I’ve seen a lot of talk about making art during quarantine. For many, it helps us deal with isolation, a lack of control, boredom, depression… everything. Sometimes it is a pastime but if you are an artist that produces art for sale? What if it is what you do for a living? How do you navigate offering up your wares during a time when so much is happening? Between just COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, there is so much to do. So many feelings. So much hurt. And those aren’t even the only things going on! The list of things we should be caring about and paying attention to is vast. Remember climate change? Still a thing! We don't need the list. The list seems to be constantly morphing and growing. All of it is so important, so why is this thing you made relevant? Sometimes making something and then saying “does anyone want to buy this?” seems insane. But here we are. I cannot speak for anyone else, just for me. I can only say that during the hardest times of my life, this one included, one of the top things I seek out is art and other creative minds. Inside even the darkest images, the saddest songs, the most heartbreaking poems, I have always found hope and new ways of looking at things. So if I’m searching, every day, for these liferafts for my soul, maybe others are too.
The other side of that is that making what I make helps me. All of my work is meditation. The time I dedicate to creating what I do is some of the most valuable time in my days. When I’m creating, a lot of the time I’m also listening to an audiobook, a podcast, new music, or something else to feed my mind. Hours of time to spend learning and absorbing new thoughts and ideas. Sometimes it feels like what I’m listening to is transmitted through my hands while I work. Each piece feels infused with the environment I am in, what I’m listening to, how my heart feels, what deep thoughts I’m working through as my mind wanders down a path (often requiring me to pause and rewind whatever I’m listening to). The work that I have made this year has been enormously helpful to my soul. It always is but it sure stands out these days. So right now I just wanted to let anyone else who might be wondering if they should keep dreaming things up, creating things, and sending them out into the world… please keep going. Keep making. You need it. I need it. We all need it. I don’t care if it is a sock puppet or a giant painting of an ice cream sundae. I love knowing what everyone is making and maybe, just maybe, someone needs the thing you made in their lives. Maybe someone needs that sock puppet on their nightstand to give them company when they can’t sleep. Maybe somebody needs your ice cream painting to remind them that joy exists, sometimes in the smallest moments. Maybe somebody needs what I make to calm them for a moment each day when they see it. I hope so. I hope we never give up on art. I won’t.