Japanese illustrator Maori Sakai takes our everyday moments in life and turns them into sweet animated illustrations. While her gifs sometimes carry a blatant message like “Happiness is by your side,” many times you’re left trying to decipher what feelings she wants to convey. Overall, there’s something positive about her illustrations, even as a girl in striped blue and white pajamas stares mesmerized in front of her computer, yellow butterflies float blissfully in the air. Perhaps they’re signifying a subtle nudge to get back to nature.
Every since she was a child, Sakai has always enjoyed drawing. She attended an Art Sciences high school where she learned the basics of sketch. After graduating, she went to a design school in Tokyo for three years where she studied digital art.
“For some reason, I can’t keep my eyes off the short loop,” she states. Sakai is attracted to gifs because she enjoys showing seasonal scenes and expressing everyday emotions in short loops. More than anything, when viewing her works, she hopes others begin to appreciate the little moments of happiness that can be found in everyday life. “There’s beauty in nature and in daily experiences,” she told us. “I think most people depend on others or a lot of money to feel this happiness, but I think, happiness is always a state of mind.”