The Corona virus has turned many lives upside down. This is how it has affected me. I expect my story is very similar to most artists.
- I work hard subsiding my art career building up my business as a freelance art teacher and teach art at Age Concern in Mitcham, run Art in the Park monthly creative workshops, Budding Artists after school art lessons for children , CATS Club STEAM After school art lessons for children and STEAM Storytime workshops with Dramabuds at Imperial College, London. All my art classes and workshops have been cancelled and my income has disappeared overnight.
- All Art fairs, exhibitions and Open Studios have been cancelled. I had been investing time and money creating many artworks and prints as I had a very busy Spring /Summer planned. Starting with The Talented Art Fair in London, (this event take place in early March but numbers were very disappointing as it was just at the start of the Corona virus). I had a six week solo exhibition at Honeywood Museum in Carshalton planned called ‘In many a walk’ with accompanying workshops. Craft fair in April, Open Studios in Brighton every weekend in May, Landmark Art Fair in May, Carshalton Artists Open Studios in June/July and Urban Art Fair in July.
- I am self employed so hope to receive some money in June but I don’t know how much that will be. In the meantime, I am still expected to pay rent on our studio although it can be paid in arrears.
- I am actually really enjoying the extra spare time I am painting. Usually I am very busy teaching and my painting time gets squeezed into my week. Every day I am spending 3 hours painting which is blissful. It is my art therapy! I have also set myself a few ‘corona virus challenges’. Being very creative, I start many pictures before finishing others so, in April, I have set myself a target to finish and upload onto my website and promote a painting a day. (You can view this challenge on my Instagram account: jo.sharpe_ or facebook Josharpeartist). So, I am trying harder to sell online as I can’t sell publicly.
- I am really missing teaching and know how beneficial being creative is so I am offering free art activities through my Budding Artists Instagram and Facebook page. The activities are suitable for all children and adults. A project that has naturally occurred that I am really excited are my Nature Mandelas. I’m also hoping to engage my teenage children to help me make some You tube videos.
3 I have also had the chance to other creative projects that I have been wanting to do for some time. I have started creating some mosaics. I have upcycled some pots using old ceramics from my parents home that I did not want to throw away and created signs for my studio.
4 I have been updating and writing blogs for my website and organising my schemes of work and home.
It has inspired a new piece of work. I have done a few Dogs of Oaks Park but I aim to do A dogs of Oaks Park social distancing!
In summary, aside from income worries, I am finding the coronavirus a very useful and creative time. It has given me the much needed time to organise myself.