Harumichi Shibasaki, a 73-year-old grandfather in Japan who spent decades working as an artist and teacher, first began teaching online in 2016. But when the pandemic hit, his YouTube painting lessons took on a whole new meaning. "I realized that there are more people who say their hearts were healed, [or] they were energized by watching my video, than those who just desire to be good at painting," Shibasaki told CNN. "Therefore, my mind has changed. I hope to play a role not only in making these videos to improve people's watercolor skills but in healing people's hearts through painting, too." Shibasaki's calming and encouraging presence has garnered comments such as "You gave me the power to live today" and "You helped me forget my pain." More than half of Shibasaki's more than 700,000 YouTube followers started following him during the pandemic. When Shibasaki's son told him about TikTok, he happily began posting painting tutorials there, too -- to an overwhelming reception of responses like "Be my grandpa" and now 300,000+ followers. He's sometimes referred to as "the Bob Ross of Japan" after the late American painter and host of a TV program of the late 1980s. Ross's "The Joy of Painting" has also seen a pandemic effect, "the archive videos attracting more than 4 million YouTube subscribers," CNN reports.

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