Covid and artists

COVID-19 has been devastating to many Canadian businesses, and employers, as people have been laid off, or businesses have had to close their doors. You’re seeing it with chains that just cannot deal with the drop in sales and many outlets.

But one thing that I assumed would be a boon for artists that were perhaps working from home, or just were home more, would be that they would be able to spend even more time creating. And I think in general, that might just be true. Although for me, it really hasn’t. The intrinsic motivation of creative people, visual artists, musicians and writers, then provided with unstructured time is like gold. This type of downtime can often being the most inspired, creative fuel added to the overactive brain machine with the hope that new work comes flying out. The uncertainty of what the “New Normal” is, and whether or not things actually get back to some semblance of our former lives can be stressful, or perhaps inspiration.

Creatively, I haven’t felt ‘inspired’ per se. I look at my sculpture stuff, even my pile of paints and canvas and just sigh. I shut off the light and go upstairs. It has been nicer this summer than most, so I have enjoyed the outdoors on my deck more than usual. So, that’s good. Two years ago, for the Edmonton Expo, I spent my entire summer working on new art to have for sale. That is definitely been a motivator for me, to get new work done in time for a show. After the Expo, and I sold only five pieces, and even though that was good, I had higher expectations for myself. So, instead I felt like I had cheated myself out of my summer. Every Saturday and Sunday sitting inside my little office/art room sculpting and painting instead of enjoying the tiny bit of summer we actually get, I felt like I had made an error in judgement.

In the winter, it’s a bit different. It’s not like I was missing out by not going outside in January. So, I made lots of new things – especially some Baby Yodas that I was inspired to make, and I did pretty well of this February’s local art show. But since then, I’ve only made one new piece. A few little pieces and some Baby Yodas I made in resin, but other than that, I haven’t really felt like it. Perhaps I need the pressure of an upcoming show to motivate me a bit more to get to work, I’m not sure.

Will that happen this February, honestly, I’m not sure. It sounds like social distancing measures will be a thing for some time. How does that affect our local art show that has been growing in attendance each year? Do we have to reduce the amount of people in the venue? Likely. How does that work for sales, artists, and people feeling comfortable being at a show filled with people? All to be determined, I guess.

One thing’s for certain. Things have changed and we have to adapt or die. And for me, and this upcoming show, we will need to adapt.

Leave a Reply