Art during Covid: Finding Inspiration



Like many others, most of my year has been spent in lockdown with few chances to venture outside. Although I have been preoccupied with client projects and my own initiatives, I have come to realize the importance of felt experiences to revitalize my excitement for creation. While art seen online, books, chatting with peers and mentors are invaluable sources for inspiration and guidance, I think there is value in simply experiencing the everyday world (with all safety measures in place of course~).


"There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." - Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers)


I think the same could be said for every encounter with the outside world. Those experiences leave a mark in us to help shape our perception of the world no matter how small. Perhaps during this pandemic, we are opening our eyes further and seeing our world in a new light. We begin to treasure small moments that were routine to us in the past.


I have always loved finding the spectacular in the mundane. The ability to capture the ordinary through art in ways that distill its universal message has always created feelings of empathy, nostalgia and delight in me. In particular, I greatly admire my favourite illustrator - Yoshitake Shinsuke's sketchbook collections that have doodles such as accidentally picking up two baskets at the grocery store and observations on how people like to bite plastic straws. Its wonderful to see that inspiration does not necessarily start from big revelations. Perhaps building upon fundamental human experiences and emotions is a way to better connect with an audience. While at the same time, observations can remain as just a recording and nothing more but to further your internal library.


credit: Yoshitake Shinsuke's Book: スケッチ集 デリカシー体操, グラフィック社 (2016/3/7)


I can really empathize with the urge or pressure to remain productive and highly creative during this time. Self-motivation and discipline are integral to my creative process. Although it is important to be more forgiving to your capacity during the stress of the pandemic, I think remaining active and open to inspiration will help fight creative fatigue. Start by noticing the small things... even the smallest of things! Maybe combine two ordinary things for a fresh new interpretation. Continue to share and bounce ideas with others.

Thank you so much for reading till the end. I continue to wish you all the best on your creative journey. Take care and I would love to hear your thoughts too! Come say hi on instagram: @natalie.illustration



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© Natalie Illustration © Natalie Hui, all rights reserved 2020

I am a children 's book illustrator based in Toronto, Canada!

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