Art and Pandemics
Posted on May 01 2020
Making art during a pandemic…not something I expected to experience during my lifetime. In some ways, little has changed. My husband and I were both working from home before social distancing became a part of our vernacular, and the only school my kids would go to is a preschool twice a week. And we’re introverts who don’t exactly have a full social calendar. You’d think we would have hardly noticed anything changed.
Yet, that’s not the case. The unrelenting sense of uncertainty that accompanies a global crisis subtlety influences our motivation and work ethic, and discouragement seems to appear more often. Part of that also comes from being 15 weeks pregnant, which unfortunately introduces a whole new variety of anxiety. I wonder, “Will my husband be able to go to the hospital with me?” “How much do we really know about coronavirus and pregnancy?” “What will the world look like in October when I’m due?” Even after a long day with the kids, I used to work at night and fit in a few more precious minutes focused just on my art practice. Now I lay in bed exhausted, only capable of binging Tiger King and laughing at a few memes before drifting off.
Yet, it hasn’t been all bad. I’m still creating, and albeit at a slower pace, I’m still making it happen. I feel really good about that. Papercutting naturally lends itself to clearing my mind, centering my thoughts, and easing my heart. When my hands are focused, my mind is at peace.
So even though it’s not much, I am still working. I’m currently cutting a large graphite drawing. Demanding and intricate, this pattern is taking me waaaaay longer than I expected. I work on it once a week so I don’t become overly intimidated by the workload it requires. One day I’ll finish it. Until then, check out the progress shot above.
I also started designing a new artwork. I finished tinkering with the composition and patterns in Photoshop and put the final touches on the drawing. After that will come the cutting (I'll be cutting out the pattern on the right into the drawing on the left). This will be another time-consuming endeavor, but that’s kind of how I like it.
I’m also planning on a few smaller artworks to intersperse between these larger projects. So, keep an eye out for those too!
I sincerely hope each of you and your loved ones are doing well. I couldn’t make art without all of your support, and even though many of us have never met and only communicate digitally, I have the warmest and best wishes for all of you. Please stay safe out there and know that a random artist in Utah is thinking and hoping the best for you!