Are you having a bad day? If so, drop whatever you're doing right now — unless you're in the middle of picking up a latte, because nobody likes coffee stains — and hightail it over to Last Lemon's "Happiness Is..." comics. They will immediately turn any day around — and I do mean any day. Yes, even the spilled-tea, missed-the-train, wore-your-shirt-backwards-and-inside-out-and-your-boss-noticed kind of day. Believe me, I've had my share of those — but they're no match for these delightful illustrations.
Created by artists Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar, the idea behind "Happiness Is..." is simple: You submit whatever makes you happy, and Lazar illustrates it with whimsical, uncomplicated sketches. The result is a series of glimpses into thousands of little moments that people treasure across the world. If you don't think that's the most heartwarming flippin' thing you've heard all day, you might want to look into getting your software updated, because only a robot could remain unmoved in the face of the Happy Page.
Swerling tells Bustle over email that the project began, appropriately, on a whim. "My husband Ralph and I are very different. We are both artists, but I get happy from the small things in life, like brushing my daughters' hair, finding a lovely old box at a flea market, or pulling out a weed by its roots," she writes. "Ralph on the other hand finds fulfillment from kitesurfing high above the waves, creating tens of thousands of cartoons where a mere mortal could draw hundreds, and taking our family traveling around the world."
In the summer of 2013, however, she came up with a challenge for Lazar: Despite his love for the dramatic, Swerling asked him to try and illustrate a series of little moments of happiness. "So we started making a list of the random happy things that happen every day, and we were surprised by how many there were — the list was inexhaustible," she writes.
In fact, the pair had so much fun that they decided to create a Facebook page, The Happy Page, for the images. "The ideas came fast and easy, and the illustrations were simple and somehow managed to capture the essence of each moment," Swerling says. Soon, people began suggesting their own happy moments, and the rest was history.
Today, the Facebook page has over 2.5 million followers, and the recently-created Instagram account has more than 27 thousand. The couple's 500 favorite illustrations were even published in a book last year.
Swerling attributes the series' success to its "simplicity," although Lazar's insanely quick turnaround certainly doesn't hurt. He does up to 24 illustrations a day, and the Facebook page posts new images every few hours. "Because the ideas come from all over the world, and because they are so often spontaneous yet universal... their simple energy is captivated in the artwork," she writes.
Submissions may come from every corner of the globe, but each illustration makes it how we all take pleasure in the little things. Whether they're the result of hard work...
Or a spontaneous moment...
There's almost always a silver lining. Check out a few more illustrations below, and head over to The Happy Page to submit your own.
Images: Courtesy of Last Lemon (8); Karen Stead Baigrie