Words: Natalie Keane
Centennial students have been out of school since March 13, and the coronavirus quarantine is still in full effect. Art students at Centennial, amidst the confusion and concern, are now tasked with creating their art exclusively from home, with no access to the materials or resources provided in the classroom.
For some of these students, this disruption of their normal lives is difficult, because they lose the daily structure and human interaction that provides motivation for them to complete work. But for others, the lack of obligations during the day allows them to fully focus on their artwork, unlike their previous schedules at school.
Maria Daly, a junior in Art 3, says that they have continued to make art throughout the quarantine. These days, despite all the uncertainty, it comes easier to them.
“I’ve definitely had more motivation to do art since quarantine started,” they explained. “It sounds weird, but I think it’s because I don’t have the pressure of having to fit ‘good’ art into my schedule between afterschool clubs, homework, and just general life, whereas now I don’t have 80 [percent] of those things to make me feel pressured in that way.”
Most of Daly’s pieces over the past few weeks have been quarantine-inspired. Their inspiration for their work largely comes from the people they connect with, and since they haven’t seen anyone for the past few weeks outside of their family, they’ve been creating more self-portraits.
“I haven’t really seen very many other people, and a lot of my mood has been impacted by that as well,” they expressed.
Mia Bridges, a senior in Art 3, says that she, too, has been able to create more art now that she is out of school.
“It’s come easier to me [because] I know I have lots of free time,” Bridges said. “Since I’m not bound by school art assignments, I can do pretty much whatever I want.”
The shut-down has moved her to start taking inspiration from social media and artists she finds online. With less material to draw from in the real world, the internet is the next best thing.
“I’ve been taking inspiration from the artists I follow on social media… people I see on Instagram that wear really cool clothes and have fun hairstyles,” explained Bridges. “When I see people like that it inspires me to want to paint portraits of them, or just sketch them.”
Gabby Cherry, a senior in Art 4, unlike Daly and Bridges, finds that it became more difficult to make art after the quarantine began.
“I would say that my motivation to make art has decreased significantly, but I’m starting to slowly get back into creating by working on smaller projects and sketchbook pages,” she said.
Cherry is in the highest level of AP art, which requires her to produce much more work for her portfolio. “I put a lot of pressure on myself this year to make larger works for my portfolio and shows, and it kind of took some of the fun out of creating,” she stated. “I feel like it’s important to use [other artist’s] work as a source of inspiration, rather than a way to put myself down.”
Despite the uncertainty, Daly believes that people will continue to find ways to make art, even if it’s not in the same way as before.
“I feel like a lot of people’s art will reflect the isolation we’re all feeling at this time, and I feel like this will change what art people will be making for a while.”
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