The Art of Optimism is the contrast between the juxtaposition of finding light + inspiration in such grim uncertainties. Over the next few weeks a series of artists share a glimpse of how they as creatives are grappling with time, finding inspiration, and being creative to encourage us to find meaning and utilize time as a space to express.

How are you spending your time during SIP?

I have been spending much of my time in our backyard, gardening and communing with nature and wildlife. During this bleak time, it is reassuring to observe the abundance of life that still goes on around us: plants are growing, flowers are blooming, and the woodland animals are as busy as ever.

I especially have a newfound love for squirrels; each one has their own distinct personality and physical traits. Watching them in our backyard as they scurry about their day is so delightful. They have no knowledge of what is going on in our world. I think we can learn a lot from squirrels: they are playful, intelligent, crafty, acrobatic, adorable, and they take a nap every day!

How have you found inspiration during this time of solitude/social distancing?

During this time of solitude, I have really begun to appreciate Beethoven on a much deeper level; he is the only composer I actually feel compelled to play during our shelter-in-place. His music is sometimes full of such beautiful angst, fury, and depression, which are some of the same emotions that I have been experiencing during this strange and uncertain time. Many of these feelings, that I can’t quite put into words, I can easily express by playing the piano.

What inspiration/words of wisdom can you give fellow artists to keep their heads up and keep creating during this unfortunate time?

Being hunkered down in isolation is actually the perfect time to focus on our own creativity. With the world seemingly on pause, we can use this time to really free ourselves and simply create with wild abandon, with no thoughts or cares if anyone will ever see what we create. Make the art that YOU want to make; it’s as if nobody is watching or judging us right now. We finally have the time to explore new concepts and to try new medium. Let’s think of this as shelter and create-in-place. It’s as if we are dancing like nobody is watching, and sometimes that is when you come up with your best moves.

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