For years, I have been fascinated with happiness—its arbitrariness as well as our insistence on quantifying it. This investigation led me to Iceland, one of the happiest places in the world.
In asking people what made them happy, I realized that one of the most universal and clearest ways to record their responses was to ask them to draw what made them happy. Drawing is one of the earliest skills we learn; its basic elements are comprehensible to people of all ages, cultures and nations. I reasoned that if people knew that they were happy, they should be able to identify the source and moreover, visually embody this joy. I decided to visualize the results of this ongoing art and social experiment, and to attempt to plot their responses on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a way to qualify these instead of putting them on a metric.