Arts & Culture / COVID-19 / Mosaic / April 20, 2020

Students still creating art within isolation

Junior Phelix Venters-Sefic creates illustration, titled Facetime, to resemble the many video calls with their friend group. (Courtesy of Phelix Venters-Sefic)

With isolation in full force, students within the Knox community are adjusting in different ways. For artists, it can be an incredibly difficult task without the comfort of studios and supplies on campus. For musicians like junior Milo Camaya, this time in quarantine has offered them plenty of time to write music. 

In general, I have a lot more time to write and revise and overall just give myself time,” Camaya wrote in their email interview. 

What has been most challenging for Camaya is the loneliness of creating alone. As General Manager of WVKC, they generally have a wide community of different sources to work with when on campus. Being at home usually means they can write music with old friends from high school, but social distancing has put that to a halt. 

“I usually write music with my best friend, Thomas, but since we are social distancing I haven’t been able to see him. Of course, we still send music back and forth and that’s been nice,” Camaya said.

Junior Phelix Venters-Sefic has also missed their community greatly, especially when it comes to creating art. 

I normally collaborate with my friends to make my work, I love doing portraits of my friends and I rely heavily on their creativity and input to make it more personalized for them. I deeply miss having that creative network of people,” Venters-Sefic said. “I’ve had the opportunity to draw for myself which I haven’t really done since college started.”

Working in small, isolated environments has proved difficult for Venters-Sefic. Finding an area to get into the head-space to create can be challenging when your entire life is quarantined into a small bedroom. 

“My biggest challenge is trying to make a space that is conducive to producing art. It’s hard to create in the same space I sleep. Just getting in the productive headspace is definitely a skill I’m having to relearn.

For senior Glo Ponce, creating art has proved to be increasingly difficult due to the lack of resources. Ponce specializes in drawing and painting and shared that during winter term, she focused on larger drawings and animations to go along with them, but due to limited resources and a slow computer, she has struggled to put her story together. Still, she sees her creations improving and morphing during isolation. 

I’ve been putting in more passion into my artwork so I feel that’s an improvement,” Ponce said, “Now my artwork involves more of the brutal reality. As well as looking for positivity”.

For both Venters-Sefic and Ponce, the lack of resources has morphed their art in interesting ways. They both want to focus more on publishing their art onto a variety of social media platforms and become more aware of the digital art world. Venters-Sefic has been focusing some of their time on becoming equipped in photoshop and making a website for themselves. Camaya, on the other hand, hopes to produce enough music to release an EP of some sort.

As far as creating music goes, Camaya admits that not every song that they have written is a masterpiece, and given the pandemic, it can be difficult to create when in fear of the world around us. Still, Camaya feels it’s important to exercise their creative brain. 

“I would say create something every single day. It doesn’t have to be incredible or amazing just make something. Like more than half the songs I write are shit but eventually, there’s at least one that is decent,” Camaya said. 

For more physical art that cannot be carried around on a guitar, Venters-Sefic believes that this is a transition period for artists to plan and adjust their focus.

If you don’t have access to materials or resources you would need right now this could still be an opportunity for taking time to plan or do research for your art that you wouldn’t have other times! Also, if you are a textile artist, making masks for your peers is a good use of spare fabric you have around,” Venters-Sefic said.

Sadie Cheney, Co-Mosaic Editor
Co-Mosaic Editor

Tags:  art arts and culture isolation music quarantine

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