A Pandemic Life Check in…
As a creative person I have dedicated my life toward art and design. Having worked both on a creative team as well as following an art life path (where I have exhibited my work in galleries, museums, art fairs etc.). Yet, lately I find myself on some days struggling with my vision for the future. I do my best to navigate a shifting path, a more virtual one by say exploring new platforms in the past year.
I explored places such as Tiktok, which definitely helped get me more comfortable on camera. I also explored video hang outs such as studio tours, live art shop showcases and even life drawing with friends via zoom. I found myself also creating more video content on my youtube channel.
Why though? Why even bother with what can be seen as more filler–more nonsense? For me, it is not so much nonsense filler as it is about continuing a path of exploration and sharing even if this path is more virtual. In the end it comes to human connection and putting the work and myself out there for people to see and connect with. It’s safe to say we can all feel the shift that has happened in our lives during this past year. We are all faced with having to be more in front of the camera and connecting via screens. I'm navigating toward the best tools in our culture for communicating my visual world. In the end I simply want to connect. I want to share my humanity see others humanity in return.
So here I am, almost at the 1 year mark for living a more “quarantined” lifestyle. And if I am being honest the days have big ups and downs. The pandemic fatigue is REAL. While I follow a path that will hopefully slow the virus many others are not. That can leave you on some days feeling a bit angry at the world so to speak or as coined in this article “Pangry”. The mounting frustration over seeing others not doing their part to slow the spread, well it is upsetting. In the end I do my best to take care of myself including distancing myself from those that are not in line with my values.
Speaking of self care that has been an important practice this past year. Taking the time to breath and give myself space to reflect dream or even to do nothing and be ok with it. Take the nap, eat, get some nature in as best as you can even with a house plant or bouquet of flowers you buy for yourself. I have a space where I keep my rock and mineral collection and I am surrounded by books and art and it's a peaceful space where I start my days everyday. I take solace in my breath and the sunlight from the morning. I start my day in this space clearing my energy so to speak. This creates a clean slate to face whatever challenges, minutia or mundanity the days offer.
Time is paused in many ways this year. It has seen the loss of live music and art shows and art openings like they used to have. As well as a pause on travel for most of us. So much has changed and there is a disconnect in a way with the old art world I knew. I am not sure what the new community is yet or what the new art world looks like. Is there anyone that is thriving in this? I see online communities that seem to be thriving. But as an introvert and shy person at my core it can be difficult to show up and be present in that world. When I have I didn’t find much connection yet. I am still very open to this new virtual socialization. It has been interesting watching the world open up and share their personal worlds. Seeing others sharing has made me feel more connected to humanity throughout many of the isolated odd days we have had. I really enjoyed that aspect and see it as a positive.
Recently I wrote:
•I was 24 when I graduated art school.
•I was 33 when I had my first solo art show.
•I was 39 when I did my first pop up art fair.
Things take time to grow, give yourself a break and know if you remain dedicated things will open up. I’m still waiting for a few new firsts to happen and I am now 47. Not giving up.
During these uncertain times I wanted to share the above quote for anyone reading this that may provide some comfort to someone seeing another's creative timeline. Heck even for me it's comforting to see as a reminder to go easy on myself. I am really trying my best to embrace the pause and try to explore new ideas and paths during this time. I do miss my friends, family and the old art community of friendly faces in person. I am always adjusting and some days I am better at it than others. Many days I just sit trying to think what it is I want to do going forward say with my work and this art life I have been living for the whole of my adult life. Where am I going? I am not sure yet and it's ok.
I am staying on the path even as it shifts. I hope to see you there!