There’s no doubt about it, 2020 has been a tough year for so many, including our little ones.

A national study by Children’s Health Queensland on how young Australian children and their families were coping during the COVID-19 pandemic found that one in five children were experiencing behavioural difficulties, with young children being the most affected by not seeing friends and family.

To help nurture emotional resilience among our kids, Australian Illustrator, James Gulliver Hancock, in a partnership with HP Australia, has launched a collection of free illustrations with the aim of helping children to express their feelings in easy-to-understand and creative ways.

“I have two kids who love craft,” explains James.

“During 2020 when we’ve had more time at home, recycling craft became really important in our household. Whenever a delivery arrived in a cardboard box, we had all we needed! Creating carboard cities, structures or artworks, we’d also experiment with different materials and colouring tools to see where their minds could go.”

James Gulliver Hancock illustrations are helping children to express how they feel.

James says he wanted to bring “unrestrained creativity” to the Big Little Heroes illustrations, allowing kids to choose from an expansive range of hero body parts to construct their very own interpretation of a hero.

“It is this unbridled approach that really sets the scene for kids to explore their feelings in a creative way.”

For James, it was “really exciting to understand HP’s courage to do something different and passion for supporting the emotional wellbeing of Aussie kids during such an important time.”

“As a team, we were able to make something really special and so relevant to the world we are living in, and I’m really proud of what we’ve done through this collaboration,” he says.

The Big Little Heroes illustrations invite kids to create their own hero.

How kids can create their own hero

Step 1: Head to HP Printables to see James’ Big Little Heroes illustrations:

Step 2: Select your crazy body parts – from a sunshine heart to make people laugh, a giant hand to help out a friend, a storm cloud because you’re feeling sad, and so much more!

Step 3: Select your accessories and characteristics to make them look like you, one of your friends or a member of your family!

Step 4: Print out your chosen illustrations, cut them out and put together your hero.

Step 5: Colour, colour, colour!

Step 6: Give your hero a name, and post it on social media tagging @HP Australia and using the hashtag #BigLittleHeroes

Step 7: Keep your hero in a safe place! You may be contacted to have your hero included in an online gallery of Australia’s ultimate superheroes.

Every upload will be shortlisted to appear in an exclusive online gallery of Aussie kids’ ultimate heroes. The Big Little Heroes printable illustrations are available now on the HP Smart mobile app and online.