End). I’ve been training for the second leg of the run: 15.6 miles from Church Cove to Marazion. I’ve really enjoyed getting to explore new parts of the coastal path, and it’s helped me overcome the lockdown slump I think so many of us are in. 

Setting myself a new challenge has made me do things I wouldn’t ordinarily do – a ten-mile run in 50mph winds and hailstorms at 6.30am is not exactly my idea of a fun time, but it’s worked for me in refocusing my attention away from lockdown. 


It’s easy to get stuck in a colour rut, using the same combinations again and again because you know that they work. So I was delighted to find a tool to help. Khroma uses AI to learn which colours you like, and then creates palettes for you to use.

After I selected my favourite colours to train the AI, it spat out a range of colours and combinations that were mostly pretty good (though not all – which left me reassured that the robots aren’t coming for my job just yet). It’s exciting to see how AI can be used to help rather than replace the designer.


The pandemic has challenged us all to varying degrees, but perhaps few so much as workers on the frontline. I was interested to see Aliza Nisenbaum’s painting of a ‘Team Time’ storytelling support group set up in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by one of the consultants, concerned about the emotional wellbeing of his team. 

It’s fascinating to see how teams and individuals have found creative coping strategies, which are in turn represented through Aliza’s art. Take a look at Tate Liverpool’s exhibition guide online.