happier times: q&a with Seana Redmond

The artist behind happier times talks to us about staying positive, supporting youth, and how she’s spending lockdown.

Seana Redmond is a London-based collage artist, art director, creative consultant, and member of the les girls les boys team. She captivated the hearts of so many beyond her street when a window poster she created during lockdown was posted online. les girls les boys has turned her artwork into a limited edition T-shirt to raise crisis funds for charity UK Youth, who are working tirelessly to stay open and support vulnerable young people. For many of the youth they work with, their lives have become even harder due to covid-19. Her message of “happier times are coming” is a reminder that, despite it all, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Find her on Instagram: @seana_redmond

What does lockdown look like for you?

I’m keeping myself busy with personal creative projects and new collaborations. I’m enjoying working out to online dance classes, online yoga, and going for long walks. There have been lots of quizzes and group chats with friends and family on Zoom. The days have flown by surprisingly quickly for me. I’ve been thinking of three things I’m grateful for at the end of each day. It can be something as small as being grateful for a coffee or talking to a friend on the phone. It really does help.

How did the happier times poster and T-shirt come about?

I had wanted to experiment in creating a collage with words for a while now. This, combined with the constant negative news that has overwhelmed all of us, led me to make the poster. I wanted to create a positive reminder that like everything else humanity has endured, this too shall pass. I posted the collage onto my Instagram without any further thought or intention. I had commented underneath the post that if anyone would like it emailed across to DM me their details. Unexpectedly I began to receive emails from parents of children and teenagers in need of positivity and reassurance. This led to les girls les boys’ beautiful idea to make the poster into T-shirts and help share the positive message. It’s optimistic but also a realistic message too. We all have bad days and I wanted to remind myself of that and others who may feel sad, lost or alone right now, or for any time in their life.

Aesthetically, where did you find inspiration for the poster?

I used the smiley face because I’ve always loved it. Traditionally the smile was used during the 90s rave scene for flyers and t-shirts. On reflection, once it began to go viral on Instagram, I could see that the D.I.Y appearance of the poster had the feel of a 90s rave flyer being shared out to everyone.

Why did you choose UK Youth charity?

A father contacted me requesting if he could send the poster to his teenage son who suffers with anxiety and has been suffering recently. He was in much need of positivity from any and all sources. After receiving messages from parents like these, UK Youth felt perfect for this. The charity supports young people by helping them to thrive and empower them at every stage of their lives. With the continuous closures of youth centres over the years, there is nowhere for under 18’s to hang out with their friends. Community and a sense of belonging is important for any social development and for growth in confidence too. UK Youth provides a platform for the development of these crucial everyday life skills.

What are the things, people, places, objects, or ideas you’re valuing the most during lockdown?

The current situation is a reminder to us all of the fragility of life. You never know when things might stop. We have all been sleep walking for a while and finally we have all been forced to stop, slow down and reflect. I’m extremely grateful for my family, friends, the importance of human connection, health and this beautiful planet that is finally being given a break from us humans.

What is your idea of happier times?

Happier times for me is mastering how to live with ease, being surrounded by loved ones, laughter, health, kindness, love, community, creativity as well as more self awareness and gratitude. Accepting things that are inevitably out of our control and taking the time to focus and work on the things that are within our control. That’s exactly what the poster and T-shirts are about. The happier times T-Shirt costs £45, with 100% of profits going to UK Youth’s crisis appeal. Check out the happier times playlist by DJ Honey Dijon.

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