EDMONTON -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on Albertans, an unlikely figure has gripped the province, guiding it through an unprecedented health crisis.

Merchandise with the face of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is flying off digital shelves for a good cause.

Jonny Jacques recently launched a website selling Hinshaw items to raise money for Alberta Food Banks.

“The original T-shirts have been the most popular one so far,” Jacques said.

Print Machine, based in Edmonton, is producing the items using the work of local artists.

Laurel Hawkswell, an Edmonton-based freelance artist, is the latest to join the "We Are In This Together" campaign.

She was commissioned to draw a caricature of Hinshaw for a client who she says has been inspired by the top doctor's cool, calm and collected demeanour through the crisis.

“It just blew up on Twitter,” Hawkswell said. “People started saying ‘Can we have it on T-shirts?’ And so on.”

Hawkswell teamed up with Print Machine shortly after, officially making items with her artwork available on Monday.

"We just added Laurel’s artwork yesterday,” Jacques said. “That’s become very popular overnight. She’s already sold lots of coffee mugs, which [have] been the most popular.”

This cartoon-style piece was particularly difficult, according to the caricature artist, as Hinshaw’s popularity grew through her ability to calmly address a serious matter on a daily basis.

But Hawkswell feels she found the right balance.

“I think I captured her kindness,” she said. “I think that comes through every day on the podium."

All proceeds from items purchased in the online store will help fund food banks across Alberta.