For Mental Health Awareness Week, Niceshit animates the emotions of healthcare workers as kid-friendly characters

With the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week – which runs from 9 May to the 15 May this year – being loneliness, it’s easy to see why the week is still crucial; it can often feel insurmountable to voice out feelings. Interestingly, it is an issue with which the creative world can often help, and challenge of visualising intangible emotions has been undertaken countless times by the industry – as seen in works such as Inside Out or Headspace’s Netflix animations. The effectiveness of making abstract thoughts approachable with simple forms is tried and tested. Yet, Niceshit was faced with perhaps more complex territory on its latest work, The Feelings, an animated musical made in collaboration with McCann Health London and production company Jelly. Tasked with visualising real emotional states experienced by front line healthcare workers, Niceshit creative director, Carmen Angelillo, says the work and character building was a “big responsibility”.
“As the emotional states came from interviews from real people who were struggling, it was a delicate task,” the creative director tells It’s Nice That. The Feelings follows a group of seven emotions working in healthcare, including Power Less, Rising Dread, Red Rage and Deep Sadness. Developing the right forms for these characters all came down to close adherence to the research. “The answers from interviews were absolutely key for the development of this set of characters,” says Carmen. After reading the answers closely, Niceshit knew that brushes, hand-painted textures and 2D characters were the right approach for the work, knowing it would make them “more relatable, sensitive and engaging.”

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