After spending 95% of 10 days sealed inside to avoid hazardous levels of smoke from wildfires in Oregon and California, I asked myself if this is the new normal. I was thinking about this as I put on my new respirator to go outside. I watered the garden under the haze of yellow skies while our valuables sat packed and ready to go at the front door.
It was difficult to focus on my day to day routine of exercising and then going to my studio to create art. I wanted to go back to bed, binge watch whatever was on Netflix and hide from everything. I wouldn't say that's the best way to handle any kind of a crisis and I didn't actually do that even though I really wanted to escape from this "new norm". I did spend way too much on Facebook to see how others were handling the situation. I had friends that had to be evacuated and others that lost their homes while most of us were blessed to have our homes and family all safe if not somewhat petrified as we waited and watched the progress of the fires.
How does an artist try and continue working on their art while the world is burning and do they? We do. We keep on going to our easels, tables, computers and let our art speak of our fears as well as our dreams filled with hope and beauty. This is how we communicate and document the world around us and within us. We are out here finding ways to communicate and share our thoughts, emotions and hearts to build that connection with one another. Our art is the bridge of communication without any filters. It's our truths and our voices rising up above the din of confusion and chaos to share with others to show that we are all connected.
It's been almost 8 months of COVID and everyone has had to figure out new ways to show and share their art. Many artists depend on the income derived from art fairs, festivals, gallery shows and art walks where the artist has the opportunity to actually meet and talk with people that may be interested in their art. It's when we can engage with the community and share why we do what we do. That's how artists and patrons make a true connection.
Artists share their art on social media to have an opportunity to share what they have been creating but it's not the same. I miss the personal connections and meeting new friends as we gather and talk about art. I miss that feeling of joy as someone purchases one of my pieces and they are just as excited as I am about their purchase as I wrap it and hand it to them to take home.
I've been trying to figure out how to have a studio sale online. My small studio would not accommodate more than 1 person at a time. I have thought about setting up my festival booth in the driveway and have an art sale. I'm still pondering that one. Will it be safe? How do I adjust to what could seriously be our new normal?
I don't have any answers to this question and will continue to sell what I can online along with the millions of other artists. There is a resilience artists have to adapt to their situations and continue to create in the worst of circumstances. That alone is inspiration enough to keep doing what we do.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. How best do you respond to connecting with art you may want to purchase? Do you buy online or in person? As an artist, what do you prefer? Do you like selling online or in person and what works best for you? What is your new normal?