Cartoons that spark joy
When illustrator Ang Min Jia started posting her daily doodles on Instagram in 2018, she had only one hope – for her illustrations to bring joy to people and encourage them to be kind to others. Two years on, her account, JangandFox, has attracted some 320,000 Instagram followers from all over the world who share messages of positivity and encouragement with one another, and in response to her cartoons.
Her illustrations of winsome anthropomorphic animals offer life lessons on everything from friendship to love and empathy. The cartoon’s protagonist is a character named Little Fox, and stories in the series centre around his world of animal friends, which includes a rabbit, an elephant and an otter.
Ang says: “Every character learns to love something about themselves. For instance, the Little Bunny learns to appreciate her too-tiny paws, which make the best carrot cakes, and the Little Elephant learns to embrace the overwhelming emotions he feels, even though he’s literally and metaphorically, constantly blue.”
So popular are her endearing illustrations that she has been approached by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) to come up with a series of drawings for their exhibition on Chinese Singaporean culture. The commissioned cartoon spotlights Chinese Singaporean values such as loyalty, filial piety and kindness. It is published in both English and Chinese on the SCCC website, and will be available all year round.
For Ang, the project of making traditional Chinese Singaporean values relatable to the public is close to her heart. She says: “I grew up reading Mandarin storybooks in a traditional Chinese Singaporean family, so Chinese language, culture and values are very much a part of who I am and what I create.”
As much as her uplifting illustrations have inspired and brought joy to others, so too has she been encouraged by her readers, who remind her of why she does what she does.
She says: “A reader from Turkey told me he translates and shares my comics with his grandmother every other night. And a reader-turned-friend from India shared how her younger brother, who is usually not expressive, held her hand when she was having a bad day and asked, ‘Did you lose your balloon of happiness?’ The question, a reference to my comic, made her day. Such instances have brought me closer to people, and they keep me going.”
Learn more about JangandFox here.