Creating Art & Finding Inspiration during Quarantine

Pictured above: art piece done by sophomore Hayla Fawver

As the pandemic has turned the world upside down, new struggles have surfaced for artists of a variety of different media. In a constantly changing situation, how have these struggles changed the art world?

When looking at their struggles, the quarantine is the first thing that comes to mind. Without outside influences, artists are struggling to find the inspiration to fuel their craft.

“I think it is harder for me because I’m mostly stuck in the same place for a while. Even though I have more time I still don’t have any good concepts that come to mind that I will be proud of later or will invest a lot of time in to make it great,” sophomore Hayla Fawver said.

With this in mind, it seems like artists must find a new way to approach their art. Art teachers like Stephen Tornero and Ashley Kessler from Oakwood Middle School have taken to Instagram to encourage their students to share their art on social media. They have given countless prompts to keep students focused on creating with common household objects and photos.

Forms of encouragement like this are great for middle school students, but for high school students the situation is much more bleak. After a variety of cancellations, many are lost on what the end goal is for them.

“We didn’t get to do an art showcase we do every year, where we pick art that we are most proud of to show people. We also didn’t get to start a new project that was relief printmaking, which I was excited about,” Fawver said.

Despite these shortcomings, other students of different forms of media are thriving through the quarantine. Music production students are part of that mix.

“Since music is done digitally, I can do it anywhere as long as I have a computer, so the difficulty hasn’t changed at all. If anything, it’s easier since I’m home all day,” sophomore Claytin Sweeney said.

Music production has allowed students to work with others through the quarantine on a digital scale. They reached out to their friends to send voice recordings to incorporate into their songs, creating a collaborative piece. This has proven useful for countless projects where students were tasked to make songs with people outside of their class. Sweeney in particular has used the time leading up to the quarantine to release his first album on his YouTube channel, “ThePandaMuffin”.

Without the capability to move some physical art classes directly to the web like music production, art students are looking for ways to use their experiences to influence their independent art at home.

“My emotions are my main inspiration, as well as social issues in the world,” sophomore Juliana Castro said. ”A clear example is the current pandemic, which makes me want to illustrate how we need to work together and support one another. The pandemic is heartbreaking, and has affected billions of people, and I want to make something to honor and support those fighting the virus, both patients and caretakers.”

While it is clear that some classes are harder to move to an online platform, students should take the time to adapt, create and make the best out of an abnormal situation. 

“I definitely think that everyone should create in their own time, whether it be cooking, painting, gardening, knitting, journaling, writing or music making,” Castro said. “Creating is an escape from real life pressures, and it can be a way to release emotion and tension in you. It’s where you can enjoy your own company and expand your abilities.”

While students may be stuck inside, plans to make home life more interesting are all around them, one activity at a time.