The Art of Staying Home: A Creative Person’s Guide

Ralph Lazar. [312] Crazy Shit Can Happen, 2020 via Saatchi
Ralph Lazar. [312] Crazy Shit Can Happen, 2020 via Saatchi Art

So, coronavirus. Wow.

We haven’t posted since last Sunday. Last week was extremely distracting with all the news about COVID-19 and the ensuing craziness.

This pandemic broke Spring Break this year, and so the post we had planned seemed a little tone-deaf. A spate of cancelations left our upcoming editorial calendar looking very sparse indeed.

It’s likely that in some places, social distancing will not be enough and people will be advised to “shelter in place.” That means is that your best bet is as simple as staying home.

So if you are a creative person wisely parked at home this week, here are our top 5 suggestions for passing the time.

1. Catch Up

Find out what’s going on in the art world, and get inspired. Check out the blogs: Feedspot has a list of the top 100 here. (We’d like to thank them for including Lonely Ocean!)

The top blogs are Colossal, Hyperallergic, BOOOOOOOM, and Hi-Fructose. We also read Vulture, because, Jerry Saltz. Saltz’s Guide to Being an Artist has gotten rave reviews by Steve Martin, stand-up comic and all-around multi-talented creative genius. Also, our local arts agency, Creative Pinellas, has put together this guide for exploring the arts in a time of social distancing.

2. Tidy Up

Take extra time at home to make sure your creative space is inviting and organized. My art studio is in my garage and things get pretty crazy in there, tbh. But if I keep it under control, I can pop in there and paint whenever I have a little spare time. This is critical when you have a day job or two, a family, and a life to live. And I’m all for art as a form of productive procrastination. A lot of my favorite paintings happened when I was in the studio dodging life’s less appealing tasks for a while.

My Modern Met has some great tips for organizing an art studio here.

3. Stock Up

While you are in your studio, take note of what you have and what you need. Those art supplies you bought with the best intentions but never used? Now is the time to start experimenting with them. Are you almost out of something critical, like white paint, gesso, or paper? Make a list of the art supplies you need, and check out Jerry’s. The Artarama has almost everything, it’s usually on sale, and they deliver.

4. Get to Work

Stay informed, but know that obsessively checking the news isn’t the best for your mental health. So do a little ritual and get to work. It’s been scientifically proven that the best way to do excellent work is to do as much work as possible. Many artists have told me that working on several things at once is incredibly helpful. Don’t make a judgment about what’s good or bad. You can paint over the losers later. Right now, if I had to show my work, I’d call it “Glazed and Confused.” And that’s perfectly fine, it’s all part of the process.

5. Kick Back

Congrats, artist! You’ve gotten inspired, set up your studio, got some fresh supplies, and done your thing. Doesn’t that feel better? So how about:

  • Checking in on friends and family?
  • Hosting a virtual happy hour on Facetime or Skype?
  • Supporting local businesses by ordering in or picking up take-out?
  • Binging a little Netflix?
  • Curling up with a good book?

Stay in and stay well!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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