Has staying creative during COVID-19 been a challenge?
With nowhere to go and not a lot to do, it’s been all too easy to sink into a carbohydrate stupor and binge watch mindless fluff.
And with winter fast approaching, you may be even less inclined toward activity.
But staying creative is vital to your well-being. Especially if you’re an artistic type. So what can you do right now to keep those creative fires burning?
Staying Creative During COVID-19
Keeping arts academy high school and middle school students creatively inspired over the past ten months has been a challenge. But we’ve developed and come across more than a few ideas that have helped our students to stay creatively engaged.
Here are ten of our top suggestions:
1. Reproduce Your Favorite Pieces
This idea popped up early in the pandemic so you might already be familiar with it. You may have even done it. But that doesn’t preclude you from giving it another go.
Simply think about your favorite works of art. Then, using objects around your house or even of your making, reproduce one of them. For example, how would you portray American Gothic? Or what would a Kandinsky look like via your interpretation?
It’s more interesting if you can get a group of other art-minded friends involved. Then you can view one another’s individual creations and begin to create a virtual art museum of these wacky reproductions.
If you want to take it another step, find out which museum houses the piece you choose, and then send them photos of your creation.
2. Publish a Fake Flyer
Have you ever walked through your neighborhood and seen a strange flyer posted on a tree or telephone pole that made you laugh because you knew it wasn’t real? Maybe it was something in the vein of “Rooster for Mayor” or “Lost Toaster Cozy” and it gave full details of the fictional situation.
What’s stopping you from doing the same? You could create a fake flyer that offers advice, shares a story, or promotes an imaginary event. Include details and pictures, if you can.
While you could do this digitally and make multiple copies, consider creating just a single handmade flyer to evoke a more mysterious feel. Then post it wherever you think people will see it.
3. Sink Into Your Sketchbook
If you’re an artist, you more than likely have a sketchbook (or seven) lying around. So even if pulling yourself away from binge-watching your favorite show feels like too much, you can always cozy up with one of your sketchbooks while doing so.
You could make a drawing with one continuous line. Or illustrate a scene from your favorite story or even the show you’re watching. Think of a shape, such as a triangle, and come up with as many objects, places, or feelings that remind you of that shape.
Just let the magic of freely doodling take hold.
4. Create a Landscape
Imagine a fictional landscape. It could be something real like a beach or something otherworldly like a Martian spacescape.
Gather both natural and man-made materials you find around your house and yard, and arrange them in such a way to create a backdrop. Find a wall that makes for the perfect sky. From there, you might add people (or Martians) and trees (or Dr. Seussian plants).
Then grab your phone and start experimenting with photographing the landscape at creative angles and under a different light.
5. Make a Flipbook
To make a flipbook, think of something that moves and, more importantly, HOW it moves. For example, maybe it’s a running animal. Or, in an irreverent tribute to 2020, a hand that’s “flipping the bird.”
Then take a small pad of white paper and draw a simple image in one stage of movement.
On the next page, draw the image in the next stage of movement – being careful to line it up completely with the previous image. You can also add color, letting it morph and change as you flip through the sheets.
6. Play With Black and White
Take a cue from the monochromatic winter. Explore black and white and shades of grey.
Divide a piece of paper into small boxes and each day, draw something new while using only black and gray markers. Take advantage of the negative white space.
Or try photographing something each day in black and white. It brings an entirely new perspective to photography.
7. “Find” a Lost Object
Talk to a friend or family member about an object that they had as a child that they eventually lost or just no longer have. Ask questions about it. What was it? What color was it? What was it made from? How big was it?
Then, to the best of your ability, re-create the object using whatever you have around. Then give the object to your friend or family member.
8. Manipulate a Self-Portrait
Bend a wire hanger into a profile of your face. You can add additional materials such as cloth, feathers, or beads. Once you have what you feel is a reasonable facsimile, hold the piece a few inches away from a lightly colored wall.
Take a picture of the shadow it creates. Then hang up that picture where you can see it.
9. Draw a Black Circle
This might sound like a whole lotta nothin’.
But if you sit down every day and attempt to draw or paint a black circle, after many days, you’ll notice how something so seemingly simple can render such an infinite amount of results.
It’s a strange sort of meditation.
10. Stick With Simplicity
Staying creative during COVID-19 doesn’t mean you need to embark on a major project. Perhaps you create a mood board collage from magazine clippings and inspiration images. Or maybe you give your bedroom (or wherever you spend the most time) a little makeover.
Have an art history movie marathon and plan to watch movies like Goya’s Ghosts and Frida. Color in an adult coloring book while you watch.
Get into the kitchen and start cooking or baking. You can use recipes or just start creating your own. And while you’re there, listen to TED talks or other captivating podcasts to give you future fodder for upcoming art projects.
Finally, remember to keep the hope.
Plan an event you can look forward to once we no longer need to social distance. It could be a night out with friends, a concert, or maybe even a weekend road trip. Let the creativity flow.
How Are You Staying Creative During COVID-19?
As arts educators, we know the importance of expressing creativity on a daily basis. The above suggestions for staying creative during COVID-19 are just a launching point.
We certainly encourage you to keep exploring.
And if you’re interested in having art as part of your or your child’s everyday life once the pandemic ends, contact us today to request a tour of our school.