Creating During Lockdown

By: Hope Hefright

Inspiration can be extremely hard to come by while in quarantine. Locked inside your own house with the same walls and the same people, “artists block” is inevitable, but you don’t even need to be an artist to experience this. Maybe you’re trying to write a paper, or want to do an easy craft with your family. The surplus of free-time all of us have been given presents a conundrum: so much time to create, nothing to inspire us. I’ve especially been afflicted by this; I love to draw and I’ve been finishing up my portfolio for AP Art this year, but some major blocks have stood in my way. However, there are a few pieces of advice I’ve found really helpful to overcome it, which you might find helpful too.  

  1. Consult books and online resources. Quarantine has been an unfortunately perfect time to catch up on all the books I haven’t read, so I’ve gone through three or four fiction books. Getting immersed in a story is great for inspiration and distraction. On the other hand, it’s also just as useful to watch some YouTube videos or movies that are different than what you’d usually seek out. YouTube has endless tutorials for painting, drawing, and crafts to reference if you’d like to learn a new skill. I’ve been watching lots of videos about the watercolor process, since that’s an area I’m trying to improve. Youtubers like Jazza and Emily Artful have good channels for 2D art tutorials and art-related videos, but any specific area you’d like to explore is sure to have dozens of videos about it with a search. Website has articles like “People In Quarantine Finally Have The Time For Cool Projects, and Here Are 32 Of The Most Creative Ones by Jonas Grinevicius and Ilona Baliunaite that feature some of the funniest and most inspirational things other locked-down creatives have made.
  2. Work through it. Picasso has a quote about this, “Inspiration will come, but it has to find you working.” Sometimes the only solution is to sit down in front of whatever you’re working on and start making something really bad. I do this, and see something that maybe I actually like in the garbage, and then I can go from there.
  3. Spend time in nature. If you haven’t turned to taking long walks outside with your family yet, you’re definitely in the minority. However, the possibilities span from hiking, to bike rides, to rock painting, to having a picnic. All of these activities are great tools for changing scenery and subconsciously working on creative problems.
  4. Socialize. So the problem with this one is obvious. Right now we’re all supposed to be “social distancing” and it feels like all your friends are 100 miles away and you’ll never see them again and you forgot how to talk to people. However, whether it’s a Snapchat, FaceTime, or a Zoom call, there are a few ways to talk to people that, although not as good as the real thing, can help open up your mind and dust away some cobwebs.

So, don’t let your lockdown time be wasted as you lay around and watch movies or eat the whole house. Make something! Afterwards, the feelings of accomplishment and pride will be worth any uncertainty and definitely clear away some of those quarantine blues.


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