#IsolationCreation: The Importance of Creativity Amid Difficult Times

#IsolationCreation: The Importance of Creativity Amid Difficult Times

These viral creative projects bring together communities, albeit from a distance



Aside from the overwhelming feeling of grief, which accompanies me lately, I feel guilt—we all do. It's a completely helpless feeling, embracing the privilege we have to stay inside our homes while professional health workers, volunteers and the poverty-stricken can't do the same.


In times of deep uncertainty, I find myself questioning the purpose of art and creativity. Why create when there are people in harrowing circumstances, seemingly bereft of hope? Still, I believe that we all adapt to difficult situations differently; for some, it may just be picking up a pen or a camera. Alleviating this feeling of hopelessness and for some, boredom, eventually results into something worthwhile. It sure pays off to be hyperaware, to harness it productively.


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Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio, professional photographer and co-founder of the cinemagraph, uses the hashtag #IsolationCreation as part of her daily photography project to pass quarantine. She uses everyday objects, mostly flowers and fruits, in her work and occasionally includes self-portraits.


She details her inspiration on her first post, “This is Day 1: I woke up today, like many of you, with jobs put on hold for the foreseeable future, my baby out of crèche indefinitely and it sounding like France is moving toward a full lockdown. I decided today to take the power back from losing work, losing freedom, losing support and get into the studio to commit, to as long as this crisis has a hold on us, and create one original piece of photographic art each day. I see this as a challenge to myself to push what I can create every day in order to grow as an artist and produce something positive out of a situation none of us could ever anticipate.”



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Jamie is just a single creator among the many who use the power of art to bring communities together, albeit from a distance. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles introduced #BetweenArtandQuarantine, a series of creative interpretations of prominent paintings and other art pieces from the confines of their homes. It was inspired by Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine



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Meanwhile, theater designer Molly O'Cathain created a Twitter thread she calls Parental Pandemic Portraits featuring her mother and father with their own restaging of celebrated works of art. As a 27-year-old locked away in her house in Dublin, Molly got really restless and decided to recreate the Old Masters using whatever is available.



American writer and advocate Suleika Jaouad created the 30-Day Creativity Isolation Journal to help make sense of such challenging times. Here, she serves daily journaling prompts from a collaboration of writers, artists and musicians like Elizabeth Gilbert, Mari Andrew and Ruthie Lindsay. Get connected by signing up here.



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RELATED: Journaling Towards Better Mental Health 


Isolation Art School holds free workshops and tutorials amongst a community of artists and non-artists to spark creativity. Turner prize-winning artist Keith Tyson created the platform to ease his anxiety. In a Telegraph interview, he shares, “But creativity benefits from isolation. Those same, tricky circumstances can often be its starting point. And how many times have you thought, ‘I’d love to paint—if only I had the time?' Now you’ve got that time and lots of it.” Learn to make art in self-isolation from great teachers like Sir Quentin Blake, Jonathan Yeo and Nigel Cooke.



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Art need not be devalued amid such exasperating times. It has the ability to make individuals feel less alone and bring forth beauty under such tense circumstances. Creativity is a form of escape, a distraction and, for some, their lifeline. What will you be creating?



Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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