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Feeling “Necessary” as an Artist in the time of Corona

I’m trying to think of a way to start this post without saying, for the millionth time, that this year has just been crazy for the entire world. Australia was on fire in January, now the majority of the world is on lock-down and trying not to get sick and die, but in a lot of places people ARE dying and it’s horrible. It’s hard just being a human being right now, much less an artist who has depression and anxiety problems. 

Many people would tell you that art is a luxury item and not a necessity. I think this pandemic has proven that art is much more necessary than lots of people would think. Not only are people streaming shows and movies, but I’ve also seen an amazing outpouring of artists offering free online painting classes, coloring pages, art lessons, and more. The local co-op I’m part of did a drop of free art supplies and they were snatched up in minutes. Even if you’re not creating art right now, you’re probably using the creations of artists to get through this time- whether those artists are movie directors, actors, costume designers, writers, musicians, game designers, illustrators, YouTube creators, or bloggers, you are most likely using the creations of at least one artist to get through this stressful time.

And even though I know all of that, it’s been very difficult to see what I do as beneficial to anyone at this time. I know I have some people who enjoy my creations, and even a few who read this blog, but it’s been so hard for me to feel like I should even be writing or drawing at this time. Part of that is stress and depression and too much bad news on social media. Part of that is just my brain telling me that there are more important things right now than horse drawings or YouTube videos or even blog articles about whatever I’ve got on my mind. I see my friends who are much more successful artists than I am also having a hard time right now and think to myself that if they’re struggling, of course nothing I’ll do will make any difference at all and I should just stop creating, stop writing, stop posting for a while. 

Then, a few days ago, a local therapeutic riding center I’ve had some dealings with posted this…

This post nearly made me cry, because I could see that SOMETHING I was doing was being enjoyed by at least one person. I released these coloring pages several weeks ago, and had no idea if they had even been looked at by anyone, much less printed and used. 

This comment was also made on the same post:

It’s amazing what a difference just a small thing can make. If you are enjoying the work of an artist during this time, please reach out and let them know if you feel comfortable doing so. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, and it doesn’t cost a cent. But it can make that artist smile and encourage them to keep doing what they’re doing. 

What artists are you enjoying during this time? Let me know about them in the comments! (If it’s a music artist, let me know what songs you like! I’ll check them out!)

Featured photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

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