4 ways to stay artistic during lockdown

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Our creative spirit can be overlooked during lockdown, but it doesn't have to be. Joel Rasmussen looks at some options

“I’ve felt disillusioned and discouraged … I haven’t had inspiration or drive hit me for months,” says artist Amy Zainal.

Like many Victorians, she is feeling the effects of months spent indoors. After extended periods of isolation, levels of anxiety and depression are at an all-time high.

One important tool in the maintenance of mental health that often goes overlooked: artistic expression. Research has found it can help alleviate psychological distresses and help people deal with anxiety and depression.

For Amy, an RMIT design student, art has been one of the best ways for her to maintain her mood and self-esteem.

“Art is really the big thing that’s made me feel passionate, and it gives me something to be really enthusiastic about while in lockdown,” she says.

Despite being trapped at home, there are still many ways for Victorians to stay artistic, no matter their level of ability. With many craft and hardware stores remaining open for click and collect, Victorians can get the resources necessary to start their own art projects at home.

Traditional canvas painting

4 ways to stay artistic during lockdown
A canvas painting of the moon over the water

When someone hears of artistic painting, this is probably the style that first comes to mind, because it works.

All it requires is a canvas, paints and some brushes. An easel to rest the canvas against is optional, but it does help.

“A lot of the time when I make art, the end results stay digital, but being able to make something I can physically hold is really cool,” Amy says.

For anyone struggling with ideas for painting, the official Bob Ross Twitch account live streams episodes of The Joy of Painting for budding artist to follow along with and create some beautiful pieces.

Pen/pencil on paper

4 ways to stay artistic during lockdown
A small canvas painted with paint pens. Picture and artist: Sheldon Headspeath

This option is more widely available, as most people will have everything necessary around the house: a surface to draw on and something to draw with.

Much like with all art, this style is only limited by your imagination.

This is a medium professional artist Sheldon Headspeath has taken to during lockdown, as a way to keep his business operating and keep himself creating.

Sheldon is the owner of State of the Art Murals, a mural painting service operating out of Frankston. He has also done work with the council, helping introduce art to the young people of Frankston.

“Still working through lockdown how I can,” he says

“Always staying artistic! Had a few days off but always at it.”

Chalk art

4 ways to stay artistic during lockdown
Chalk art in a suburban driveway.

For the artist who looks for a non-permanent way to bring colour to their neighbourhood, this is a fantastic option.

Many Victorians are spreading messages of hope via chalk, or simply using it as a way to make someone’s trip through the area more enjoyable.

Digital art

4 ways to stay artistic during lockdown
A digital art character created by Sheldon Headspeath.

If you are unable to get any of the required materials for the mediums above, or are perhaps not a fan of potential mess, digital art may be the best medium for you. Digital art allows artists to create all different types of pieces from their laptop, tablet or phone.

Digital programs like Photoshop or Procreate are available to create digitally with. Even MS Paint, which comes free with Microsoft computers, can be used to create masterpieces.

As a bonus, digital art can be saved and repurposed, such as making a T-shirt or bag with your own artwork on it, a concept Amy is excited about.

“I’ve been designing like crazy … I’d like to sell goods with my art at some point in my life, so I’ve been able to prepare for that.”