Art in the time of Coronavirus
Art is generally an alone pursuit. Artists work alone, take photographs alone (for inspiration or as art themselves), work in a studio alone. Basically, artists are more or less loners.
The reason artists join groups like Artists United Club is so they can be around other people who understand this ‘alone -ness’. Others who share their media, their joy when a drawing or a painting turns out. Others who know the crush of working on deadline when a commis- sion piece is looming. Others who know the agony of having no good ideas or of having too many good ideas. Others who struggle to sell their art in an age
of very short attention spans and instant
In the Before Times, we did gather with others to exchange ideas, reviews of new tools, to share works in progress, to talk about, well, art. In the Before Times, we would congregate, socialize and then go back to our alone spaces.
In the After Times, we can’t do that. We are self-isolating, self-quarantining, staying at home. For a while this might have been met with a shrug and a “I’m an artist. I work alone.” But the novelty of having all this time on your hands, no commitments to attend meetings or to ready pieces for a show, wears off. We substitute Zoom or FaceTime or Skype or other ways to connect while main- taining distance. And these are good things. They let you see your fellow
artists and meet and discuss and present and share. They also lead to what one fellow artist labeled “Zoom Fatigue”, especially if you have several Zoom meetings in a week. Another artist con- fided that she was having a difficult time working up the energy to do any art at all.
We all wish we still lived in the Before Times, but we don’t. So, other than working in your studio alone and joining in On-line meetings, what kinds of activi- ties have you employed to keep your artist spirits up? If you share your quar- antine space with other family members (especially those who are normally gone during the day), how do you create in that environment? Or maybe you aren’t having an attack of the blahs and are delighted to have few responsibilities except your art. Any advice for us dealing with the blahs? Have you tried out new things? New media? A new style? Become the next Kandinsky, perhaps? Or turned to self-portraiture? Let us know how you’re creating in the After Times. Send your comments, ideas and experiences to our Newsletter and Howler Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. He may well want to post them in the next newsletter.