Updated: Dec 7, 2020
It’s been six months since I moved across the country during a pandemic to start my life over. And just now I’m dusting off my art supplies. I have a corner in blue-ish lilac room with natural sunlight. An unfinished painting sits on an easel, and a black metal box creaks when I pull out worn-out paint tubes coated in amber gel. Paints have a tendency to do funny things in storage, and sweat linseed oil.
Retrieving these items releases a sweet and musty smell; it pulls memories like ocean tides. My fingers feel a tingling revive, and this dormant area of my mind has lit a fire. But it still feels dark, not a stream of ideas that I’m used to having. I trust that this process is necessary and natural. And breaking into art is a lot like riding a bike, you never forget, but it can take time to get back into the groove.
What have I been doing in six months? A lot of hermitting, processing my new living situation. It also involved a lot of repairs in the bedrooms before I could fully move in. There was much turbulence in the emotional and mental realm as I’ve been grappling with the insanity of our world. And there was a lot of meditating on what I want to usher creatively in such uncertain times.
I remembered today, I used to scroll on Facebook and would see a ton of artists' work, or restoration works. There are social groups and pages I’ve been a part of, but they no longer show up on the feed. I wonder if it’s just algorithms favoring chaos instead of magical people? But I also wonder, how many others, like myself, are simply too burnt out?
I do truly feel that a common theme of 2020 is the collective environment. It’s a realization that everyone is truly connected and that we are a global community. We are all experiencing a pandemic, climate change, and political turmoil together. I’ve noticed some creatives have amazing resilience and kept the fires going for us to turn to for entertainment.
Personally, as an empath, I feel that it has been hard to be inspired with so much uncertainty. My theory is that I am far from the only one, and there may be a collective creative void.
I guess my main talking point here is really just acknowledging that there is this hidden price that’s been paid for not caring for our collective community. Other than major headline news, a lot of artistic fires are smothered and in dire need of nurturing. All the while, many of us have relied on artists to entertain us during this time, from actors to authors. I don’t have any real solution for this issue, other than to encourage empathy to help make this world a little better.
Every time I make art I feel that I’m putting out this energy to make the world a little better. But I don’t think this energy is limited to creative people alone. Everyone is capable of taking responsibility for the world we live in, and I believe in a future where we can collectively thrive.
About the Blogger: Hi I’m Elura! I’m a professional artist and nature enthusiast from San Diego, now in Maryland.
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