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Creating during a pandemic

So... here we are. The year is 2020 and within the first 3 months of a new decade, one that so many of us were hopeful about, life has changed into the prequel of our favorite apocalypse film.

It's day ??? of quarantine here in Atlanta and I've had a lot of time to do some thinking.

The internet seems to be divided about how one should be using this time. Some feel as though the world economy crashing and burning will be short-lived, and come summertime due to their discipline and preparing they'll be ahead of the game. Others feel like life is shit and the best thing they can do for their mental health and well being is to figure out how their bills are going to be paid and to enjoy watching mindless tv.

I don't think either group is wrong, but I feel like the most important thing everyone could be doing at this time is simply doing what makes you happy.

As creatives, there's this unspoken rule that art should reflect the times and be a mirror of the world around us. This doesn't have to be a literal interpretation, but life influencing art has always been a thing. No matter the discipline or medium. But how? How do you create during a world pandemic? What the heck do you even make?

I'm not a political artist. When I go to paint, I don't want to think about any of the stuff that goes on in my everyday. At first, I resented the guilt being thrust upon me from social sharing. There have been so many people talking about how they're taking advantage of this time, shamelessly promoting and continuing business as usual. The more I saw of this, I started to realize something: I'm not obligated to create just because the world is in a chaotic state.

That's not the source of inspiration for my work. That's not my style. I create from a happy place, a space of peace and tranquility. Art for me is part therapy, part release. And that's okay. And if you feel this way, it's okay.

We're all processing and handling this time the best that we can for our unique situation. Because I am home, I do have more time to work on projects I've been longing to start. And for that, I'm grateful. The world around us is shifting and transitioning into newness, and that's scary and maybe a little exciting and terrifying to think about.

On some days it's okay to do nothing. To wake up and just exist and to let your work speak for itself when the time is right. Don't feel inclined to create in this space if that's not where your heart is at.


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