Coronavirus has spread around the world, sending many artists into isolation. We’ve asked our represented artists how the virus has affected their art and their life, but also about rituals they have, dream projects and valuable advice they can give to other artists and collectors. Here’s what they had to say.
Since coronavirus requires everyone to stay at home, how do you spend your time in isolation?
"Isolation does not affect my regular life too much. I usually spend my time alone, I go out fishing, hiking, riding a bike, listening music, and of course drawing, painting - and that is what I do now, too. I do not associate with other people too much anyway, except my family and friends."
"Well, I try to remain as functional as before. To pretend that all is OK, I go out with my dog or shopping and, when the weather is nice, I go to the nature - Karlovac is situated on 4 gorgeous rivers. Also, everyday I enter „virtual classroom“ to teach my students painting and drawing online. I paint when I feel it, without pushing myself. Trying to relax my mind as much as possible and, of course, I am planning future projects as well."
"Isolation is not difficult for me, as an artist I'm used to work in isolation anyway. I've managed to create a rather pleasant daily routine since the lockdown, so I can look forward to each day even if they are similar. There is a strange liberation of the norm and the requirements of society which makes these days different for me, and I enjoy that."
"There is a saying 'An Englishman's home is his castle' and, although I'm not an Englishman, it is valid for me too. When I am at home - I feel isolated from everything, I feel free to do whatever I like. Coronavirus has not changed much for me in that sense..."
"When the lockdown started in Italy, I was scared by all shops getting closed, so I bought lots of materials: paints, pastel brushes and paper. I work a lot these days and spend a lot of time with my son. We often draw and paint together."
Do you find the pandemic to be inspiring or distracting? What usually inspires you to do your work?
"Studying the phenomena of life challenges and how they affect the world is the main topic of my work. Humanity has suffered lots of diseases, including the Black Death. Although, this was a global tragedy, but it also had a positive side: it is through diseases we have become healthier as a result. These disasters shock the world, but they also exist on a small scale in our daily lives. I observe them and how they impact us and our lives."
"I think the pandemic itself is not the problem (unless we are admitted to a hospital in intensive care). What affects us all the most is the waves of information ranging from videos similar to a trailer for a horror movie to information that tells us that nothing really happens. Everything is just a media manipulation. If we turn away from all this information and look at nature we will see that flowers continue to bloom, birds still sing, the trees are covered with bright green leaves, the seas come to shores as always ..."
"I think this is a crazy time... I feel that emotions in each of us are altered by isolation and loneliness. We are forced to think much more, to love much more but also to hate much more. Yet, feelings are fuzzy and unclear to me. I think that when the world returns to normal and I have a clearer mind, I will be able to reflect on the theme of isolation in my artistic research as well, but for now I don't feel ready! The major theme of my artworks is currently the fragility of the landscape reflected in the PaperLandscape series. It is a series inspired by landscapes and nature, nature and changes, the passage of time. We change the nature and the nature transforms us; we are strongly connected."
"For me it is more distracting than inspiring. But I always respond to my inner pressure, and this is definitely one of the times when there is a great inner pressure to respond to my surrounding and the circumstances of my current life. I am the best in my work when I am calm, when I am at peace. But professional artist must be capable to create authentic art in all circumstance. I have 5 works only since February but I think that they are both relevant and genuine, both Covid-19 related and non-related."
"Everything can be inspiring around us. [...] People should turn back to nature more often and slow down a little bit - the current situation may teach us this. A lot of people are running, always running for money. They may experience now, that they can live differently and this can be a positive effect of the isolation.
What is your daily routine when working? Do you have any morning rituals, specific music, food or other objects that keep you going?
"My life is not separate from my work, so everything I think of, do and feel can be transformed into a poem or a painting or it can take me to a moment of reflection or meditation."
"I start the day by getting up early and going out on the field which lays behind our back garden and there I do my daily running. I must say the birds has never sang there so beautifully before as they do it since I’m in isolation. Another daily habit I do almost rigorously is spending time reading after breakfast, actually this is my favorite part of the day, just sitting in the garden with a book and a cup of coffee.I also paint almost daily, and I’ve realized I work more relaxed since my family and friends are no longer going into work, because of that it feels as if life has stopped, there is no more rush, there is nowhere to go..."
"Just wake up and create! There are many ways to get inspired: sometimes music and sometimes a Muse :) Not the food, though, unless it's a cooking process which is a creative endeavor on its own!
"I am a coffee addict, and therefore I start my day preparing coffee for the whole family. That is one part of my daily routine. In the evening we usually select some good movies. I spend much more time with my kids. That is important. And yes, I listen to a lot of music mostly good stuff from 1970's and 1980's, but actually it can be anything..."
"I enjoy working in the morning with a natural light. In the morning, as soon as I wake up, I prepare a coffee and immediately go to my studio to review the work of the previous day. When I finish my coffee and clarify my ideas, I start working while listening to music."
What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists and what was the best advice you ever got?
"I would advise to work a lot, and do not listen to any advice just your inner voice. If you listen to different opinions you will be confused who to listen to, whose expectation to meet. As an artist, you should meet only your own expectations. Especially young artists should work a lot to master their profession."
"If you feel that artistic vocation is for you, it is your path, then – never give up. Do as much as you can in all positive or adverse situations. And learn, be educated, practice, be skilled! That is a true freedom. Don't find justification for your lack of skill or for a lack of an original idea. Then you will progress."
"This is a difficult question. I have received a lot of advices but they were not always good or maybe they simply were not good for me. I think that each of us follows different path and therefore what has worked for me is perhaps not good for another person. I am sure that it is important for all artists to know the history of art and therefore I advise you to continue studying and continue their work with tenacity and love."
"There is a well known Picasso quote which was the best advice I’ve ever got, it sounds like this: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
What do you look for when buying art? What should collectors pay attention to when acquiring art pieces?
"I personally buy what I like, but I always look for information how the piece was made. I try to understand if the work is structured as an artistic research. It is important for me."
"It has been always a pleasure to work and sell art to those buyers who have means and knowledge. I would always encourage collectors (if their mind is not set to anything in particular) to seek for an advice from an unbiased person with experience (and/ or specialized education) and even from an artist. Unfortunately, too often low quality works are sold for high prices on primary and secondary market. This is my opinion."
"I do not buy artworks. Being an artist myself, we usually change artworks with my colleagues. I am not a collector, I am a creator. I think collectors have their own aspects they take into consideration when buying art. It is surely different as we are different."
"[Art] is not simply a canvas bound by wooden frames. It's a visual information, which right to exist arises when a viewer reacts. In our memory there are unique connections between many messages received every day. Artworks are like notes from artists, who remind us of the beauty of life, they shape our human condition. We should remember that when we chose an art piece."
How would you describe your dream project?
If you weren’t an artist, which profession would you chose and why?
"Haha…I would be a movie director, that was one of my oldest wishes. :) I am also hopeful that in the future, the opportunity will arise, provided the growing number of independent, small productions with great technical possibilities."
"I think if I wasn't an artist, I would have been a creative farmer, a creative builder, a creative teacher, a creative cook. I would have always chosen a profession that would allow me to create something."
"The world is in trouble, but I think we should always find hope. Hope comes from unity. This is my intention to send a message of hope with my art: studying opposing forces in this world, I see a harmony and it brings hope.
"People often ask me: Can all people be creative?
My answer is yes, absolutely. We all have the potential to be creative, it is something that radically differentiates us from animals. But this potential needs to be tested and developed.
The question that follows is: So can all people be artists?
The answer is no. To be an artist requires an absolute passion and a fireproof tenacity.."