You’d think as an artist, working from home would an easy feat. I mean, how often do you hear about the Thoreaus of the world, who move off into seclusion and produce masterpieces? Or artists like Agnes Martin, disappearing into the dessert. If anything, it feels like as an artist, you’re obligated to isolate yourself at one point or another and become the artistic mystic you were meant to be. Particularly with Covid-19, we’ve been presented the pristine opportunity to do so. Yet, it’s more difficult than anticipated. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fair share of hiccups working from home. Some funny, and some…not so funny. So, here’s my list of current woes, with the hopes that by sharing, perhaps it will bring fellow artists comfort in their own struggles.
- Woe #1: Acquiring Art Materials—When local art stores were closed, I attempted to order my supplies online, which was difficult. Supplies were initially out of stock. Plus, due to understandably much higher priority items, shipping took forever. When my items finally did arrive, a squabble must have occurred between my little can of black ink and rolling pin—resulting in the impalement of the ink. In other words, everything was a black gooey mess. A graphic image included—viewer discretion advised.
- Woe #2: Family—Most of the time, I welcome any opportunity to show my nieces and nephews my practice and let them assist. However, when it starts to become a daily occurrence due to working from home, in particular my 5-year-old niece Kinsley wanting to assist me in EVERYTHING I do, well…it can make one’s productivity a bit slower. Granted, I’m still secretly prideful every time she asks. However, I’ve had to accept the slow nature it entails.
- Woe #3: Distractions…from my family again—With everyone home, including kids and adults, it makes for one distracting environment. Most of the time they’re pleasant distractions, such as family hikes, crafts, and whatnot, but also difficult when you’re trying to attend a Zoom meeting and the kiddos keep asking what you’re doing. All I can say is how grateful I am for that mute button, because there’s a whole lot of background noise on my end.
- Woe #4: Cancellations—The biggest repercussion has been cancelled events. Personally, my colleagues and I had to make adjustments to our own public art project as a result, yet in the end, we were able to make it work. However, others have not been so lucky. It’s sad not attending art events, knowing the economic hurt it’s creating for the artist. There’s also a loss of connection. It’s just not quite the same not seeing the work and artist in person. Fortunately, Spokane has stepped up to the occasion, with Spokane Arts hosting First Fridays virtually, local art shops having materials available for curbside pick-up, and artists making their work available online. While some things have been missed greatly, I’ve also noticed I’ve been exposed to new local work as a result of the digital platform.
So, these last few months have been filled with many adventures to say the least. Some good and some bad. Yet, it’s also been a time for new learning experiences as well as unique forms of connection. For that, I’m grateful.
P.S. My new can of ink has yet to arrive.
All photos by Hannah Pomante
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.