Artists Reinvent Their Inspirations Amid Pandemic

Media provided by Gazette Media Staff.

Nature, socialization, and, in general, time spent outside of the confinements of our houses are common sources of artistic inspiration. With the limitations that the pandemic and quarantining has imposed upon our daily lives, it has become harder to enjoy the activities that once initiated a sense of creativity, individuality, and inspiration in the ways they used to. These new adjustments have undoubtedly challenged artists and their senses of inspiration. How have student artists at Grace surmounted these challenges and discovered new ways of expressing themselves? 

David C. ‘24, a photographer, claimed quarantine has, unexpectedly, had a positive effect on developing his identity as an artist. In an interview with the Gazette, he asserted, “Because I had spent so much time at home, I was able to use it productively to really focus on my photography. Even though I couldn’t really spend much time taking pictures outside, I actually had to resort to finding my artistic vision within my own house.”

 David’s newly imposed “restrictions” allowed him to reconsider his past work and reveal to him what was possible: “I spent a lot of quarantine reflecting on my past photos, and figuring out areas that I could improve on and progress. This time really helped me get to where I’m at now.” 

David is not the only artist who found inspiration during the pandemic. Mayra T. ‘22 discovered a new medium when she picked up knitting. “I feel like I got really creative during quarantine. It was definitely more of a positive thing in my life since I had so much time to work on my art. I would also get really bored on Zoom, so I pretty much just taught myself how to knit. I would knit during every class…. It just stuck.” 

Similar to both David and Mayra, Paisley N. ‘22 agreed that quarantine forced her to reimagine where inspiration could come from. “I feel like nowadays, especially for kids my age, we find a lot of inspiration on the internet,” they explained. “There’s more time to indulge in media and get inspired.” 

According to Paisley, the integration of technology has allowed artists to stay inspired during such isolating times. It may be possible that nature, one of the most common forms of inspiration, has been replaced with technology. 

Gabriela Salazar, Visual Arts Teacher, has noted how students’ artistic styles have evolved tremendously throughout quarantine: “I have noticed a somewhat more cynical or dark trend in students’ work.” 

She further highlighted that students’ artistic visions and styles have not been diminished but rather changed and broadened. “What’s been really clear is how happy students are to be back in the art studios in person, making things in real time.” Ms. Salazar continued, “With the students on ephemera (Grace’s arts and literary magazine), we’re really leaning into the ‘handmade’ this year in the way we are approaching, designing, and binding the magazine.” With the return of in-person school and the access to a substantially broader supply of resources, the “handmade” artistic approach seems to be making a satisfactory comeback for Grace students. 

The general consensus amongst Grace’s student artists seems to be that the pandemic has fostered new modes of creativity that will remain long after our return to in-person school.