Many artists are feeling stuck right now--not only in their homes in the midst of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders but stuck in their work as well. We not only contend with our own worries and struggles but the constant drumbeat of bad news from the media. Our usual ways of working may no longer seem suited to what our lives have become.
Historically, art reflects the times in which it is made. Today, we are considering this aspect of creativity in light of what we are all experiencing. The way in which we handle the current situation creatively can also be applied to other traumas that we experience in life.
Artists usually consider personal voice to be a concentration of focus that carries us along. It helps others understand what it is that we are communicating. A consistent process, point of view, or approach is achieved through a mastery of technique and a deep, ongoing interest in particular ideas. Traumatic events can disrupt this flow, and change our focus. Now may be the time to loosen our concept of what constitutes our crative voice, and allow for different aspects of ourselves to come forth.
Artists may wish to resist this natural change. There is so much disruption in life without having to completely change artistic direction. This change may also feel like a threat to the personal voice that has been developed through years of work and refinement. Or, in a positive light, our ongoing work may be something that can encompass the new reality, perhaps offering viewers something uplifting or comforting.
This may, however, be the perfect time to explore something new as part of our ongoing journey. Art is a calling, and acknowledgeing that helps connect us with our roots, when we first started making art. For many us it is also a therapy, and during difficult times having a creative outlet may be more necessary than ever. This creative outlet does not need to be related to your current art practice, and can be purely an escape. The art you create at this time may never be shown to anyone else, but it may reveal new insights.