LOCKDOWN TALES: Creativity in Captivity, Pt 2. How are you staying inspired in quarantine?
As our collective lockdown experience continues, many of us are finding creative outlets to keep our hands busy and minds quiet. Whether it’s drawing, cooking, practicing your craft or simply taking a break from it all, let us know what’s lifting your spirits during this time.
Continuing on from last week’s story, below, artists in various fields tell us how they’ve been coping in self-isolation, and share their tips for getting into a creative mindset.
Mariana Palacios, Hairstylist
Creating helps me live in the present and let go of what I can’t change. My house is practically my studio anyway – I have all my materials here from when I studied fashion design. While in quarantine I’ve started to devise pieces and accessories that join the two parts, drawing, looking for references, doing tests, which is helping me improve versions of my ideas and make new discoveries. Now I’ve had time to put all my materials in order, I’ve been able to investigate more, explore the work of more artists… and I can finally make myself a decent breakfast after so many months of living in a rush!
Alex Kisilevich, Artist
From talking a lot more with family and trying to be there for friends and folks who are living alone, to gathering supplies for my ageing parents, an elderly neighbour, my partner and myself – it’s been busy! This paired with listening to and reading the news has been causing a fair bit of stress which at times has compromised my ability to work. On the other side of the coin, there are moments of selfish happiness for the pockets of time I’ve been able to work on art. Right now I’ve been working in the studio on a video piece that I was previously putting off. I intend to exhibit it in a group show later this year – provided the exhibition isn’t cancelled or postponed.
If there were ever a time for a creative project that you wanted to pursue, now can absolutely be that time to work on it. However silly or serious, large or small, if the supplies are within reach, try it out. It could be writing a poem, building a chair, taking a funny picture, putting some strange objects together or making a dish you’ve never made before. Working on something creative with your hands, however trivial, can feel absolutely wonderful.
Daniel Coves, Painter
What role does creativity play during times like this? I’ve thought about this a lot lately. It’s the second time in my life I’ve had this feeling. The first time was in 2012, when the economical crisis exploded. I was living in Spain and had recently finished my studies. It was so strange, because it seemed very apocalyptic but at the same time, when I looked through the window everything was the same. People in the streets, the sun was in its place… The problem was very real but also invisible, without a precise location, not noticeable by our senses. There’s a similar feeling now. At that time I thought about the function of being a painter in those circumstances, and although it can seem useless in comparison with other functions, painting is a great medium to express feelings and make them durable.
Luisa Popovic, Hair Designer
I think art should always bring people together in some way. Right now more than ever I believe it can be used to help people collectively escape briefly into fantasy, or on the opposite end, give people a new way to perceive our current reality. Art is always a reminder that even when it feels like there’s nothing but destruction happening, human energy can be powerfully channeled into creation. There’s a massive sense of purpose that comes from seeing something in your mind, then bringing it into reality. Personally, my mind goes a mile a minute and often the only time it slows down and starts feeling more organised is when I’m making something.
Sarah Pager, Artist
The current isolation has given me a licence to be in my studio. All other work I normally have to support myself has fallen away, so there is no money coming in, but also no distractions to my creativity. After an initial adjustment period, I realise this is a great opportunity to immerse myself fully in my creative practice and make an extreme new body of work. The most amazing aspect of this situation is that we are all in it together, normal was the problem – and although there is no going back, this isolation space forces us to draw on our internal resources. I strongly believe that everyone is creative, and looking inwards we all have the ability to build on this and establish new ways of communication. There is no FOMO, there is no competition – the two most anti-creative forces in existences.
Louis Souvestre, Session Stylist
At the moment, what I’m liking the most is going into my suitcases and thinking: “Right, that’s all I’ve got to work with”, as shops are closed and I’m self isolating. I love the challenge, it makes me think outside the box and I end up coming up with things and combinations that I would never normally think of. When this is all over, my fears are for people with their own businesses because they have not only their own careers to worry about, but that of their employees. More than ever, we will all have to work as a team and be kind to one another. My hopes are that after the rain comes the rainbow and my wish is that everyone will be TOO busy.
Korouva, Photographer and Musician
During a time like this, humans need access to other realities, other futures, fantasies and our imaginations. Creativity can lift us up. Besides that, art can reveal LOVE to us in such simple and elegant ways. The human soul is especially hungry for emotions right now. We MUST feel – feeling is what brings variety and colour to our world.
Contributors: Daniel Coves, Alex Kisilevich, Korouva, Sarah Pager, Mariana Palacios, Luisa Popovic, Louis Souvestre
Photography: Ricardo Ramos, Eugenio Andrade Schulz, Elizabeth Wirja
Interviews: Emma de Clercq